By: Venchi Balendez
Babies are normally born with a slightly odd-looking head shape. As parents, we tend to get worried about this. In order to lessen the anxiety, it is important to know how to ensure that your baby does not get a flat head, and what to do if your baby already has one in order to prevent serious problems.
Babies have soft heads to allow brain growth in the first year of life, so their heads could easily change its shape during childbirth. But if your baby develops a flat spot at the back of the head or on either of the sides, it can result to a flat head syndrome. The most common cause of the flat head syndrome is your baby’s sleeping position and it could develop when your baby does not turn his head to alternate sides during sleep. So your baby might get flat headed if he sleeps on the same side each time or has neck muscle problems.
Flat head syndrome is extremely common in babies. Fortunately, it is not harmful to your baby’s brain development and does not require surgery. At the same time, these simple tips could help your baby’s head return to its normal shape.
Change in sleeping position.
To prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) it is recommended that babies are put down to sleep on their backs. But is also important to make sure that your baby does not rest on the same side when sleeping. If your baby already has a flat head syndrome, it is best to place the rounded side of the head against the mattress instead of the flat area. Using wedge pillows or other devices to keep your baby in one position is not recommended.
Alternate positions when lying down.
When putting your baby down in the crib, make sure you position your baby on both sides alternately instead of positioning him on the same side every time. You can also help him switch sides by simply turning his head while he’s sleeping.
Carry your baby more often.
If your baby spends most of the time lying down, it causes pressure in your baby’s head. To lessen the pressure, pick up and hold your baby more often.
Provide more tummy time.
Place your baby on his tummy when awake. Tummy time not only helps shape the head but also strengthens neck muscles and enhances motor skills for crawling and sitting.
Use corrective helmets as prescribed by your Pediatrician.
If the above tips were not able to correct your child’s flat head syndrome, you can try using head shaping accessories like corrective helmets as prescribed by your Pediatrician, of course. The use of a corrective helmet is said to gain better results if used for babies with mild conditions and given at an early stage. Always, always consult your Pediatrician for the best options for your child.
Flat head syndrome can be a source of anxiety for parents, but know that it can be easily managed and corrected.
Venchi Balendez is a registered nurse and mother of three, working as a part-time article writer.