Fix Flat Head Baby Troubles with These 9 Best Baby Pillows Designed to Help!

If you have a c-section like me, your baby’s head won’t come out in an odd shape. However, if you deliver vaginally, do not be surprised (or freak out!) when your baby’s head looks misshapen.

Your baby’s head is soft and malleable. In fact, the first 3 months of her life outside the womb are called the 4th trimester for a good reason. This is when the skull begins to fuse together, and those fontanelles start forming a solid skull. That’s a good thing because it would be even more painful if your baby’s head were fully solid and unyielding.

Ouch. 😧

Anyway, another reason your baby may look a little bit square-headed after all the dust from giving birth settles has nothing to do with how you deliver and everything to do with how your baby sleeps.

As you know,

The AAP has advised that you place your baby on their back for safe sleep to avoid SIDS. But if you keep your baby in the same position for too long, it can shape the head in that square way.

In China, having this square head is considered beautiful. I can’t even begin to tell you how they were trying to push me to make my kids have square-shaped heads. To each their own, I suppose, but I would always adjust their heads ever-so-slightly while laying them down to sleep, which avoided that problem.

newborn on pillow

Other friends of mine didn’t have that luxury. They had slightly squared babies, and they weren’t even in China! It’s easy to panic as a new mom because you are never sure if you’re doing anything right (and even when your kids get out of the baby stage, you will always wonder what you’re doing wrong).

Let me assure you though that flat head syndrome, or plagiocephaly, is quite common. And the good news is that it is easy to correct, and it has no negative impact on brain development. It usually works out, though many parents want to help it along, so there are baby pillows for the flat head syndrome.

Before I list my 9 best baby pillows for flat head syndrome, I want to make it very clear that these should NEVER be used without your direct supervision. I’ll explain more about safety tips following these listings, but I wanted you to know this upfront.

W WelLifes 3D Baby Pillow

Breathable and comfortable for baby!

First up is a baby pillow that looks like a regular pillow. Despite this, it’s not an ordinary offering. It uses breathable 3D air mesh inside, which makes it cool and comfortable on hot days while keeping little heads warm in colder weather. On the front, though, the 100% organic cotton fabric is soft and gentle on skin.

The center is concave to help with flat head correction. In total, this baby pillow is 12.6″ x 9.5″. Overall, it’s a great choice, though you may prefer a donut-shaped pillow instead. Compare the pros and cons below!

PROS

  • Soft, breathable material
  • Supportive and concave design
  • Fully machine washable

CONS

  • Concave portion not very deep
  • Need to wait for the pillow to dry after washing before using again

John N. Tree Organic Cotton Flat Head Pillow

Comfort, support, and cute animal-shaped designs!

Another fully-organic cotton option are these flat head baby pillows by John N. Tree Organic. They have a natural finish and are filled with hypoallergenic polyester to prevent irritating tender baby skin. Like the first pillow I listed, it has a concave center, but it is double-sided. That means you can flip it either way and provide support to your baby’s sweet little head.

And speaking of sweet, it comes in several precious unisex designs. There’s a cloud lamb, baby elephant, baby horse, monkey, and even a basic shaped one with a neutral animal print on it.

The cloud lamb version of the pillow measures 15″ x 8″ and there are slight variances in the other designs for sizing. Again, you may prefer a donut-shape, but the cuteness factor means you’ll be using this sweet pillow even after the flat head shape has been corrected.

PROS

  • Soft, 100% organic cotton
  • Supportive, double-sided concave design
  • Machine washable*

CONS

  • *Hand washing is preferred wash method
  • Not recommended for dryer because of shrinking

Babebay 3D Memory Foam for Newborn Infant

Heart-shaped donut design constructed of supportive memory foam!

Now, if you’re looking for something with that donut-hole style, Babebay has it in an adorable heart-shaped gender-neutral style. Designed for use from 0 to 12 months, this 3D memory foam creation was developed by pediatricians to help correct flat head while adequately supporting the head and neck.

The slow-rebound memory foam is covered with soft cotton fabric. The idea of this baby flat head pillow is to start using it as soon as possible to prevent flat head. So even if your baby’s head looks fine, you can use it to keep it in perfect shape and help the head and neck be supported under your watchful eye.

