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赤ちゃん
赤ちゃん

枕はいつから?~赤ちゃんの健やかな眠りのために~

赤ちゃん

あなたは自分がいつから枕を使って眠るようになったか覚えていますか?赤ちゃんのときの記憶はないにしても、幼稚園のころ、仲良しのミカちゃんと同じいちご模様の枕を買ってもらって嬉しかった思い出や、とにかく寝相が悪くて枕があったのかどうか覚えていないという方もあるでしょう。

赤ちゃんがすやすやと眠れるように、よい環境を整えてやりたいのは親御さん共通の思いです。枕もそのひとつ。赤ちゃんに合った可愛らしいものを使わせてあげたいですよね。でも赤ちゃんも大人と同じように枕が必要なのでしょうか?本記事はそこからスタートし、いろいろなご意見や体験談をご紹介しながら、答を探っていきます。

1 赤ちゃんに枕は必要なの?
2 何歳くらいから使えばいいの?
3 どんなタイプの枕があるの?
という順序でお話していきますね。

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赤ちゃんに枕は必要なの?

考える

頭を置き、首を支えることによって首から始まるからだのS字状カーブを自然に保ち、わたしたちを安眠に導く大切な寝具。それが枕です。けれど赤ちゃんはからだも小さく、骨格や筋肉、運動機能などが未発達なために、大人とまったく同じに考えることには無理があります。赤ちゃんがほんとうにぐっすりと気持ちよく眠れるために、まずは枕の必要性から考えてみましょう。

ぜったい必要ではなさそう?

周りの親御さんに話を聞いてみますと、首が据わらないうちは使わなかったり、タオルを折りたたんだものを代用したり、子どもが「お父さんやお母さんみたいに枕をしたい」と主張したときに専用枕を買い与えた、つまりある程度のおしゃべりができて、大人と意思疎通ができるくらいの年齢になって初めて使わせたというご家庭もあり、実にさまざまです。

何歳から、あるいは何ヶ月から必要なものと決めつけず、お子さんの様子をみて、そのときどきに応じたものを試行錯誤しながら使ってみるのが賢明なようです。

何歳くらいから使えばいいの?

とはいっても、赤ちゃんはことばを話してくれませんから、彼(あるいは彼女)がどうしたいのか、大人にはよくわかりません。あくまで目安であり、子どもによってちがいがあるということを前提にお話していきますね。

げっぷが苦手な赤ちゃん

たとえば生後数カ月の赤ちゃんがミルクを飲んだあとのげっぷがうまくできない悩みを持つお母さんはたくさんいらっしゃるでしょう。ちゃんとげっぷさせないとミルクを吐いてしまったり、そのときの姿勢によっては気管を塞いで大変なことになります。

こんな悩みを解決するために、頭を少し高くする「吐きもどし防止枕」を使うのも一案です。しかしとにかくげっぷをさせてから寝かせるほうが安全というご意見が多いです。

絶壁頭にならないかしら?

ずっと枕をしないで寝かせていると、いわゆる「絶壁頭」にならないかしら?と心配する親御さんもいらっしゃいます。赤ちゃんの頭はとても柔らかいので、寝かせる向きやベッドの堅さなどが影響することはじゅうぶん考えられます。後頭部の片側だけ平らになったりなど、左右がちがう形になる心配も。

この悩みにも「いつのまにかちゃんとなっているから気にしないで!」という楽観的なご意見が多く、たとえば赤ちゃんの頭上につけているメリーの位置を変えて、赤ちゃんが顔の向きを変えられるようにしたり、寝ながらあやすときの方向を変えてみるうちに自然に治ったというお話も聞きます。

赤ちゃん用枕の種類

しかしそのなかにも枕を活用した方の体験談がありますので、ご紹介しましょう。専門店に行くと「何ヶ月から」とか「何歳用」と書かれたものがたくさん並んでおり、ますます悩ましくなりますが、ここでは「ドーナツ型枕」をご紹介します。

ドーナツ型枕

丸い形の枕の真ん中がくぼんでいることからこの名前がつきました。頭の形の矯正だけでなく、「向き癖」を治すにもなかなかの効果が期待できるようです。通気性のよいもの、赤ちゃんは汗かきですし、ミルクを吐いたりもしますから、できれば丸洗いできるタイプがおすすめです。

いずれにしても赤ちゃんは寝ているあいだもじっとしていませんから、せっかく枕をあてがってあげてもずれたりはずれたりすることが少なくありません。それも含めて赤ちゃんの様子をよく観察し、柔軟に対応してあげるのがよいのではないでしょうか?

からだの発達も心の成長もお子さんによってちがいます。お子さんをよく観察して枕選びをすることが大切です。

赤ちゃん用枕 3つのポイント

は以下のとおりです。

  • 必要性は子どもによってちがう
  • タオルでもだいじょうぶ
  • 枕選びも成長の証

必要性は子どもによってちがう

どんなに小さな赤ちゃんでもその子だけの個性があり、主張があります。げっぷが苦手な子、横向き寝やうつぶせ寝が好きな子など、いろいろです。育てる大人は大変ですが、好奇心と愛情をもってお子さんをみつめてあげてください。

まだおしゃべりのできない赤ちゃんの気持ちを想像することで、枕を使うか使わないか、方向性が見えてくるのではないでしょうか?

タオルでもだいじょうぶ

タオルを折りたたんで頭の下に敷いてあげるだけでじゅうぶんというご意見も多くありました。赤ちゃんは汗かきですし、万一ミルクを吐いてしまっても、どんどん洗えるタオルは便利です。タオルはあまりふかふかでないほうがいいようですね。

大人と同じ枕がしたい!

赤ちゃんはまだことばで意思疎通ができませんが、大人のすることを真似したがる傾向はかなり小さなうちからみられます。2歳、3歳と成長し、お母さんの枕に自分の頭を並べてみたり、お父さんの枕の下に顔を突っ込んだり、自分もいっぱしの大人のつもりで、「お父さんお母さんと同じものがほしい!」という気持ちの表れです。

そうなったらお子さんといっしょに枕を選びましょう。大好きなキャラクターがあれば枕カバーだけ買ってあげて、中にタオルをはさむのもいいですね。
お父さんやお母さんのように枕をする。しかもぼくだけ、わたしだけの枕だ。お子さんの嬉しそうな寝顔が目に浮かびますね。

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まとめ:赤ちゃん 枕 いつから

わが子の健やかな成長を願うのは親御さんの変わらぬ愛情です。赤ちゃんの一挙手一投足が気になって思い悩むのも愛情があればこそ。何ヶ月から何歳から枕を使うべきか、使わないほうがいいのか。絶対的な結論はありません。赤ちゃんの様子をみながら、周囲のいろいろな意見を聞き、しかし決して振り回されず、赤ちゃんとのかけがえのない季節を大いに楽しんでください。

最後にもう一度、赤ちゃんの枕について、3つのポイントをご紹介しておきますね。

  • 必要性は子どもによってちがう
  • タオルでもだいじょうぶ
  • 枕選びも成長の証

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