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When you have a newborn, there is so much new information, new schedules, new items, and always—a forever run to the store for last-minute things that your baby definitely needs—you just hadn’t known. A pillow for newborn babies should definitely be on your shopping or your wish list if you’re expecting. The need for them? To help prevent plagiocephaly or “flat head” syndrome. Even though you might have heard that babies can’t use certain pillows until at least one years old, these pillows are designed to be safe and comforting in cots and cribs for your less-than-a-year-old baby.
So, what are “baby” pillows? These are pillows that are specifically designed to fit perfectly around a baby’s extremely delicate head—to help avoid flat-head syndrome. Manufacturers use high-high-tech fabric to anatomically shape and perforate the pillow so that it can evenly support and protect that baby’s head while sleeping or laying down. There are a few things that most other pillows come with that are not good for a baby and his or her development. For example, the manufacturers leave out a cover, which can make it hard to breathe for your baby, it keeps an even temperature and is not made with foam-based products, making it extremely safe to use.
We’ve looked through numerous reviews, we’ve asked for a first-hand opinion of our co-workers who have used the product and finally, we’ve talked to specialists on the main qualities a perfect baby pillow should have. In our review, we’re going to highlight the features of each of these products and present you with the best baby pillow that money can buy for your little one. Through our table, in-detail reviews, buying guide that goes through the details of all the features like size, filling, cover, and hypoallergenic ability, this guide can help you pick out the perfect baby pillow for your perfect baby.
The OCCObaby Baby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow is one of the best pillows around. With a uniquely shaped design, this product really helps keeps the baby’s head as round as possible to help prevent “flat-head” syndrome. With support of the head, it also is designed to create a perfect alignment throughout your baby’s body—from his or her neck down their spine. It is also configured to have slightly raised edges on both sides of the head.
The high-density memory foam is made to release all that pressure when your baby sleeps on their back, which helps keep the head round. Since the manufacturers at OCCObaby avoid using foam, it is made with bamboo and a 100 percent cotton inner cover, making it extremely safe for newborns. This top-quality material is not only cozy and soft but also hypoallergenic and breathable, free from harsh chemicals.
The OCCObaby Baby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow is also ventilated with the perfect temperature to keep your baby cool at night.
When talking about design, the OCCObaby Baby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow sets itself apart with an extra amount of shoulder room so while sleeping, your baby won’t have strain on his or her neck and can be comfortable throughout the day or night.
What we liked:
90 day money back guarantee and lifetime warranty
100 percent cotton and bamboo
Ample amount of shoulder room
What could be better:
Baby might slip off the pillow if wiggling constantly
Specifically designed for those precious hours where your baby is awake, the Boppy Newborn Lounger is a great pillow to have for when you have a newborn on the way. If you’re looking for a pillow that can be used to cradle and keep your baby comfortable throughout the day during the hours where he or she is awake, this pillow is a perfect “nest”.
Designed to create a uniquely recessed center, this area where you place your baby will not only be comfortable and supporting for them but helps give you a hands-off moment where you’re free to tackle some to-do tasks while still keeping your baby upright.
The Boppy Newborn Lounger’s design also makes it extremely easy for you to carry around the house as you and your baby move from room to room. With its easy-to-transport handles that are sewn in and lightweight build, portability is simple.
When it’s cleaning day, you always have it easy with the Boppy Newborn Lounger, since the entire pillow is machine-washable.
What sets this pillow apart is that it is designed for supervised awake time and actually is only made for babies until they are 16 pounds. The recessed interior of the build is made to cradle your baby at a gentle angle but will need to be switched out for a different product once your baby can roll over on their own.
What we liked:
With a recessed center for support
Perfect awake pillow to help give you a hands-free moment
Easy portability with lightweight build and handle
What could be better:
Only for awake time
Only until baby is heavier than 16 lbs or can roll over
If you’re looking for the original pillow that got it right the first time, the Newborn Baby Head Shaping Pillow is a great buy for newborns. To do what it does best, this pillow helps not only keep your newborn baby comfortable while sleeping but also helps prevent flat-head syndrome, or positional plagiocephaly, at best and is specifically designed to keep her or his head round as they develop.
The pillow is designed with memory foam that contains no added powders or chemicals, making it as safe as possible for your baby. It also comes with a bamboo pillowcase, so your baby will have an optimum level of comfort.