It measures 9.4″ x 9.4″ and, with the cute heart-shaped donut, will look great without taking up much space.

PROS

  • Comfortable and supportive 3D memory foam
  • Soft cotton fabric exterior
  • Donut-style in a heart-shaped design
  • Can be used from 0-12 months to prevent flat head before it starts

CONS

  • You may prefer a larger pillow
  • There is no way to wash it, only wipe clean

Babymoov Lovenest Baby Head Support (Pediatrician Designed)

First flat head pillow created by a pediatrician!

At first glance, you might think the Babymoov is just like the previous listing. However, Dr. Manuel Maidenberg designed this one and set the trend for preventative pillows like this.

So, the shape is a bit similar though it is flatter than the Babebay pillow.

The material is soft and breathable, and the profile is lower for a more cocoon-style cradling technique that prevents and corrects flat head. Perhaps the greatest distinction though, is that this baby flat head pillow can be machine-washed.

It’s 9″ x 1″ x 9″ in size and comes in a variety of colors so you can pick your favorite. My friend Teresa used the Babymoov Lovenest for her son Ethan and loved it. “It had all the support we needed, plus I could toss it in the washer anytime it got gamey,” she told me.

PROS

  • Original pediatrician design that inspired other pillows
  • Soft and breathable material
  • Donut-style in a heart-shaped design
  • Can be used from 0-12 months to prevent flat head before it starts
  • Variety of color options
  • Machine washable

CONS

  • You may prefer a larger pillow

Babymoon Pod for Flat Head Correction

Adjustable size and comfort that grows with baby!

One thing I adore is a product you can use for longer than you expect. My friend Stephanie had great things to say about the Babymoon Pod. “It wasn’t just supportive and intuitively designed, but that’s what led me to buy this particular flat head pillow. It was adjustable, too, so we could tailor it to our baby’s needs. And after that, we used it for tummy time and beyond. Hilary still uses it in the car for neck support, and she’d 3. She loves it!”

A little more background on the pillow: it’s designed for use for head correction from birth to 6 months. After that, you can use the pillow for neck support forever. The 2 arms can be attached by Velcro to secure a good opening for the baby’s head. This means you can customize the fit to your baby, ensuring a perfect fit and outstanding support.

Completely cotton on the outside and polyester inside, it measures 10″ x 10″ x 2.5″ though expect that to adjust slightly depending on how you position the Velcro attachment. Additionally, there’s a self-flip fabric flap that can cover the Velcro to keep it from scuffing up and irritating your baby’s skin.

PROS

  • Versatile for many uses long after the baby years
  • Soft and breathable material
  • Adjustable size to customize fit to your baby’s head
  • Machine wash and dry

CONS

  • Slightly bulky

Hidetex Memory Foam Pillow for Flat Head Syndrome

Adorable apple-shape and memory foam head correcting comfort!

Hidetex offers a simple apple-shaped donut-style pillow of memory foam designed to correct and prevent flat head. The foam helps disperse pressure from your baby’s head to give the neck and head proper support and encourage reshaping.

Made with organic cotton and breathable 3D air mesh, it thermo-regulates for comfort in all seasons. It doesn’t state so explicitly in the product listing, but some moms have mentioned they have machine washed it and then let it air dry. I can’t confirm that it is safe to machine-wash, so you may want to be cautious.

It measures 9.85″ x 7.88″ x 1.2″ and comes in a choice of 3 colors, but if I were you, I’d find a safe cover for this just in case it’s not washable or at least prepare to wipe it down after every use.

PROS

  • Organic cotton memory foam composition
  • Thermo-regulating comfort
  • Apple-shaped donut style

CONS

  • Information not available about washing care

Baby Love USA Memory Foam Head Shaping Pillow

Full head support and removable bamboo pillowcase combo!

I wanted to include this option for all you mamas because another friend of mine, Beth, had mentioned how she’d bought a baby flat head pillow and then, because she’s a sewing goddess, made her pillow cover. Her kids are bigger now, and she can’t recall which baby pillow she had, but she said if she had it to do all over again, she’d love something with a pillowcase that’s easy to remove.

Good point, Beth! This option by Baby Love USA features top-quality BASF memory foam, which is safe for infants. It supports head circumferences ranging from 16″ to 19″ with 11.61″ x 1.18″ x 9.25″ dimensions and a unique molded, wedge-like shape. It also includes an organic and sustainably-created bamboo pillowcase that is easy to clean.

