What to Do If You Suspect Your Baby Has Flat Head Syndrome

October 28th, 2021 by

What to Do If You Suspect Your Baby Has Flat Head Syndrome

When the “Back to Sleep” campaign was first introduced during the early ‘90s, the number of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases dropped dramatically – by as much as 40 percent, in fact. However, the number of plagiocephaly cases rose markedly at the same time.

Also known as flat head syndrome, positional plagiocephaly is a condition where a baby develops a marked flat spot on the back or side of its still-soft skull due to consistent pressure applied while sleeping or resting. Some babies, especially those who were premature or part of multiple births, can also be born with some form of flat head syndrome.

Most cases of flat head syndrome eventually resolve on their own with a bit of time and some help from Mother Nature. However, it’s still in your best interests to be proactive about things if you notice signs of possible flat head syndrome in your baby.

What are the signs and symptoms of flat head syndrome?

Moderate to severe cases of flat head syndrome are typically pretty easy to spot, as a baby’s head is usually visibly misshapen if his condition has advanced to that point. However, it may be tougher to spot a milder instance at first. Here’s what to look for:

  • Ears that appear uneven or lopsided
  • Bald patches on the head or irregular hair growth in general
  • Any area on the baby’s head that seems to be bulging, slanted, or flattened
  • Bony ridges anywhere on the baby’s skull
  • A lack of any identifiable fontanel (soft spot)

What should you do if you know (or suspect) your baby has flat head syndrome?

Whether your baby has already developed a definite flat spot or you’re simply concerned that he might in the near future, the best thing to do is talk to your pediatrician. He or she will examine your baby and let you know for sure, as well as recommend a possible course of treatment.

Standard options include physical therapy at the doctor’s office, as well as at home via a prescribed regimen you’ll administer. Many doctors also prescribe or recommend therapeutic helmets to help correct the condition.

Is it possible to prevent flat head syndrome?

As is the case with most medical conditions, preventing flat head syndrome from occurring in the first place is the best course of action. Here are some ways you can do that, as well as help reverse an existing case.

  • Look into the newest baby pillowsdesigned to cushion the head well enough to correct or discourage flat spots.
  • Prioritize supervised tummy time when your baby is awake to minimize the amount of time he spends with pressure on his head.
  • Alternate the positioning of your baby’s head when putting him down to sleep, or manually adjust it periodically during sleep.
  • Hold your baby more often, especially in place of leaving him to rest or nap in car seats, bouncers, strollers, and so forth.

The sooner you address flat head syndrome, the more likely your baby will make a full recovery and avoid future complications. Get started today!

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