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寝る赤ちゃん
寝る赤ちゃん

かわいいふわふわ枕はNG?赤ちゃんに枕が必要ない3つの理由

寝る

赤ちゃんのお家での生活が始まるのに備え、ベビーベッドやベビー布団などの寝具はしっかり揃えておきたいですね。その中で多くのお母さんの頭をよぎるのが、「赤ちゃんの枕はどうすればいいの?」という疑問です。

お馴染みドーナツ枕などをはじめとして、赤ちゃん用の枕はいくつも販売されています。しかし、そもそも赤ちゃんに枕は必要ないとも言われていることをご存知でしょうか。

本記事では、赤ちゃんに枕が必要ないと言われる3つの理由、そしてどのように赤ちゃんを寝かせればいいのかについてご説明していきます。赤ちゃんの寝具を揃えようとしているお母さんは、本記事を参考にしてみてくださいね。

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枕を使うことのマイナスポイント

ダメ

赤ちゃんに枕を使うか使わないかはご家庭によりけりですが、枕を使わない方がいいと言われる理由をまずご紹介します。

赤ちゃんは骨が未発達

大人が枕を使うのは、S字形の頸椎の隙間を埋めるためです。枕を使わないと特定の部分の骨や筋肉に負担がかかり、肩こりなど体の不調の原因となってしまいます。

しかし、新生児は背骨がゆるいC字形のカーブを描いています。おすわり、ハイハイ、2足歩行など、腰に負担がかかる生活をしていくにつれて徐々に背骨がS字のラインを描くようになります。幼児になっても、背骨のS字カーブは大人に比べ緩やかです。

というわけで、赤ちゃんのうちは枕によって首の部分を支える必要がないのです。マットレスや敷布団に寝かせるだけで、背中や腰にかかる負担は十分分散されます。一説によると、必要以上に高い枕を使っている赤ちゃんは肩こりになっている恐れがあるのだとか。

赤ちゃんは自分で身体の不調を言葉で訴えることができませんから、そのようなリスクはできるだけ取り除いてあげたいところです。

窒息の危険

自分で寝返りを打つことができない赤ちゃんをうつ伏せにして放置すると、窒息の恐れがあります。このとき、柔らかい枕などを使っているとさらに危険性が跳ね上がります。

寝返りができるようになった赤ちゃんでも、息が苦しくなって動くことができなくなる場合も考えられます。仰向けにして目を離している間に枕に顔をうずめていたというような事故は珍しくありません。

こういった事態を防ぐためにも、枕を置かないことが一番安全です。同様に、ふわふわのぬいぐるみなども枕元に置かないようにしましょう。

ドーナツ枕の効果への疑問

赤ちゃんの頭の形を真ん丸にするための育児グッズとして有名なのがドーナツ枕ですが、最近では以下のような理由から使わない人も増えています。

  • 不衛生になりやすい
  • 嘔吐物が詰まって窒息の恐れがある
  • すぐにずれてしまう
  • 頭の形は自然に治るという説もある

詳しくは、当サイト記事ドーナツ枕が古いと言われる7つの理由にてご確認ください。

赤ちゃんの頭を丸くしてあげたい、という理由でドーナツ枕の購入を考えている方は、こういったデメリットがあるということも頭に入れておいてください。

赤ちゃんでも使える“枕”

以上のような理由から赤ちゃんに枕を使うことは必ずしもよくないとされていますが、そのままお布団に寝かせてしまうのには抵抗があるお母さんが多いのではないでしょうか。

ご説明したように、背骨のS字湾曲がない赤ちゃんにとっては、高さのある枕は必要ありません。さらに言ってしまえば、枕という形で販売されているものの大部分が赤ちゃんにとっては高すぎるでしょう。

ということで、赤ちゃんの“枕”をどうしたらいいのかご説明します。

首がすわる前

赤ちゃんの首がまだすわってない時点では、枕を使う必要はありません。しかし、赤ちゃんは汗かきですから、お布団の同じ場所に寝かしていては衛生面でも心配ですね。

この時期は、ハンドタオルを4つに折りたたんだものを赤ちゃんの頭の下に入れてあげる程度で十分です。こまめに取り替えてあげると、清潔な環境を保つことができます。

首がすわってから

首がすわったら、バスタオルなどを折りたたんで枕にしましょう。産科でも、こういった簡易枕をお母さんに勧めているところが多く見られます。注意点として覚えておきたいのは、

  • ふわふわで厚みがあるタオルは避ける
  • 白いタオルを使う

という点です。あまりふわふわなタオルを使ってしまうと、寝返りを打ってうつ伏せになった際に窒息の危険があります。そして、タオルの色については赤ちゃんが嘔吐してしまったときに吐いたものの色を確かめるためです。赤いタオルを使っていると、万が一血を吐いたりした場合に発見が遅れる恐れがあります。

西川産業 babypuff ドーナツ枕(大) クリーム 綿100% LMF1801303
西川産業 (2007-01-01)
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まとめ:デメリットを頭に入れて検討する

本記事では、赤ちゃんに枕が必要ないと言われる理由と、枕を使わない場合どのように赤ちゃんを寝かせればいいのかをご説明してきました。ここで、枕が必要ないと言われる理由をもう一度おさらいしてみましょう。

  • 赤ちゃんは骨が未発達
  • 窒息の危険
  • ドーナツ枕の効果への疑問

本記事では枕の代替として折りたたんだタオルをご紹介しました。枕をお使いになりたいお母さんは、ご説明したようなデメリットがないかをご確認の上、使用を検討されることをお勧めします。

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