4 Tips for Preventing and Treating Flat Head Syndrome in Babies


All babies have soft, malleable skull bones to facilitate birth and give their heads ample room to grow and develop as they get older. However, this malleability can also lead to misshapen heads or pronounced flat areas under certain conditions. This is a condition known as plagiocephaly, sometimes also called flat head syndrome.

Some babies, especially those who were premature or the product of a multiple birth, may be born with some degree of flat head syndrome. However, it can also develop if a baby habitually sleeps or rests with its head in the same position. The consistent pressure eventually leads to a flat spot. Although plagiocephaly tends to resolve on its own in most cases, there is still plenty you can do to help treat it or prevent it.

1. Limit time spent in car seats and carriers

Although it may be tempting to let your little one keep right on snoozing away where he is if he falls asleep in his car seat, stroller, or bouncer, it can raise the risk of his developing a flat spot. Instead, try picking him up and holding him more. Quality time spent together is good for both of you emotionally and mentally. It’s also the best way to minimize head pressure that leads to flat spots.

2. Choose tummy time when your baby is awake

Although babies should never be placed or left on their stomachs to sleep, as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) becomes a risk, supervised tummy time is highly advisable during your baby’s waking hours. Plenty of tummy time allows the back and sides of your baby’s head to develop correctly. It also promotes healthy development of the neck muscles, as well as encourages your baby to discover the world around him.

3. Change up your baby’s position in his crib

If you’ve already noticed a flat spot developing on one side of your baby’s head, deliberately lay him down to sleep with the flat side facing up, even if you know he moves around a lot. You may also wish to try varying the positioning of his crib in the room to encourage him to turn his head more as different sounds or sights catch his attention. If you’re simply looking to prevent flat head syndrome, gently changing the position of your baby’s head while he’s sleeping is also a good approach.

4. Look into corrective or preventative accessories

There are also incredible items on the market for treating and preventing flat head syndrome in babies. For instance, there are special pillows designed to optimize your baby’s head position while sleeping to minimize pressure. A protective baby helmet for flat head is also a popular way to address flat head cases of all severity levels. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy that can help, as well.

Although it can be upsetting to realize your baby is developing flat head syndrome, it’s important to remember that there are options out there that can help. The sooner plagiocephaly is detected and treated, the better.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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