Best Baby Pillow Reviews in 2018
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that basic cribs don't support your baby's head, so even though it's the government's recommendation to not use any kind of pillow, toy, or blanket under the age of one, more and more parents are looking into safe, thinly-designed, baby pillow ideas for their little one.
One popular rule of thumb is to get your toddler a pillow when their shoulders are wider than their head whatever your reasoning ends up being, this article will help.
Why Get A Baby Pillow?
Babies do just grow so fast, don't they?
Perhaps because of this, infants also have very soft bones, and can develop flat spots on their head from sub-optimal crib design, also called plagiocephaly. To fight against SIDS, new parents are instructed to have their baby sleep on their back in a crib without blankets, toys, or pillows with a waterproof sheet over a firm mattress; but that same mattress firmness can leave baby with a flat spot on their noggin, which can become worryingly pronounced.
In cases like this, there are certain products a parent can turn to that are trusted and have worked for the same condition in the past, and we will get into this topic and more in our article here.
Keep in mind, some parents choose to wait until their child's third or fourth birthday for the first pillow as a safety precaution against SIDS, and there are plenty of different opinions on the exact perfect age for a child to get their first pillow, but other parents whose child has plagiocephaly may not have this luxury. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that between 1992 and 2010, there were less than 700 deaths in the United States of infants 12 months and under due to SIDS related to pillow or blanket crowding. That's why the CPSC, along with most global authorities, recommend waiting until a child is 12-18 months old before turning to any kind of pillow.
But without a doubt, every baby is different, and some young ones really love to squirm and move around. No one baby pillow is going to be best for every baby, but no matter where you are in your journey with your little one, to help jump-start your research on baby pillows for head support, below we've reviewed the top five best best products out there for you, but first we have a section detailing why a family would opt for a baby pillow in the first place.
Everyone sleeps better when the baby sleeps better. Many parents find that their baby actually sleeps better with a pillow, which allows mom and dad to get a better rest as well. Getting a better night's rest overall, for everyone in the family, is a big reason why a lot of people look into baby pillows. Sleep is vital, and so many people lack it chronically.
Types of Baby Pillow
There are a number of different types of baby pillow, and before diving into specific products, we feel it's important to first run through the different exact types of baby pillow exist, and what they are made for.
Sleep Positioners: These big cushions look like a body pillow for your baby, and are made to be helpful, but actually have been shown to dramatically increase the risk of SIDS. They have been recalled by the government, but unfortunately are still sold, and for children under the age of two it's recommended to stay far away from these.
Car Seat Pillows: There are definitely a lot of items on the car safety checklist for your baby, and your car baby pillow is a key one. These mimic adult travel pillows and wrap around the back of baby's neck providing lateral support for the side-to-side motion of the car. These pillows definitely are versatile, and are also favorites for use in the stroller while out and about.
Head Support: To help assist in head support during nights and naptime, at some point every parent will eventually buy their child a pillow to sleep on at night. Early on, it's best to start with thin pillows first, basically as thin and breathable as possible, to avoid the risk of your child getting tangled up in the pillow and having trouble breathing.
To Cover Or Not To Cover?
One big other consideration to take into account early-on are whether you will want to use a cover for your baby pillow. Many baby pillows are made with hypoallergenic material, so you wouldn't necessarily need to use a cover, but other baby pillows definitely have left other parents in the past scrambling for a baby pillowcase.
Latex is a popular hypoallergenic material for baby's pillowcase, but if you are working with a latex allergy this clearly is a no-go.
Microfiber, or high-thread count organic cotton are two other very safe, and popular baby pillowcase material options with parents.
I personally really like silk for my baby's pillow; it's breathable in the summer, warming in the winter, and it's smooth and soft enough not to pull out my baby's hair like cotton, poly, or other materials will.
Many baby pillows boast being machine-wash friendly, but even for the ones where you have to wash it by hand, it's just one or (maybe if you really like the product) two baby pillows to wash so it's not a terribly large amount of work to commit to.
Five Baby Pillows to Help Support Baby's Head.
Cloud Lamb By John N Tree
This baby pillow is popular due to its 100% organic GOTS certified unbleached cotton material, as well as its softness and shape of design. This is an often-faked company and design, and features a cute lamb sleeping under your baby's head.
