Will Your Baby Develop Plagiocephaly?
Many new parents are concerned about their babies developing plagiocephaly. Also known as flat head syndrome, plagiocephaly is a condition that’s risen in prevalence over the last decade , and the chances are good that you know someone whose baby has plagiocephaly, or at least a minor flat spot on baby’s head. You may find yourself wondering whether this condition is preventable, or if it’s something beyond your control. We’re here to set your fears to rest: plagiocephaly is preventable, and there are even steps you can take to reverse it if your baby has already started to develop flat head syndrome.
● Remember, back to sleep but tummy to play. The Back to Sleep campaign has been very successful in reducing cases of SIDS, but an increase in cases of plagiocephaly was an unexpected side effect. Giving your baby plenty of time on her tummy is a great way to counteract this problem.
● Ditch the containers. Car seats, swings, strollers, bouncy seats, carriers- the list of baby containers is practically endless! Too much time in them can cause a flat head, so keep your baby out as much as possible. Baby wearing is a great alternative when you’re out and about, and when you’re at home, baby can play in a play yard or sit in a high chair when you need a hands-free minute. A high chair can actually be beneficial to development, especially if you put toys on the tray or (for older babies) little snack foods that help baby exercise fine motor skills.
● Change your baby’s point of view. If your little one has to ride in the car often, put a toy first on one side of the seat, then the other, to attract her attention. This will encourage your child to look in different directions and change the position of her head. This principle applies to cribs and changing tables too- a good way to change positions in these situations is to alternate the end of the bed or table where your baby lays his head.
● Switch sides during meal times. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll naturally change your baby from side to side. If you’re bottle feeding, however, it may not be as automatic. Just like changing your little one’s position during diaper changes and sleeping, swapping sides for meal times can help prevent plagiocephaly.
At Baby Begin, we envision a world without plagiocephaly, where every baby is happy and healthy with a beautifully shaped head. That’s why we offer therapy and education for babies and their families to help overcome obstacles such as plagiocephaly, torticollis and developmental delays. For information about Baby Begin, please visit our website or any of our social pages, including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.