Can 15 month old sleep with a pillow?

The journey from being a newborn to reaching the cusp of toddlerhood is nothing short of magical. Parents experience a whirlwind of emotions observing the countless milestones achieved in a short span. As a toddler starts to assert independence, their sleeping requirements begin to evolve. A frequently debated topic among parents is whether or not a 15-month-old should start using a pillow. While pillows can be a source of comfort, there are various factors to consider. This guide aims to shed light on these considerations, helping parents make an informed choice.

Guide to Introducing a Pillow to a 15-Month-Old:

  1. Safety Prioritized:
    • Understanding Risks: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns against using pillows for infants under 12 months due to the increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation. Although the danger diminishes as the child grows, parents should still be cautious with toddlers.
    • Appropriate Pillow Selection: If you decide to use a pillow, opt for one that is specifically designed for toddlers. These are typically firm and of a smaller size to ensure safety.
  2. Recognizing the Need:
    • Some toddlers might not exhibit any desire for a pillow and can sleep comfortably without one. However, if your child often seeks out soft toys or cushions to rest their head upon, it could indicate readiness.
  3. Initiating the Change:
    • Testing during Naptime: Introduce the pillow during shorter nap times initially. This allows you to observe their comfort level and ensures the change doesn’t disrupt their nighttime sleep.
    • Opt for Hypoallergenic: To prevent allergic reactions, it’s advisable to choose a hypoallergenic pillow, especially if allergies run in the family.
  4. Creating a Safe Sleep Space:
    • Limit Additional Bedding: Besides the pillow, ensure that other bedding items, especially soft toys, are limited to prevent any suffocation hazards.
    • Educate on Usage: Teach your toddler the proper way to use the pillow, ensuring they understand it’s for resting their head.
  5. Routine Maintenance:
    • Pillow Checks: Regularly inspect the pillow for signs of damage or wear. Replace if it becomes lumpy or loses its firmness.
    • Clean Regularly: Keep the pillow clean by washing it as per manufacturer guidelines, ensuring a healthy sleep environment.

While the thought of introducing a pillow to a 15-month-old can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, the decision primarily boils down to the child’s individual needs and safety. Each toddler is unique, and their readiness can vary. By staying informed and vigilant, parents can ensure that the transition to using a pillow is both smooth and safe.

Is it safe for a 15 year to sleep on pillow alone?

Yes, it is absolutely safe for a 15-year-old to sleep on a pillow alone. By the age of 15, individuals are well beyond the age where there are concerns about sleep-related risks such as suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which are considerations for very young children.

For a 15-year-old, the focus should be on the comfort and support the pillow provides:

  1. Ergonomics and Neck Health: The right pillow can offer necessary support to the neck and head. It should align the neck naturally with the spine, avoiding any strain or discomfort. The choice of pillow might depend on the teenager’s preferred sleeping position.
  2. Material and Hypoallergenic Properties: Some teenagers might have allergies. If that’s the case, considering a hypoallergenic pillow or pillow cover can be beneficial.
  3. Pillow Maintenance: Regularly cleaning the pillow and replacing it when it loses its shape or supportive properties ensures continued comfort and hygiene.

In summary, not only is it safe for a 15-year-old to sleep on a pillow, but it’s also crucial for their comfort and spinal health. The primary considerations should be about ensuring the pillow offers the right support and is kept clean and in good condition.

Safety tips for 15-month-old sleep with pillow

At 15 months old, introducing a pillow can be a decision that varies from child to child. Here are some safety tips to consider if you decide to introduce a pillow for your 15-month-old while they sleep:

  1. Consult with a Pediatrician: Before introducing a pillow, it’s recommended to consult your child’s pediatrician. They can provide guidance based on your child’s individual development and any potential concerns.
  2. Choose the Right Pillow: If your pediatrician gives the green light, select a toddler pillow specifically designed for young children. These pillows are typically smaller, flatter, and firmer than adult pillows. Avoid using large or fluffy pillows, as they can pose a suffocation risk.
  3. Keep the Crib Clear: Ensure that the crib or sleep area is free from any loose bedding, toys, or objects. A minimal sleep environment reduces the risk of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  4. Positioning: Place the pillow under your child’s head and shoulders, not under the entire body. This helps provide a bit of elevation without interfering with their breathing.
  5. Supervision: At this age, it’s important to check on your child periodically while they sleep to ensure they are comfortable and safe. If you notice any issues with the pillow placement, adjust it as needed.
  6. Sleeping Position: Always put your child to sleep on their back. This is the safest sleeping position to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  7. Firmness: Ensure the pillow is firm enough to support your child’s head and neck, but not so firm that it’s uncomfortable.
  8. Remove Pillow During Playtime: If your child spends time in the crib for play or other activities, consider removing the pillow during these times to prevent any potential hazards.
  9. Monitor Allergies: If your child has allergies or sensitivities, choose a pillow with hypoallergenic properties to reduce the risk of triggering reactions.
  10. Teach Safe Sleep Habits: As your child gets older, it’s important to teach them safe sleep habits. Encourage them to keep their head on the pillow while sleeping and not to cover their face with the pillow or blankets.

Remember that every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another. Always prioritize safety and consult with your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions about introducing a pillow at this age.


Is it safe to give my 15-month-old a pillow for sleep?

Introducing a pillow to a 15-month-old can be considered if recommended by their pediatrician. It’s essential to choose a toddler pillow that is designed for their age and development. Ensure the pillow is positioned properly, under their head and shoulders, and monitor their sleep to ensure comfort and safety.

What type of pillow should I choose for my child?

Opt for a toddler pillow that is smaller, flatter, and firmer than adult pillows. These pillows provide proper support without posing a suffocation risk. Look for pillows made from hypoallergenic materials if your child has allergies or sensitivities.

Are there any risks associated with using a pillow at this age?

The main risk associated with introducing a pillow at this age is suffocation if the pillow is too large, fluffy, or improperly positioned. To mitigate this risk, ensure the pillow is designed for toddlers, keep the crib or sleep area free from loose bedding and objects, and supervise your child periodically while they sleep.


In the end, introducing a pillow for a 15-month-old requires careful consideration of safety guidelines. Prioritize your child’s well-being by consulting with their pediatrician before making this decision. Choose a suitable toddler pillow that offers proper support and ensure its positioned correctly under their head and shoulders. Maintain a clutter-free sleep environment and monitor your child during sleep to ensure their comfort and safety. Always be attentive to your child’s individual needs and developmental progress as you make decisions about their sleep setup.

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