I still remember when I’d first grasped my baby with an uneven and flatten shaped head.
So, I took help from the internet and found that this is a flat head syndrome of newborn babies called plagiocephaly!
It just wreaked havoc within when I knew that it could cause sudden infant death! Are you going through the same feeling?
Tell me, what’s your baby’s age? Is he still under six months or just one month old? Trust me; you can fix it.
You need to know when to worry if your baby has a flat head and what professionals do in such cases.
Check it out below!
Types of plagiocephaly
Typically, two types of plagiocephaly conditions may occur just after birth or after several months. According to the infant’s birth history, time, and condition, these two types are discussed below.
This one is the most common type of abnormal head shape found in 50% of newborn babies. However, it’s also known as deformational plagiocephaly.
The flattening is mainly recognized through the deformation of the cheek, ear, and forehead. If you see any displacement in the cheek or orbit, then your baby’s case is severe.
In such cases, the pediatrician recommends keeping them under observation and proper meditation.
Well, congenital plagiocephaly is a rare congenital disability which is also known as craniosynostosis. In an infant’s skull, there is a refined space between the skull bones.
When that space gets cover before time, your baby’s head starts to form abnormally.
However, the space between skull bones is called sutures. In the doctor’s language, the sutures close prematurely, which causes congenital plagiocephaly.
If you would like to know more about plagiocephaly, read here.
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Why my baby’s head is flat?
In most cases, without knowing the reason and underlying facts, we start panicking or praying for some magic to happen.
But did you wonder why these problems occur in the first place?
If you look into the internet and type plagiocephaly, you will witness plenty of recent surveys getting done on this syndrome, and surprisingly, the list of the victims is massive!
Long story short, this case is vastly alarming.
However, the reason why your baby possibly has that strange-asymmetrical head shape is the fragile muscles.
It’s bound to be said that newborn babies have extremely delicate bones and muscles that can be damaged or form very easily.
Thus, when your baby is always sleeping on his head for a long time, the whole pressure is flattening the very side of your baby’s head.
Most of the time, we see that newborn babies are unlikely to change their sides during sleep, and as a result, the pressure keeps damaging the internal muscles and eventually forms a flat head.
As your baby’s skull under 6 months is way more flexible and movable, it seems very disturbing when you can’t find an effective way to deal with this situation.
3 Main reasons behind your baby’s flat head
According to the previous research, the prime reasons why your baby may have flat head syndrome are:
- In rare cases, some babies have torticollis, which means that your baby has restricted mobility in only one side of his head. And this sensitivity can cause a flat or asymmetric spot.
- More than half of babies are laid on their heads. As a result, their fragile skull gets affected by perpetual pressure. Moreover, infants aren’t prone to move a lot during sleep. Result? Ample sleep time in the same direction and deformed head shape.
- Besides, some infants have this syndrome since birth. Because during pregnancy time, perhaps mothers don’t sleep in a proper direction. or the womb, the baby was positioned in such a manner that created pressure on the head which contributed to plagiocephaly.
What are the common symptoms of possible plagiocephaly?
There are some signs of a baby’s flat head. If you notice any of them just after birth and it lasts till the first 2 months, your baby may have flat head syndrome.
Moreover, rather than being lazy, you should consult your pediatrician in no time. Here are the symptoms:
- Visible blood vessels on the infant’s scalp.
- An asymmetric spot in one particular direction, and it doesn’t feel soft on the fontanel area.
- Uneven forehead, cheekbones, and eye sockets. Even the lower jaw seems dysfunctional.
- Through the spaces (sutures) between an infant’s skull, you’ll notice bony ridges.
- Food sensitivities and projectile vomiting.
When to worry? Does it hamper my baby’s development?
Honestly, plagiocephaly is not a ‘once in a blue moon case. If your baby has a flat head, don’t worry until he is above 6 months.
Because before that, you have the control to reform your baby’s head gradually through following proper steps.
However, if your baby is above 6 months and there’s no way you see any change in the shape, then you have the right to be concerned.
Because just after 2 or 3 months, your baby’s head is supposed to form in the normal shape.
And, after 2 or 3 months, the muscles begin to get stronger and less movable. Thus, even if you want, you can’t mount any possible changes.
What if my baby is under 6 months?
The first four months of your baby are very critical, and it’s the very time when your baby is at the highest risk of getting plagiocephaly.
Because in that period, babies don’t have control of their head movement.
But during that time, you can re-form your baby’s flat head by adapting some effective methods.
I have dropped a precise instruction below, where you’ll have some pro tips to get rid of flathead.
Why should I worry?
Researches show that plagiocephaly can lead to developmental delay.
Meaning your baby’s mental health nourishment will be disrupted.
In such cases, babies are less likely to socialize with people, and most of the time, they can’t even pronounce their names.
Besides, they are unbaled to gain grip control, such as holding a spoon. And if the baby walks for a long time, he will lose his balance.
They will lose the conscience and power to hold onto themselves. And at a later age, it will impact the baby’s psychological and physical health in a very bad manner.
Moreover, in different cases, there are claims that some babies have a flat head even after 1 or 2 years, and no wonder that they are under kept medication.
This is what professionals do!
Here’s how you can save your baby from development delay.
If you are feeling devastated and frustrated that there’s no way to restructure your baby’s head shape and it’s too late to cure development delay, then you’re completely wrong here.
I am not sure that the happenings will change drastically, but the professionals shared some ways that you can combat plagiocephaly.
5 Tips to cure plagiocephaly during 1-5 months
According to SIDS, plagiocephaly can be minor to severe regarding your baby’s age. Also, the necessary steps differ from age to age. At the early age of 1 to 5 months, there are certain ways to dissolve this syndrome gradually.
Check them out below;
- Keep changing your baby’s sleeping direction every 1.30 hours.
- Do the tummy sleeping. Studies show that your baby’s head is less likely to stay under pressure by doing tummy sleeping. Thus, sleeping on the tummy helps to minimize the risk of lifetime plagiocephaly and development delay.
- If your baby is facing discomfort while moving his neck while sleeping, and can also prevent some effective exercise.
- Though they shouldn’t practice this exercise without consulting a pediatrician.
- Even if your baby is awake, provide sufficient tummy time to your baby.
- Keep some of the favorite toys of your baby in diverse directions. So that he will willingly keep moving his head to see the toys.
- You can also keep other things that can attract your baby.
One effective way if your baby is above 6 months
In that case, your baby’s head muscles become more robust than before. Hence, it’s pretty impossible to change that state with the following methods given above.
Here, you need to get an ideal helmet for your baby. There are plenty of helmets that are specially crafted for babies with flat heads.
These helmets are made in different shapes and sizes. You can choose yours according to your baby’s affected head area and neck and jaw sizes.
One more thing you shouldn’t forget is to not purchase any of these helmets without consulting a health care specialist or your pediatrician.
Gradually, you will notice changes in your baby’s head size. It may take some time, but with ample patience, you can minimize the further risks.
Note: Your baby’s flat head has nothing to do with his brain. By no means can it change the shape of your baby’s brain or its activity.
No matter what, there’s always hope.
So, don’t give up on your kid regardless of the issue.
Like I always say, every kid is different, and so are their problems. You need to figure out the problem and seek help from the right place! Nevertheless, try to follow those given methods.
See you soon!