Make a simple pillow for your toddler by following this step by step tutorial and free pattern. This adorable pillow pal makes the perfect organic friend!
Getting your toddler to transition to their big kid bed is exciting but it is rarely a simple task. Trust me, I have done it four times now and with each child I am faced with different challenges to overcome. Fortunately I have learned a few simple tricks along the way that we can do to make it easier for them and for us.
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Simple Tips to Get Your Toddler Sleeping in their Big Kid Bed
- Pick Out the Perfect Bed Time Story to read before turning off the lights. Making story time a part of your child’s night time routine helps to encourage a love of reading for life! Reading at night also has a lot of other important benefits, which you can read all about in this article, if you are interested. My boys have a couple of favorite books that are perfect to end the night with. There is this classic and then this bedtime story is perfect for any construction/ truck fan.
- Give them a Warm Organic Blanket to cozy up with. There is nothing worse than little ones waking up in the middle of the night simply because they are cold. This used to happen in my house a lot-especially in the summer-go figure. Guess the air conditioning would get a little too cold at times. So for Christmas one year everyone got this blanket and we never had that problem again.
- Fresh Air and Exercise during the day makes falling asleep so much easier and faster, which means less work for you and hopefully less tears for them. Even on the coldest of days I bundle up my kids in all of their cold weather gear and take them out. Its amazing how beneficial as little as 5 minutes can truly be!
- Get them their Own Toddler Pillow…Bonus Points if the toddler pillow also happens to be a “friend” who can keep them company and help them feel safe at night (which is why I love *this* cute diy pillow pal so much!)
When should I start using a pillow with my toddler?
This will vary slightly from toddler to toddler, because as you have heard a million times before every one is different. With that being said around 18 months to 2 years old is a good starting off point. If your little one is safely sleeping with a blanket at night then it is safe for them to be sleeping with a small pillow as well. But as always go with your instincts and use your best judgement.
Make Your Own Pillow Pal
My boys love all things animals! When I asked my two year old what shape he wanted his pillow to be he screamed “whale” right away! Now, I don’t have any girls, so I don’t know if they would love a pillow pal shaped like a whale or not. But I personally think it would be super fun in pink or light purple as well.
Side Note: My 2 year old niece came over the other day and asked me to make her a whale pillow pal as well. And wouldn’t you know it despite me showing her all of my pretty girly fabrics she insisted on having hers in blue, too. Shows you how much I know.
- Organic Fabric (I used this fleece because it is both soft and warm)
- Organic Filling
- Sewing Machine
- Free Pillow Pal Pattern (fill out the form below) if you choose to make a whale pillow like I did.
- Trace and cut out two pieces of fabric in the shape that you (or your toddler) choose. If you make your own pattern to follow then you will want to make sure that it is not too big for your toddler and their bed. Mine measures approximately 9 1/2 inches by 15 inches.
- Sew your pillow pal up along a 1/2 inch seam leaving a small opening at the bottom to fill with organic cotton or organic wool.
- Stuff your pillow. It is important not to fill it up too much. A thinner pillow is more comfortable for toddlers to sleep on.
Tip: to fill the tail you may need to use the eraser end of a pencil to push your filling into the smaller areas. Once filled stitch the small opening closed.
- Optional: Using a simple hand stitch you can attach the tail to the body. I made 3 of these pillow pals so far and for the pillow that I made for my 3 year old he requested that the tail be attached. Apparently he didn’t like the tail flopping around. 🙄
Don’t want to make your own toddler pillow…
If you are still looking for an organic toddler pillow for your little one and don’t want to make your own, I have the perfect alternative for you. This GOTS certified organic pillow by Naturepedic is perfect for toddlers. Naturepedic is my #1 go to brand for all things organic sleep. Now, it may not be as fun or as cute as a whale pillow (or any other animal for that matter) but it is still a really good healthy option.
This simple pillow pal should really help to get your toddler sleeping in their big kid bed in no time. And they will also be gaining a sweet “friend” as well.
Related Toddler Articles
Looking for more toddler fun…read this article about the best non-toxic first birthday gifts!