Designed by mothers for mothers, the Newborn Baby Head Shaping Pillow is backed by a 100% money back guarantee since the product is definitely as good as it gets. If you’re looking for the perfect baby shower gift, this is the pillow that not every mother knows that they need. Even better, it has specific details that sets it apart from other pillows on the market.
Especially as a new parent, it’s hard to get everything your baby needs—especially these days where it just seems like they need so much. But with the Newborn Baby Head Shaping Pillow, a pillow like this is a must during those crucial first few months.
What we liked:
An original baby head shaping pillow, designed with chemical-free memory foam
100% money-back guarantee
What could be better:
A pillowcase it comes with might rub off with time
If your doctor or baby’s doctor has recommended a wedge baby pillow, the Ellybee Universal Crib Wedge Pillow is a great choice. With its 14-degree incline, this pillow will safely elevate your baby’s head and torso, which helps with a lot of medical problems that your baby may encounter, like acid reflux, spit-ups, congestion, and colic and regurgitation.
This pillow is a product that can help boost your baby’s sleep time—and what new parent wouldn’t want that? Not to mention, it also helps improve your baby’s overall health as well as avoid any possible long term side effects.
To maintain the Ellybee Universal Crib Wedge Pillow, clean-up is easy. The waterproof inner cover and zipper-removable and machine-washable outer cover makes it extremely easy to wash and take care of. The polyester outer cover is also water-resistant.
Especially with all the types of cribs out there, you might be worried that this pillow won’t fit. However, the manufacturers have carefully designed this build to be versatile and portable enough to fit all U.S.-Standard cribs and nursery beds. You and your baby can also benefit from the non-skid bottom which securely stays in place above or below the mattress.
What we liked:
Safe, 100% free of BPA, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde and PBDEs (flame retardants) and USA CPSC-approved
Wedge shape helps with medical issues
What could be better:
Is designed for babies with certain conditions and might not fit others
The Celeep Baby Toddler Pillow Set is a high-standard product if your baby needs that extra neck support.
Not only is it great on the neck, but it is also highly supportive for the head and helps prevent the flat-head syndrome. The memory foam that the pillow is designed with is actually particularly designed precisely just for this reason.
If you’re looking for the highest-quality materials, the Celeep Baby Toddler Pillow Set is a great buy. It comes designed with hypoallergenic organic cotton covers, and a ventilated and breathable inner cover. Especially if your baby has sensitive skin, you should definitely check out the moisture-wicking material of this pillow.
Designed to keep your baby aligned and comfortable, the Celeep Baby Toddler Pillow Set has advanced neck protection that ensures the comfort of your newborn while they’re getting their sleep. You can also benefit and enjoy the variety of different colors for the hypoallergenic, organic cotton covers, to help you match your baby’s crib, bedding, and the interior decor of the room. The covers that it comes with are also all machine-washable and extremely easy to remove and clean.
This product offers optimum neck support keeping your baby in the optimum position and giving them the comfort they need to be safe while they are sleeping.
What we liked:
Comes with two hypoallergenic covers for sensitive skin and easy clean-up
Extra support of the neck
What could be better:
Included fabric cover needs extra casing since it might be uncomfortable for baby
The WelLifes Baby Pillow for Newborn is a great handmade pillow that accentuates design in every product you purchase. With its extremely soft, organic cotton fabric textile cover, your baby will be extremely comfortable while he or she is sleeping.
Derived from the company’s very own technology, you can definitely rest assured that your baby will be not only soft and cozy but also safe while sleeping. The design is actually developed to have an extremely warm touch and raising effect while your baby is sleeping so that flat-head syndrome is prevented as much as possible.
You can also benefit from the hygienic and smooth surface that doesn’t allow baby hair or dust to stick, which makes it easier to clean. The WelLifes Baby Pillow for Newborn has an organic international certification and uses only certified organic cotton fabric in its design. When you want the best for your baby, the less toxic and least amount of pesticides and fertilizers as possible is best.
The WelLifes Baby Pillow for Newborn helps prevent flat-head syndrome as well, with its designed concave center that caresses and holds the baby’s head while sleeping. You will also love that it has 100% hypoallergenic, polyester filling.
What we liked:
Comes with 100% Risk-Free Guarantee
Is designed with organic cotton fabric
Has a concave, comfortable center for baby’s head
What could be better:
Cotton cover wears off quickly so it needs extra casing
The Cherish Baby Care Newborn and Infant Pillow is one of the best infant pillows out there on the market today. If you’re preparing to have a newborn, this baby pillow is something that you’ll need—why? Simply because it is easy to clean! Not only can you wipe it down to remove surface debris, you can also stick the machine-washable pillow cases and inner protective cover easily inside the washing machine for clean up.
