If you’re a parent, you want to do everything possible to ensure your baby is healthy and happy, including ensuring a safe sleep. If you’ve heard about Flat Head Syndrome, you’re probably here because you want to know how to avoid it.
Flat head syndrome, otherwise known as positional plagiocephaly, is a common condition affecting babies during their first year of life. Constant pressure on one area of the baby’s skull is one of the main reasons it flattens.
While it is not harmful and usually corrects itself over time, there are some ways you can do to help prevent it from happening. In this blog post, we’ll give you four ways to help minimize the risk of this condition happening to your baby.
Understanding Flat Head Syndrome
It’s not uncommon for newborns to have slightly misshapen heads. After all, they’ve just spent nine months confined to a small space! However, some babies develop a condition known as Flat Head Syndrome.
The condition occurs when the baby’s head flattens in one or two spots, usually due to laying in the same posture for long periods. Although it is generally harmless, it can interfere with eating and sleeping.
Fortunately, there are a variety of approaches that can help enhance the shape of the head and minimize further flattening. Talk with your pediatrician if you think your baby could have this condition.
4 Tips to Prevent Flat Head Syndrome on Babies
Many parents worry about their little ones having flat heads. However, most babies with this condition do not experience serious complications and will eventually outgrow them. Still, here are some tips to help you prevent your baby from having a flat head:
Let Your Baby Do Tummy Time
Tummy time has an essential role in your baby’s growth. This activity helps strengthen the muscles in their back and neck and helps prevent the risk of the syndrome. It allows your baby to turn their head and look around while they explore their environment.
This activity develops the motor skills needed to roll over, crawl, and sit up on their own. Plus, it also helps a baby’s cognitive development. So, while your baby is awake and supervised, give them lots of tummy time.
You can take some steps to protect your baby during tummy time. One is to make sure that you have a firm surface for your baby to lie on, such as a firm mattress or a play mat with some toys. You may also add a soft blanket or nursing pillows to keep them comfortable, but you want to ensure that they’re not going to sink into the surface and risk suffocation.
Change Your Baby’s Sleeping Position
Changing your little one’s head position while sleeping at night is important. This helps ensure that their head isn’t always resting in the same position, giving their developing skull a chance to grow evenly in all directions.
Additionally, sleep position can play a big role in the development of the syndrome. That’s why it’s important to find a position that works best for your baby. Some helpful positions include: sleeping on the side, in a semi-reclined position, or in a bouncer or swing.
Limit the Time Your Baby Spends on Flat Surfaces
When traveling with your baby, it can be tempting to let them sleep in their car seat or swing. However, prolonged exposure to these positions can increase your baby’s risk of Flat Head Syndrome.
To reduce the risk of your little one having a flat head, try to limit the amount of time your baby spends in a car seat, crib or swings, and other similar devices and flat surfaces in the same sleeping situation. This can put unnecessary pressure on developing bones and joints, leading to problems later in life.
When holding your baby, try different positions, such as lying them on their back, sitting them upright, or carrying them on your hip. You can opt for activities encouraging your baby to move their head and neck around or reposition their head every 30 minutes while sleeping. Changing their positions will help them develop strong bones and joints and prevent Flat Head Syndrome.
Use Flat Head Prevention Baby Pillows
While there’s no need to panic if your little one has a slightly flat spot on their head, constantly keeping their head in the same position can lead to more serious problems. That’s where special pillows designed to prevent flat heads come in. These pillows provide support and help keep your baby’s head in a more neutral position. They’re also great for tummy time!
As parents, keeping your little one safe and healthy must be a top priority. So when it comes to choosing the right pillow for a newborn baby, it’s important to talk with your pediatrician first.
While it’s tempting to let your little one snuggle up with a soft, fluffy newborn baby pillow, it’s important to remember that pillows can pose a suffocation hazard for an infant or toddler. It’s typically recommended that babies under 12 months use a flat surface for sleeping, such as a crib, firm mattress, or bassinet.
Qualities to Look For in a Flat Head Prevention Baby Pillow
For a parent like you who wishes to keep your baby’s head from flattening, here are some factors to keep in mind to find the perfect flat head prevention baby head pillow for your little one.
Effectiveness in Flat Head Prevention
The nursing pillow you’ll choose should be able to effectively prevent your baby’s head from flattening. For example, consider a pillow that has been demonstrated to be effective in keeping a baby’s head from being uneven.
There are nursing pillows that help avoid the syndrome. These pillows feature a unique curve that aids in supporting the head and maintaining spinal alignment. This contributes to lowering the possibility of a flattened head.
Easy to Clean
When looking for a flat head prevention baby pillow, make sure it is washable since you’ll need to be able to wash the pillow often to get rid of dirt or bacteria.
Babies can have sensitive skin, and it is important to keep the pillow clean. In addition, if the pillow is not washable, it may be tough to clean it properly. To make a pillow last longer, choose one that is sturdy and can survive repeated washings.
If you’re shopping for a baby pillow, you’ll want to ensure it’s hypoallergenic because babies have delicate skin and can be susceptible to allergies. A hypoallergenic pillow is free of contaminants that cause allergic reactions.
Look for a pillow made from natural materials, such as high-quality organic cotton. The baby pillow you’ll buy should provide support and comfort to your baby, not irritation or allergic reactions.
Soft and Breathable
As a soon-to-be parent, you should know that babies have delicate skulls. This is why choosing a pillow that will conform to their head shapes without being too firm is important. A soft baby head pillow allows your baby to get the needed support without feeling uncomfortable.
Also, babies tend to feel overheated, so choosing a pillow that won’t make them too hot is important. Make it also a point to choose a lightweight and breathable baby pillow.
An Easy Solution: Ashtonbee’s Newborn Baby Pillow
There are many solutions for preventing and solving Flat Head Syndrome. The most important things are to keep the baby’s head off of hard surfaces and as many flat areas as possible in the early months, use lots of tummy time, and support the baby’s neck so they can hold their head well.
With guidance from your pediatrician, Ashtonbee’s baby pillow can help prevent your baby from having the syndrome. Plus, it’s easy to carry, making it a perfect pillow choice for on-the-go parents like you!
Aside from nursing pillows, Ashtonbee offers a wide range of baby essentials that are high-quality yet affordable! Check our collection and shop baby must-haves for your little one today!