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How do babies get flat heads?

Updated on September 4, 2017

Flat Head Syndrome

Since babies started sleeping on their backs, there has been a large increase in babies developing Flat Head Syndrome. This is when baby's head is either temporarily or permanently misshapen.Baby's head may become flat on one side, or else pushed into a cone shape. It can even, in extreme cases, totally change the shape of your baby's face. If not corrected, this can have a devastating affect on your child's life. One main problem is that safety helmets that are used for sports, riding a bicycle and many other activities will just not fit.

Babies at Risk of Flat Head Syndrome

  • A baby who turns their head to one side while sleeping.
  • A baby who spends to much time in bouncers or rockers
  • A baby who sleeps on his or her back.

Information about how to prevent Flat Head Syndrome

To find out more about Flat Head Syndrome and

  • What does the latest research say about flat head syndrome?
  • Why tummy time is so important for baby.
  • Ways of making tummy time pleasant.
  • Re-positioning techniques to prevent pressure on baby's soft head.
  • How to know if baby needs a helmet.
  • What to expect if your baby has to wear a helmet.

The latest research on Flat Head Syndrome

Flat Head Syndrome affects one in five babies and the number of incidents of this condition went up after SIDS(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) guidelines recommended that babies sleep on their backs in 1992.

Researchers from the George Institute for Global Health studied 19 papers and found developmental delays in infants starting at 6 months and lasting up to 3 years.

Although this does not mean that all babies with Flat Head Syndrome will be delayed in their development.

Tummy Time Is Important.

Tummy time — This means putting your baby on his or her stomach while awake and and you are watching. This will help your baby develop strong neck and shoulder muscles and help to develop motor skills. Tummy time can also prevent your babys head from becoming flat.

When your baby's head is left in the same position for long periods of time, the bones in his or her head may move and develop a flat area.

Placing your baby on its back helps to reduce the risk of sudden death syndrome but changing your baby's position to tummy from time to time will reduce the risk of these flat areas.

After changing baby's diaper spread out a blanket and put baby on their tummy with toys within reach. This will help strengthen head and neck muscles and and also arms all needed for sitting up rolling over and crawling.

Remember to always supervise your baby during tummy time.

Ways of Making Tummy Time Pleasant

Always try to make tummy time fun using playmats designed especially for your baby with textures,colours and lights to keep her entertained.

After bathing keep baby on his tummy and massage him from head to toe to stimulate those little muscles. Baby will love this and will associate tummy time with this lovely massage.


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