If you’re a family always on-the-go, you can also benefit from the carrying case that it comes with that is perfect for travel, transportation to daycare, stroller, carriage or even on an airplane.
The Cherish Baby Care Newborn and Infant Pillow is designed for comfort. With the contour in the memory foam, not only is this pillow comfortable, but it is also extremely beneficial when trying to avoid flathead syndrome, plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and torticollis. It also has an antiroll shape that helps keep your baby in one position while he or she sleeps. The ergonomic design can accentuate a natural round head shape, so your doctor won’t have to prescribe a helmet or cranial band.
This pillow is also designed with antimicrobial, breathable material that is cooling while the baby sleeps and comes without a zipper, which is important in keeping your baby safe.
The creamy color of the Cherish Baby Care Newborn and Infant Pillow can match any decor and white slipcover is perfect for any type of bedding.
What we liked:
High-quality BASF memory foam and soft cotton pillowcase for sensitive skin
60-day money back guarantee
Shape that helps prevent flathead syndrome, plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and torticollis
Easy to clean
What could be better:
Pillow best suits for a short nap rather than a full night sleep
The John N Tree Organic Cloud Lamb is not only cute—it’s a great buy for your newborn baby! Globally-certified and machine-washable, the John N Tree Organic Cloud Lamb pillow offers healthy-designed materials that are super soft, safe for the environment and safe for your baby’s sensitive skin.
With its 100% natural, organic cotton design, hypoallergenic polyester filling, and dye-free build, you can rest assured that this is one of the safest pillows out there for your newborn, containing absolutely no outside chemicals or harmful dyes.
Not to mention it is extremely comfortable for your newborn baby’s head—and also extremely helpful to prevent flathead syndrome. On both sides of the John N Tree Organic Cloud Lamb pillow is organic cotton, so your baby can sleep on both sides. Not only is this pillow great for a good night’s sleep, it is also helpful in diaper changes, in his or her bassinet, on his or her play mat or during breastfeeding.
The John N Tree Organic Cloud Lamb pillow is also easy to wash—either machine-washable on gentle with other baby clothes or hand-washed. With 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can rest assured that you will be satisfied with this product for your baby—or they will give you a full refund!
What we liked:
Comes designed with 100% natural, organic cotton with no harmful chemicals or dyes
The Hidetex Baby Pillow is a great buy if you’re looking to have the best for your baby but still stay within the budget. Designed with cotton and breathable fabric, this pillow can help prevent flathead syndrome for your baby and also be extremely comfortable during nighttime sleeping.
Designed to fit any bed, bouncer, carrycots and pushchairs, the groove design is not only suitable for a baby’s good night sleep but also to fit into any sleeping area. You will also be able to choose form three different colors—blue, pink or yellow.
The Hidetex Baby Pillow is proven to work in head-shape development to help prevent flathead syndrome and is recommended by doctors and physicians all across the world. When used in those pivotal first few months, this baby pillow can be extremely helpful in easing the pressure at the back of your baby’s head to prevent and avoid flat head syndrome and plagiocephaly.
The Hidetex Baby Pillow is also ergonomically shaped and inclined to keep your baby’s spine in the correct alignment, while still not putting too much pressure on your baby’s head. You can also feel assured at the material since it is a great relief for sensitive skin and reduced friction to prevent hair loss.
You can put the Hidetex Baby Pillow in your baby’s cradle, bed, stroller or crib.
What we liked:
It has a variety of different colors to choose from—blue, pink or yellow
The Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support is a great buy if you’re looking for a portable “Noggin’ Nest” for your baby. Designed with cotton and cotton mesh, you can use this portable pillow for up to four months, making sure to wash and clean it periodically (which is easy since it is machine-washable!)
With its versatility and patented cut-out design, you can easily slip it into your baby’s stroller, swing or bouncer. Made with cotton, it is extremely comfortable and its head-cradling support is also rather unique.
The Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support has generous padding designed within its seams to create an all-over comfort for your baby, whether he or she is just relaxing or sleeping. With its fashionable print, it also fits in with any type of bedding or other design.
Not only does the Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support relieve pressure on your baby’s head, it also keeps your baby’s head cradled and safely supported while using it. The design uses 3 and 5 point harness systems for simple “installment” or adding it into the bedding area.
You can use the Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support from newborn up to 4 months of age.
