Because this usually happens within the first few months of life, it is important to keep a close eye on the shape of your baby’s head from the moment you get home from the hospital. The best way to look at it is from a bird’s-eye view, or looking down on it from above. This is how you can tell if there is any flattening or asymmetry. Typically, the flattening will begin in the back, so this is a good place to start watching for plagiocephaly. If bad enough, it can even cause the ears and forehead to be misaligned. If you see any flattening, immediately let your pediatrician know so you can address it right away, with the early intervention of plagiocephaly treatment. A “wait and see” approach does not work in this situation. Push for a therapy referral so you can correct the issue before it becomes a much bigger problem. Remember, the first 4 months is your window of opportunity.Take a look at the following questions, and if you answered “yes” to any of them, your baby may be at risk for plagiocephaly.
- Does your baby always seem to be looking or sleeping with his head in the same direction?
- Does your baby resist turning his head the other way?
- Is it difficult for your baby to stay repositioned?
- Does your baby dislike tummy time?
- Does your baby spend more than 3 hours a day, combined, on an incline surface/container (car seat, swing, bouncy seat)?
- Does your baby’s head seem to be flat in the back or flatter on one side?