How To Shape Baby Head Round And Tips To Prevent Flat Head
Created by Anubhav Srivastava Updated on Sep 18, 2018
Babies are born with a soft and pliable layer of skull. If the baby is spending a lot of time on his back with the head in the same position then the chances are that the baby may develop a flat spot where his head rests. This is called positional plagiocephaly or in common term flat head.
On the other hand putting baby to sleep on stomach increases the risk of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome) but if done for a short duration it is healthier for digestion and all-round development of the baby.
Ways to prevent Flat Head
- Right from day-one try and alternate the direction of your baby's head when he is put to asleep. During initial days the baby skull is very soft and flattening can occur if a new-born is placed in the same position with repeated number of times.
- After some time or few weeks, put him to sleep with his head at a different end of the crib each night. This is done to ensure that there are enough rotations to keep the head round. Generally, this is also done with the help of some glowing/attractive toy put in the direction where you want your baby to look.
- Don't use rolled-up cloth pieces or towels or positioners to keep the baby’s head onto one side. This actually increasing the risk of SIDS and suffocation.
- Back is the best position for the infant. Place your infant to sleep on his back, on a firm yet comfortable mattress in a crib, with no pillows, blankets, toys, or loose clothing on or near the baby. This is done to ensure that the baby doesn’t roll over to the corners or is not turned to his belly which could increase the chances of SIDS.
- Avoid pillows, cushions, wedges in the crib. Infant wants space in their surroundings to be able to move their arms and legs comfortably. Hence avoid any sort of clothing or bedding near or around the baby.
- Switch arms every time you feed your baby. This is a natural process if you are breastfeeding but even if you are using a bottle try and switch your arms when feeding. This will help the baby to develop round skull.
- Tummy time also helps prevent flat heads. Tummy time is when baby is put on his stomach each day when he's awake. Tummy time encourages an infant to develop strength in his neck during early days. Eventually the baby will also become comfortable turning his head when he's lying down and tend to develop a preference for having his head on a particular side while resting on his back.
- Avoid leaving your baby for extended periods of time in one position such as car seat, infant baby swing, pram etc. This would help in reducing stress on portion of the skull leading to round head.
If you still notice that your baby is developing a flat spot on his head please speak to your doctor. The earlier the condition is caught, the more easily it can be addressed so that your child can lead a healthy life hereon.