What we liked:
Extremely comfortable and allows baby to slip into different positions
Extremely portable and light
What could be better:
Recommended to be used by babies only up until 4 months
Things to Consider
Now that you have all the top products on the market for your baby’s pillow to choose from, it’s time to make a decision. We know that this might be the hardest part of all. However, we’ve created this buying guide to help navigate you through some of the decisions you’ll have to make—especially when it comes to certain features of these baby pillows. Getting the best for your baby is your number one priority and therefore our number one priority, as well. We hope that the buying guide can be beneficial and informative for your decision.
All the best for your baby – advantages of using a baby pillow
You might not have even heard of a baby pillow and why it’s necessary for your newborn baby. However, there are many advantages for your child’s health. Most of the pillows are labeled as baby head-shaping since it’s the main concern of parents and doctors alike.
Few words on a flat head syndrome
The head during these first few months of your baby’s life is pretty delicate, so when it comes to sleeping on a baby’s back, flathead syndrome may occur, which is a flattened area on the back or side of a baby’s head.
When you’re looking at the most severe cases, flathead syndrome can even affect the alignment of your baby’s eyes, ears, and even jaw. This time in a baby’s life is crucial to keeping an eye on development—especially up until the 18-month mark.
Flathead syndrome is caused by an external constant pressure to the softer skull, which is there due to making it much easier to go through the birth canal during childbirth. Flathead syndrome can also be paired with a loss of baby hair—especially on the back, which might be caused by your baby’s sleeping surface. You should also be extremely cautious if you have a premature baby.
Head shaping infant pillows – how do they work?
So, how would a head-shaping pillow work? Well, they provide extra cushioning that works to disperse the pressure throughout the back of the skull so it is not pinpointed at a “dangerous” angle. The cushioned base should help distribute that pressure and avoid skull-flattening.
Pillow types to consider
As you saw through each product description and review, every baby pillow is different. For example, the Boppy Newborn Lounger should not be used for sleeping during the night and only during daytime lounging so parents can have a hands-free moment. You should invest in a baby pillow for the day (in particular one that can be easily transportable), and one for the evening. A good crib wedge pillow, like the Ellybee Universal Crib Wedge Pillow is also a great investment to keep all the essentials positioned at just the right angle.
Features to consider while buying the best baby pillow
Since there are so many different baby pillows on the market, there are a few things that separate one from another—those are the features. When it comes to features of a baby pillow, you should look at the size, the softness, the shape, the filling, the durability, material, and the safety of the pillow—among many other things.
Here are a few features of baby pillows that you should really look into when considering each product.
What the pillow is made out of is extremely important to know—this is not only for hypoallergenic reasons but also for levels of comfort for your baby. For example, your doctor might recommend something with memory foam, like the OCCObaby Baby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow, which is made with memory foam and is extremely helpful in formation. However, they might also recommend something a bit softer and less forming, like the Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support, which is made of cotton and can fit and form into any sleeping receptacle.
The size of the pillow is also beneficial to know. There is a U.S. standard bedding—so any pillow that fits into the U.S. standard size is beneficial since it will most likely fit your baby’s crib. The Ellybee Universal Crib Wedge Pillow, for example, fits in all nursery beds and cribs that up to U.S. standard size. This makes it easy to give as a baby shower gift since you might not know what type of crib or bed the parents may have already bought or asked for.
The softness can also dictate your purchase. For example, if you get a baby pillow that is “too” soft, it might not even help with the formation of the baby’s head. However, you also don’t want to get a too-hard pillow that might harm the baby more than it will help them.
The shape is also another feature to consider. The OCCObaby Baby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow, for example, can help more because of its shape because it allows for a little extra shoulder room, which is also keeps your baby’s neck from hurting.
You’ll want a pillow that lasts—at least a year. Some of these products come with two pillows in one package so you are able to switch them out as they wear during the year. You will also want to make sure that the pillow is designed to last the baby up until a certain age and be sure to change it out when your baby gets to that age, too. For example, the Boppy Newborn Lounger is designed to hold a baby up to 16 lbs and one that will not roll over on its own. If your baby is already 16 lbs or rolling over, you will want to consider switching this baby pillow out for something different.
When it comes to your newborn baby, you’ll want the safest products you can find—especially if they have a skin sensitivity! The WelLifes Baby Pillow for Newborn, for example, is one of the most organic pillows on the market—making it extremely safe for your newborn baby. It is hypoallergenic and designed with extremely eco-friendly and baby-safe material.
