Babies-Toddler Vivian | 06 Sep 2010 04:52 am

Plagiocephalie Or Flat Head Area in a Baby

Plagiocephalie or flattened head area can develop in your baby after birth. This occurs from your baby applying constant pressure on one part of their head. The first 6 – 8 weeks of your baby’s life is the most important time to avoid a flattened head area (Plagiocephalie) developing in your baby. This is because the bones in a newborn baby’s head at this time are thin and flexible and their head is soft and easy to mould.

4 Reasons why Flat Areas in a baby’s head may occur:

1. Lying in one position for long periods of time (such as on their back while they sleep)

2. By always turning their head to the same side when lying on their back (favouring looking at a window of light)

3. Always sitting in a propped up position; occurring in babies who suffer from Reflux

4. Birth trauma resulting in neck pain; leaving a baby to favour a pain free position

Discover 8 important steps to facilitate a baby developing muscle balance and therefore decrease the risk of developing a flattened head area.

1. Alternate their head position when putting them down in their sleeping area

2. Alternate putting them at different ends of the cot when putting them to bed.

3. A period of tummy time during every play time.

4. Change the position of their toys when they are on the floor so they move their head to different angles.

5. Vary their holding and carrying positions

6. Changing the side that a baby carry sling is worn on

7. When picking a baby up; approach them from different sides of their body.

8. Visit a baby accredited Chiropractor or Physiotherapist to assess baby’s head alignment, especially after a long or difficult birth, forceps assisted birth or birth by caesarean section. A baby who does not feed well from a particular side, hates tummy time or has considerable gas may have an alignment issue requiring attention.

Seek professional help EARLY if you see that your baby’s head is becoming flattened in areas or their head favours facing a certain direction.

A physiotherapist may advise a cranial helmet be worn for a period of time if a baby’s head remains flat beyond 5-6 months.

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