One issue with this pillow, and many others available on the market, is that more than attracting loose hairs shed by their baby, parents have insisted some of these pillows are actually pulling out hairs from their baby's head, which is more concerning. Keep that in check by using the right pillowcase or other material.
This is a great pillow, people use to protect against plagiocephaly, and it's thin enough that parents feel at ease.
Quiesta Baby Pillow
A very well-designed and popular choice with parents is the Quiesta brand baby pillow, which is built with a luxurious memory foam interior, and has excellent breathability.
This pillow is designed with holes so that moisture wicks away from baby's face, allowing for a more comfortable night's sleep. This pillow is also said to help prevent flat head syndrome, which can be a common issue for families today.
Without a doubt, and especially for the value, this is an outstanding pillow overall, but like many baby pillows, this pillow can actually grab and stick to baby's hair, pulling it out and tending to create a bald spot, so you may want to use a pillowcase made of silk or something similar.
Clevamama ClevaFoam Baby Pillow
This very popular rectangular pillow resembles more of an adult pillow, but is truly designed and engineered for babies, to protect the head's natural shape. The pillow is soft enough to protect against the risks of plagiocephaly, but still firm and thin enough to minimize the risk of SIDS. The hidden zipper in this product also makes cleaning easier.
Some reviewers ignorantly dock points off this pillow for actually being so thin, when in reality a thicker pillow could strangle their child, so keep that in mind that the star-ratings for this product should be even higher if people were just better-informed about the facts.
Overall, this is a well-designed pillow to reduce the risk of SIDS while helping your little one fall asleep delightfully quickly.
Boppy Newborn Lounger
For more portable support for your baby's head away from the crib, there may just be nothing better than the Boppy Newborn Lounger, which provides support for baby's head, and whole body.
This product features a convenient carrying handle, making it even easier to take with you out and about. The easy-clean fabric is a favorite for moms and dads who know things get messy, and overall, this is a great way to prop baby on up so she can see the world and interact easily.
The Boppy Newborn is even advisable for acid reflux issues, since it props up your baby up at a comfortably reclined angle. This one is popular for newborns all the way past one year, and many parents cite this as the best purchase they have ever made.
It's even possible to sit baby down tummy-down on this pillow, for an inclined tummy-time, meant to supplement regular flat-floor tummy-time.
Infant Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow and Bamboo Pillowcase
This baby pillow has top-of-the-line design, featuring BASF memory foam, and a hypoallergenic bamboo pillowcase. This innovative pillow is built to reduce the risk of SIDS with its thin design, and is made for a newborn baby sleeping on its back at risk of plagiocephaly. Many parents do report improvement in their child's plagiocephaly after starting to use this product, which is great news for parents out there. This model also has a great value and is recommendable instead of models that can cost up to five times as much.
Do keep in mind that this product isn't a guarantee, and other parents out there have reported that this model didn't help their child's flat head, so it may or it may not help your baby, but this is also a great way to prevent plagiocephaly from forming, while helping your infant sleep soundly, and for longer through the night. Check to make sure whether your shipment will be arriving with the pillowcase, because the hypoallergenic bamboo is a great way to protect your baby's hair and skin.
Truly there are a ton of different reasons a parent might want a baby pillow, and since everyone is different, there’s no way to know what will be best for your baby without weighing the facts yourselves. No doubt, SIDS is a real risk, and while it only killed 700 babies in the US between 1992 and 2010, most government agencies recommend waiting until at least 12 or 18 months before going with a baby pillow. Other moms say even until age 3 or 4, it’s fine not to have a pillow, but for softer-skulled babies with plagiocephaly, that may not be an option. For plagiocephaly, if changing the mattress type is not an option or hasn’t worked, a baby pillow could be just your solution, and if so, the above are great options.
Overall in my view, it seemed that the final product, the memory foam classic with the bamboo pillow case was the best. I like bamboo as a fabric, and memory foam is breathable and soft enough that it doesn’t worry me like other materials would. I watched my baby closely for the first few nights while he slept to see how he reacted to the pillow, and he really seemed to like it.
The one problem I had was where the bamboo material was pulling out his hair a bit, so I ended up getting a nice piece of silk fabric that I just used to design a pillowcase for this pillow. The silk was perfect for my son’s head, and let the moisture wick right through, while not sticking to his hair at all or pulling out hairs.