Speaking of material, the cover is something you should also watch out for. Some of these baby pillows, like the OCCObaby Baby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow is designed with bamboo and cotton material so it is extremely safe for your baby. You will definitely need to pay attention to the material of the cover of the pillow since this is the part of the pillow that will be making the most contact with your baby. No matter if the pillow is already hypoallergenic or designed with special material if the cover and pillowcase are actually made with material that is “bad” for your baby.
Some of these baby pillows have a 30, 60 or 90-day back guarantee. These are pillows that the manufacturer backs up and trusts. You should try and pick a product that will stand the test of time. The longer the warranty is, the better. However, you will most likely only need, at most, a 1-year guarantee since you won’t be using these pillows for the entire baby-stage of your child.
Tips for using a baby pillow
When you have a newborn, there are so many things that you might not be aware of and to learn before the baby comes or during the process. One fact to definitely not ignore is flathead syndrome, which actually occurs in 16 of every 1,000 babies.
Fortunately, you can easily try and prevent this “deformity” happening in your baby by investing in a baby pillow and also:
Making sure that your baby is not all the time on their back while they’re awake. Alternate where your baby is sitting or sleeping during the day so that they are not just in one position the whole time. While awake, allow your baby to lay on their tummy to promote tummy-time and keep them off the back of their heads. Move your baby around the house so they can look around them at different views and sights—they will be more tempted to look around if their surroundings are new.
Swap sides when breastfeeding so your baby can use different muscles when turning his or her head in different directions. If your baby does have flathead syndrome—it will most likely be corrected on its own after a visit to the doctor and doing what the doctor has said—so don’t panic!
Finally, you’ve made it through the individual product reviews, have gone through our buying guide, and eyed our comparison table—but now you still have questions? Don’t worry, here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions by new parents looking to buy baby pillows—just like you!
For every pillow, there will be a different set of directions. Some baby pillows, like the WelLifes Baby Pillow for Newborn, are machine-washable and can easily be stuck in there with your other baby’s clothes for washing. Some other baby pillows have covers that need to be taken away beforehand and some need to be hand-washed. The ability to be machine-washable normally depends on the type of material that the pillow is made out of. If you are unsure of if you can or cannot wash your baby’s pillow in a washing machine, consult the manufacturer’s website or call and ask directly.
Depending on the type of pillow you can get, some baby pillows can be used directly after birth, like the Cherish Baby Care Newborn and Infant Pillow, among others. Some need to be used from a certain age or weight and some actually have an age or development stage limit, for example being limited at 16 lbs or once the baby can turn over on its own.
This also depends on the baby pillow itself. It directly depends not on the material of the baby but also when the baby actually “outgrows” the pillow, itself. A baby pillow, as we mentioned in the previous question, can be outgrown when a baby can turn over on its own or a different milestone in a baby’s development.
As you have seen throughout this guide and article, there are a ton of pillows out there! However, the JoJo Infant and Toddler Lounger is a great choice for any stage. This one is a great pillow for baby beds and loungers for newborns up until toddler age. You can use this with your baby while traveling, putting into their bed or into their bassinet. Not only is Children’s Product Certified by the US Product Safety Commission, but it also is ergonomically designed with an egg shape to be extremely beneficial for your baby—with a barely padded center and raised and padded perimeter.
If you don’t want to read anything else—at least read this section. Here are the three best products on the market when it comes to the best baby pillow:
The OCCObaby Baby Head Shaping Memory Foam Pillow is our editor’s choice for the best baby pillow on the market today. Designed with 100 percent cotton and bamboo material, you can rest assured that it is safe for your baby. It is also extremely comfortable, with its foam and ample amount of shoulder room, it is backed with a 90-day money back guarantee and lifetime warranty.
The Boppy Newborn Lounger is rated as the best baby lounger pillow, perfect for when you are working on tasks around the house and having to monitor your baby’s awake hours at the same time. It has a handle for carrying and is especially lightweight, which makes it easy to move from room-to-room as you go. It can also be easily slipped into the washing machine on cleaning day, and has a one-year warranty, which is more than enough for being useful for your little one.
The Newborn Baby Head Shaping Pillow is not only rated as the best newborn baby pillow, but it also is designed with 100% chemical-free memory foam that comes with a bamboo pillowcase, so you can rest assured that your precious baby’s head is resting on something safe and clean.
We hope that this guide has helped you pick out the very best baby pillow for your precious newborn.