PROS

  • Top-quality BASF memory foam
  • Molded to fit the shape of the baby’s head
  • A unique shape for comfort
  • Removable and machine washable sustainable organic bamboo cover

CONS

  • Not as versatile as other pillows
  • Can wash pillowcase but not the whole pillow

Ashtonbee Newborn Memory Foam Baby Pillow

Great airflow, comfort, and support for baby!

Ashtonbee features an organic memory foam baby pillow to correct flat head syndrome. It’s soft yet firm, which, through its donut-style design, promotes better airflow and gives perfect support.

Designed for use only from 0 to 6 months, it aims to quickly correct flat head problems through the soft organic cotton-topped memory foam. Amply sized at 11.10″ x 11.10″ x 3.00″, you can wash this item though only by hand. I don’t have any friends that have used this one personally, but the baby pillow reviews on this one all rave about the comfort and support provided.

PROS

  • Memory foam pillow covered with organic cotton
  • Donut style pillow
  • Unique shape of a concave hole with opening for airflow
  • Can be washed by hand

CONS

  • Only one color and style
  • Not ideal for moms that prefer to machine wash

Cherish Baby Care Baby Flat Head Shaping Pillow

Flathead baby pillow to use from birth until 1 year!

Now, if you’re like Beth and you want something easy to care for, Cherish Baby Care has listened to what mamas wish to. This flat head shaping pillow can be used from the moment your baby is born until 12 months. Plus, it comes with 2 removable pillowcases that are machine washable.

There’s also a protective inner cover, so the pillow itself will always stay clean and fresh.

Inside, the material is BASF memory foam and is safe for babies. It’s ergonomically designed to bring comfort and support to your baby while making upkeep extremely easy for you too. The color is gender-neutral and while it’s not very exciting to look at, it will blend in with any nursery theme. At 9″ x 10″ x 1.5″ it’s a compact size that is big enough to handle any baby head without being too much.

PROS

  • Memory foam pillow for structured yet comfortable support with interior cut-out for head
  • Includes 2 removable and machine washable covers
  • Can be used from birth through 12 months
  • Protective inner cover

CONS

  • Only one color and style

FAQs About the Best Baby Pillows for Flat Head

Unsurprisingly, the inspiration for today’s topic is my inbox full of questions about baby pillows. Here’s what you should know before you buy them!

happy baby on the pillow

What age is it safe for a baby to have a pillow?

As for regular pillows  your baby will be ok to use one starting at the age of 18 months. Always ask your pediatrician first to be sure, though.

When it comes to flat head pillows, you’ll want to start using them right away. On some of the pillows above, I’ve talked about the designs being ready to accommodate newborns. Usually, parents tend to worry around two months of age if the head hasn’t changed shape. By 6 months, your pediatrician will likely advise using a flat head helmet.

Relevant: How to fix flat head syndrome without a helmet?

Are flat head pillows safe for babies?

They are, if and only if you are supervising your baby while using them. In other words, don’t put her to bed in her crib or down for a nap with it unless you’re going to be watching her the entire time. This is the safest way to get support from the pillow without putting your child in harm’s way.

How can I fix my baby’s flat head?

Often, flat head syndrome resolves itself but not always. Many parents even use flat head baby pillows to prevent this from happening. You can either wait it out, start using a baby pillow after a few months, or use that helmet. If you’re not sure what to do, consulting with the doctor is always the way to go to make the right decision for your child.

Relevant: Time it takes to correct flathead syndrome by itself.

Can a baby head shaping pillow fix flat head syndrome?

Again, most of the time, the flat head syndrome will resolve itself, but some parents choose to help coax things along in the right direction. Because these pillows take the pressure off the head and neck, it makes things more comfortable for your baby.

Baby pillows for flat head syndrome are also inexpensive. If you use the baby head helmets, those can cost thousands of dollars and insurance doesn’t often cover the cost. The helmets need to be worn most of the day for months on end, something that will make a baby fussy and elicit plenty of nosy comments from strangers and family.

So, in short, if you worry about having a flat-headed child, get a baby pillow for flathead. When you do, please constantly be present and mindful watching your child when they are using it to make sure your story has a happy ending.

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