Flat head syndrome symptoms in babies are usually easy to spot. In this article, we’ll share with you what causes it, how to look for symptoms, 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 of plagiocephaly, a condition 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, it’s a good idea to 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 2 years old. However, there are many ways Mamas like us can reduce the risk of the flat head syndrome in babies.
Give plenty of tummy time
Every day, give your baby a supervised tummy time of at least 30 minutes. Besides giving your baby’s head a break, this activity can help develop strong neck muscles and shoulder muscles. It can also support your baby’s motor skills.
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.
What you can do is to change the position of your baby’s head—or simply turn their heads from left to right and vice versa. If you prefer to use 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.
Carry your baby more often.
We know how busy you can be, but it’s highly recommended to limit the time a child spends lying or sitting on their backs. 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 your garden. Your baby will appreciate the new things surrounding him/her and exercise his/her neck at the same time!
Should I Be Worried About Flat Head Syndrome?
Flat head syndrome cases can range from mild to severe, with the latter affecting even the neck, ears, eyes, and jaw. However, according to a scientific journal published by Carl Cummings of the Canadian Paediatric Society, it’s most common among babies 6 weeks to 2 months old. 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! Plus, you most likely won’t even notice it when their hair starts to grow in.
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
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 are sure to go with your nursery.
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Hanna of Mama's Choice
A mama of one energetic toddler, Hanna likes to read books, watch baking shows, and play video games when her little one is asleep.