Flat head syndrome is the name given to a condition where a section of a baby’s head becomes flattened due to constantly lying or leaning in one spot. Flat head syndrome is also known as plagiocephaly. Babies’ skulls are made up of several plates of bone which are loosely held together, their skulls are soft to allow the brain growth that occurs in babies during the first year of life.
- An obvious flat area on the back or one side of the head
- A bald patch on the head where baby predominately lies on
- An unbalanced appearance of the face
- Flattening of the opposite side of the forehead
- One ear more forward than the other
- Increased head height towards the back of the head
- Bulging on one side of the head
- Paediatricians recommend that your baby is not left on their back for too long as it can create pressure on the same areas of their head.
- Introduce more tummy time during the day, give your baby 5-10 minutes of tummy time at least three times a day
- Encourage baby to sleep on a different side of their head each night and remove any lights. Babies tend to naturally follow the light
- Try to switch baby to different sides when they are sleeping
- Alternate the side you hold your baby when feeding them
- Reduce the time spent on a flat surface, such as car seats, baby bouncers and buggies or you could invest in a sling or baby carrier
- Look into a baby pillow specifically designed to prevent flat head syndrome
If your baby develops flat head syndrome preventing baby from resting on the flattened spot all the time will help reposition the skull.