Shocking Statistics | What You Need to Know about Infant Plagiocephaly


How much do you really know about infant plagiocephaly? Would it surprise you to know that some cultures have traditionally molded babies’ skulls into unnatural shapes? In our culture, plagiocephaly is unintentional, but in places where they purposefully mold babies’ skulls, the practice is discontinued after six to eight months because, by that time, it’s permanent. This permanence at such a young age shows how important early intervention is for all babies, but it’s only one of the somewhat shocking statistics about plagiocephaly that you need to know.

  • Did you know that plagiocephaly can start in the womb? It can also happen as the result of a difficult birth, particularly a forceps or vacuum extraction delivery. Knowing that, it drives home the importance of giving your baby the best possible shot at a healthy skull shape once you can control their environment.
  • A new study indicates that almost half of all infants suffer from plagiocephaly. This study, conducted in Canada, estimates the number at 46.6%, but other studies have placed it as high as 61%. Why is this number so high? The wildly successful “Back to Sleep” campaign, launched in 1992, has significantly decreased the rate of SIDS deaths, but has greatly increased the rate of plagiocephaly.
  • That number is not surprising, when you consider that in the first two months of life, babies average up to 700 hours on their backs. This doesn’t even include time spent in car seats, bouncy seats, swings, strollers and other containers. It’s easy to see how all those hours rack up. How can you combat this? Wearing your baby is a great tactic, and of course, regular tummy time is also a must.
  • Plagiocephaly is more than a flat spot on the back of the head. Skull flattening causes asymmetry in the forehead and uneven ears. It can also be connected to torticollis, a stiff neck muscle that should be addressed as quickly as possible in order to correct it.
  • Plagiocephaly can be corrected through repositioning and therapy. Early intervention is the key to success, but with help from experienced therapists, you can change your baby’s head shape and help her to grow and thrive.

At Baby Begin, we’re working to eradicate plagiocephaly because we’d like to see every baby grow and thrive with a beautifully shaped head. That’s why we offer therapy and education for babies and their families to help overcome obstacles like plagiocephaly and torticollis. For information about Baby Begin, please visit our website or any of our social pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  

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