In the first six weeks after birth, it is not uncommon for baby’s head to appear slightly out of shape from the pressures of birth. This usually resolves by 6 weeks of age. However, because an infant’s skull is soft and malleable, deformities in shape can occur if baby begins to favour certain head positions.
Wearing a specially-made helmet for 22 hours a day can mould the head back into a rounded shape and reverse the effects of Flat Head Syndrome. This can be a very uncomfortable experience for the baby and expensive. Alternatively, parents can take preventative action by using the Baby-Head-Rest whenever baby is on his/her back in the first four months.
The following suggestions are recommended to help reduce Flat Head Syndrome in infants, in conjunction with the Baby-Head-Rest.
- Sleep baby on back. Baby-Head-Rest can be positioned under baby’s head to reduce pressure on the back or side of the skull.WARNING: do not use if baby can roll from front to back at the Baby-Head-Rest then becomes a suffocation hazard. ONLY for use between newborn and 4 months.
- Alternate baby’s head position frequently, swapping from left to right.
- As baby becomes more interested in the things around him, encourage baby to look in different directions by sleeping him at different ends of the cot or changing the position of things he likes to look at around the room.
- While awake, carry or cuddle baby in an upright position, or use a sling.
- Ensure that baby gets lots of supervised tummy time which is great for not only reducing the pressure on the skull but also aids in the development of neck muscles and motor skills. It might take a little while for baby to get used to, but persevere.
- Use the Baby-Head-Rest to support baby’s head whenever on his/her back for prolonged periods of time including in car seats and prams.
- Alternate holding positions when feeding – hold in left arm for one feed, right arm for the other.
Flat Head Syndrome is largely preventable with greater education on the issue and by frequent monitoring of head shape with weight, length and other measurements in the first few months after birth.
It is important to seek medical advice about any change in your baby’s head shape. If you are dissatisfied with any medical advice you receive, it is within your rights to seek another opinion.
For more information on Flat Head Syndrome, you can click here