Babies are born with soft head to allow the brain to grow that usually occurs in the first year of life and because of this, your baby’s head is easy to adjust. It is normal for baby’s head to be a bit oddly shaped during days or weeks after birth. If the baby develops a lasting flat spot, it could be a flat head syndrome. Flat head syndrome happens when a baby sleeps in the same position most of the time. Flat head syndrome does not harm the development of your baby’s brain or any problems in appearance. It also does not require surgery.
What are the causes of flat head syndrome?
- Positional cephalic disorder. Babies may have been poorly situated in the uterus or underwent trauma during the birthing process.
- This occurs when your baby’s joints between the bones in your baby’s skull close before his brain is fully developed. Your baby’s head is misshapen and his brain can’t grow in its natural shape.
Here are 6 ways on how to prevent flat head syndrome
- As your baby spends more time in an upright safe and comfortable carrier, the control of his neck and head becomes stronger. Try using a sling or carrier.
- Look at your baby’s physical appearance. The most important way to prevent flat head syndrome is to have a whole body assessment to check your baby’s movements.
- Change his position over time. Encourage your baby to turn his head in different ways by simply hanging a brightly coloured picture or toys above him. This will encourage your baby to turn his head from time to time.
- Limit your baby’s time in seats. Limited positions in seats that hold baby’s heads is a contributor of a flat head syndrome. The more time your baby spends out of his swing, seat, or crib, the less pressure is applied on his head.
- Encourage tummy time. Enjoy lying on the floor with your baby to help him feel more comfortable on his tummy. Give your baby regular tummy time while supervising your baby closely. During play time, encourage him to try new positions but always see to it that they sleep on their back.
- Alternate position when feeding. Encourage him to change position from time to time to prevent his head from becoming flat.
Are there long term effects on flat head syndrome?
There are no long term side effects but a very small number of babies can hit a separate problem.
This means that the bones in your baby’s skull fused too early. Side effects are rare and your doctor should reassure you and answer all your questions regarding flat head syndrome.
If you suspect that there is a chance that your baby has a flat head syndrome, speak immediately to his pediatrician. Your baby’s head may not return to his completely perfect shape but any flattening will be barely noticeable over time. As your baby’s hair grows, his head appearance will improve.