Is flat head syndrome dangerous? In this article, we’ll share with you what causes it, how to look for signs, and what you can do to prevent it.
When you’re a first-time Mama, your mind is filled with either heart-warming appreciation for this precious gift you’re holding in your arms or gut-wrenching fear at all the possible things that could go wrong. And perhaps you’re just like me, who once worried about the little things, including ensuring that my baby’s head shape remained round.
What is Flat Head Syndrome & What Causes It?
Flat head syndrome or positional plagiocephaly is the most common type, characterized by a flattened side on the baby’s head.
As an infant’s skull is still malleable and developing, its shape may be deformed during delivery or even simply because infants spend most of their time sleeping on their back, lounging in an infant rocker, or sitting in a car seat.
But what exactly causes flat head syndrome or positional plagiocephaly in the first place? Some of the common reasons are:
- Sleeping position
- Being a twin or a multiple
- Using forceps or vacuums during delivery
- Being born preterm
What Are The Symptoms In Babies?
If you’re a Mama to a newborn, this might be one of the things on your list of worries. But, fret not because it’s typically easy to spot, especially when you do so during bath time when their head shape is more prominent. So, what should you look for exactly?
- A flat spot or slanted area on the side or back of the head
- Uneven ears
- A bald spot or lesser hair in one area
- Bony ridges on the skull
- Missing soft spot or also called fontanel, on the head
When you notice any of these symptoms in your little one, you should inform your child’s paediatrician for proper assessment and ease your worries.
How To Prevent Flat Head In Babies
In most cases, flat head syndrome typically resolves on its own by two years old. However, there are many ways. Mamas like us can reduce the risk of flat head syndrome in babies.
1. Give plenty of tummy time
Give your baby a supervised tummy time of at least 30 minutes daily. Besides giving your baby’s head a break, this activity can help develop strong neck and shoulder muscles. It can also support your baby’s motor skills.
2. Alternate your baby’s sleeping positions
Today, research reveals that the safest sleep position for babies is to have them lying on their backs. This position minimizes the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But, on the flip side, it also increases the chances of your baby developing the flat head syndrome.
You can change the position of your baby’s head—or turn their heads from left to right and vice versa. If you prefer a pillow, opt for one specifically designed to support your baby’s head, relieve pressure, and prevent a flat head, just like Mama’s Choice Flat Head Prevention Pillow.
3. Carry your baby more often.
We know how busy you can be, but limiting the time a child spends lying or sitting on their backs is highly recommended. Bouncy seats and infant swings are ever so useful for a busy Mama, but hold your baby and take a walk in your house or garden. Your baby will appreciate the new things surrounding them and exercise their neck simultaneously!
Should I Be Worried About Flat Head Syndrome?
Flat head syndrome cases can range from mild to severe, affecting the neck, ears, eyes, and jaw. However, according to a scientific journal by Carl Cummings of the Canadian Paediatric Society, it’s most common among babies six weeks to 2 months old. This is because these are the ages where they spend most of the time sleeping in one position.
The good news is that flat head syndrome typically resolves on its own! So you probably won’t even notice it when their hair starts growing.
Taking care of a little one is indeed nerve-wracking and frightening, but don’t be too caught up worrying that you forget to enjoy this precious time you have with your baby. Remember, today is the youngest they’ll ever be again.
Discover Mama’s Choice Flat Head Prevention Pillow
Are you looking for the best baby pillow for your little one? Mama’s Choice Flat Head Prevention Pillow is designed to help your baby sleep comfortably while keeping your baby’s head round.
Our pillow comes with a concave contour and an organic memory foam that promotes a good head shape, ensures comfort, and relieves the pressure on your baby’s head and neck. Even better, it’s hypoallergenic and comes in three attractive colours that will go with your nursery.
Are you ready to try our baby pillow for your little one, just like the 1,100+ mamas who have purchased it on our official Shopee store? Click the banner below and start shopping! 🙂
Mama's Choice Team
A team of passionate writers, young mamas, and creative superheroes who help mamas face motherhood one educational article at a time!