FIRMNESS VS SOFTNESS
First and foremost only get a pillow when your child is ready for one. If they’re wadding up a blanket under their head or falling asleep on their stuffed animals it may be time. The typical age is about 2 years. You want a balance between comfort and support. Most chiropractors say to hold off as long as you can, or ensure you get a pillow that is flat enough to avoid kinks in the neck when sleeping.
You want a balance between comfort and support. To know you have it right press down on the pillow. If it does not regain its shape when you press it down it is too soft. A pillow that is too soft poses a risk of suffocation. On the other hand, a pillow that does not move at all when you press down or is too thick will not be comfortable, not to mention may give neck or back problems to your child as they get older.
A relatively thin pillow is ideal for a small head.
SYNTHETIC VS NATURAL
Knowing what your child is and isn’t allergic to will help you narrow down the choices for the perfect pillow.
Most synthetic blends are naturally hypoallergenic. Blends that contain polyester and microfiber fill help ward off dust mites, microbes, mildew or other allergens that can cause aggravation. Synthetic blends are typically easier to clean and hold their shape better. You also don’t run the risk if your child is allergic to material like wool or down feathers.
However, if your child is super sensitive to synthetic materials and/or the chemicals used in the process of making such material then you should opt for an organic cotton shell and avoid potentially toxic material such as memory foam. Certified organic cotton does not have harmful toxins like pesticides, dyes and bleaches that other fabrics go through during the manufacturing process.
In most cases the best pillow would be one with a natural organic cotton shell and a synthetic microfiber fill. This way you get the best of both worlds: hypoallergenic & natural.
Like many other products, pillows for kids often offer a satisfaction guarantee. The period covered may vary depending on the brand of the pillow. Rest assured, a pillow that has a longer guarantee is an indication of good quality because the maker is willing to stand behind its product.
Many brands sell specially made toddler size pillows online. Goodluck in your search!