Once you get your baby home from the hospital and adjust to life as a new parent, you may think that your biggest worries are over. However, you will probably find yourself faced with some surprising scenarios over the next few months. These will challenge your knowledge and patience, but they can be overcome with the help of your pediatrician. One such concern that happens to numerous babies is the flat head syndrome.
Causes, Symptoms, and Adjustments
Flat head syndrome is known medically as positional plagiocephaly, and it occurs when your baby spends too much time on his back. Because the bones in your baby’s skull are not yet fused together, they can shift and move for several months at the beginning of life. Over time, the back or sides of your baby’s head may begin to look flat rather than rounded. Although this condition does not cause long-lasting disabilities, it can certainly cause aesthetic changes as well as worry for you.
If you are concerned that your baby may be developing flat head syndrome, there are several things you can do. First, try to have your baby spend less time on his back. Tummy time is good for building up muscular strength in his neck and back, and it will also keep him off his back during the daytime hours. Second, although you should always put your baby on his back when he sleeps, you may find that varying his position in his crib will cause him to turn his head in a new direction, balancing out his head shape.
If you are still concerned about the shape of your baby’s head by the time he reaches the age of four months, you should definitely check with his pediatrician. She may have some other steps for you to try, or she may recommend a molded helmet that your child can wear for several months. Although it may seem difficult to put a helmet on your child and your child may resist it initially, realize that your baby will not even remember this period, which is bound to be quite short.