The increase of flat head syndrome had increased since 1990 when the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) advised parents babies should sleep on their backs to prevent sudden infant death. Most parents took the advice seriously and put it in practice because it has more benefits compared to the flat head syndrome.
Read more causes of flat head syndrome.
The Flat-head syndrome should not worry you so much because it does not affect your baby development, the majority of this case correct itself within the first six weeks so it does not cause lasting appearance, require any surgery but simple practices you need to prevent baby flat head.
What are the ways to prevent baby flat head?
Preventing flat head syndrome depends on your little one age and severity of the problem.
There are two ways to prevent baby flat head syndrome.
Repositional therapy is applicable if your baby is very young and the problem is mild. You need a simple natural practice that you can do at home to correct the flat head syndrome. This involves various activities like:
- Changing the baby’s sleeping position during bedtime and naptime
It is advisable to put your baby asleep on her back to prevent sudden infant death. Always keep alternating baby head so as not to press one spot. You can keep on change from left to right or vice versa until your child can doing it herself.
Also, you can put your baby head flat spot facing up, and rounded side pressed on the mattress.
Sometimes it becomes hard to position the baby, so some parents are forced to use a pillow or placed to keep the baby in the right position. It is risky because items like pillow are not supposed to be on the baby crib to prevent suffocation.
- Keep alternating baby position within the crib
One day have your baby’s head sleep on the foot side and the other day sleep on the other side. This encourages the baby to sleep in a different position.
Also, you can decide to change the crib position around the house.
- Rearrange your baby sleep toys on the crib
To encourage your baby to change the position you can rearrange the toys or another thing in the room that is of interest to your child.
This can help your little one from looking at one position, therefore, reduce the amount of time spent lying on one spot reducing flat head syndrome.
- Hold your baby most of the time
Holding the baby most of the time will help you reduce the time your baby spends lying on her back.
- Keep alternating baby feeding position.
While you are feeding your baby keep on changing the feeding position to avoid pressure one spot. Changing a feeding position can only succeed when you make sure you are not holding your baby using the same arm.
- Limit sitting time
Also, take your baby out of the car seat once you have reached the destination. It is advisable not to put your baby on the car seat for more than two hours. You can form a habit of babywearing using wrap or slings.
- Introduce tummy time
Provide plenty of time your baby will spend lying on her stomach which is well known as tummy time. Tummy time is not only used to prevent flat head syndrome but help your baby motor skills development.
- Gentle massage
Gentle massage is only applicable if your baby is suffering from Torticollis or holding the head in one position. You can try giving your baby neck massage to relax neck muscles and encourage movement.
Read more about how to massage your baby
Cranial orthotic therapy
The cranial orthotic therapy is applicable in the severe case and best to start when the baby is six months old.
The babies with the severe flat head syndrome and are more than six months old are not easy to correct the problem themselves. Also, repositional therapy still cannot solve the problem alone since head skull bone is developed and the soft spot is closed so this is where the doctor comes in and advise the parent to use Cranial orthotic therapy.
Cranial orthotic therapy is usually wearing of the flathead helmet to correct the problem. The therapy is successful if coordinated with repositional therapy and if you start using a helmet when the baby is six months old.
The helmet is supposed to be worn 23 hours in a day for about two to six months depending on how severe the problem is and the age you started putting on.
Other parents have solved the problem using the flat head pillow, but you must use the pillow when the baby is not asleep under strict supervision. Read Caroline story how she reduced her baby’s flat head problem
If you start this therapy late, your baby’s head may not become symmetrical, but that shape is still normal. For girls, the asymmetrical head should not worry you as the hair grows it will hide the flat area.
Back to readers which ways did you use to prevent the flat head syndrome. Share with us below.