Tips to Reduce Flat Head Syndrome

happy family newborn baby in embrace mother in white

If your infant suffers from “flat head syndrome”, he’s not alone.  A Canadian study released shows that 47 percent of infants have some type of flat spot on their heads. That’s a big increase from some previous studies that showed only between three and 16 percent of babies having this condition.

Many child medical experts say more babies may be developing what doctors call positional plagiocephaly (the real term for this) as a result of the 1992 recommendation that parents put babies to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Thankfully though, this has decreased the number of SIDS cases.

Doctors say a lot of babies can develop flat spots on their skull because many tend to favor one side over the other when they are either sleeping or eating or when they are in their bouncy seats or car seats. If they are in the same position all the time, doctors say their soft bones can make the skull flat on whichever side they love the most. Some kids end up having to wear a molding helmet or special band to correct the problem. But, there are some other things experts say you can do to help avoid this condition.

  1. Be sure to switch your baby’s head position when he is sleeping on his back even if he tends to favor one side
  2. Give babies plenty of tummy time (supervised, course) so they aren’t always on their backs
  3. Think about changing where the crib is in your baby’s room  so he has different things to stare at in different places as he nods off to dream land
  4. Try not to keep your baby in the car seat or bouncy seat for a long time (I can imagine this one is probably the hardest. We all know how babies love to fall asleep in the car and bouncer. It’s so hard to get them out!)
  5. Change how you hold your baby during feedings so he is not always in the same position, no matter how comfy he may get

Of course, if you think your child is developing this problem, be sure to talk about any concerns with your pediatrician.