Baby girl wearing a cranial remolding helmet for flat head

In certain circumstances, the excessive sleep of your child may affect their physical formation, including their head. Others may not think it’s a big deal, but sleeping may shape your baby’s head a certain way. If not properly taken care of, your kid may suffer from the flat head syndrome. This problem arises when an infant’s skull doesn’t grow evenly. It can lead them to develop an outstretched spot on the back of or on one side of their head.

That’s why we need to have a detailed understanding of what this condition is all about when you should be concerned about it, and how to eliminate the risks and dangers in your newborn. Moreover, we’ll supply you with some pointers on keeping your infant from suffering from this situation.

 

Flat Spots: Where Do They Start and Why Do Babies Have Them?

You may be aware of the stretched-out section on a newborn’s head, especially on one who is prematurely born. Plagiocephaly is the medical term for this condition. As the term implies, the malformation usually occurs because the bones of the skull are not united and can thus be molded by external pressures. One of the reasons it occurs in babies is that they have soft patches on their heads called fontanelles, which allow their brains to grow faster throughout the first year of life.

Under the circumstances of this increased growth rate, a baby born with a large head or a smaller-than-normal head may acquire recessed areas. Parts of their skulls may also flatten out slightly due to the strain since they spend so much time on their backs.

Triggers of Flat Head Syndrome

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, roughly half of all babies have flat areas on their heads within the first two months of life. Even while many infants are born with a flat head, it normally self-corrects by the time they reach the age of two months. Therefore, doctors urge no therapy as long as the baby’s head grows in size and shape. In brief, this illness isn’t hazardous and naturally goes away when a child reaches the age of two or three.

Still, many parents are eager to help the shape of their baby’s head return to normal. So, it’s vital to identify the factors to evaluate how this can affect your toddler in the future.

  • The sleeping position of the infant is one of the primary determinants. In particular, if your child sleeps on their back too much, they are at risk of developing a distorted skull. This state develops because their head flattens against the mattress owing to their head weight.
  • Another factor is stiff neck muscles, which limit your baby’s head movement in different directions. This problem contributes to Torticollis or an inflamed dysfunction of the neck muscles.
  • Flathead syndrome seems to be more prevalent in premature babies with low birth weights, as they usually have weaker neck muscles and cannot elevate their heads adequately.
  • Babies who spend most of the day resting on their backs, such as in car seats, swings, or infant carriers, are also vulnerable.
  • C-section delivery makes it more difficult for your baby to shift their head from side to side. This is because when babies are born through C-section, they often have to stay in one position for an extended period of time, which can put pressure on the back and their neck muscles. Furthermore, it can occur when the baby’s head is pressed against the mother’s pelvis during delivery. The consistency of pressure on their muscles contributes to the baby’s head becoming misshapen, as their skull is still soft and malleable.

The Importance of Sleep Positioning For Babies with a Flat Head

sleeping baby

Toddlers need good sleep for healthy development, but the positional plagiocephaly can make it difficult. Nonetheless, here are some insider tips you can do to help avoid flattened heads and ensure your baby sleeps soundly.

  1. Flat head babies should be placed on their backs in an age-appropriate crib with a firm mattress and no additional padding for cushions to sleep safely.
  1. Ensure the base of your baby’s head is level and straight from front to back and side to side before setting them down to sleep.
  1. Most babies with flat head syndrome are more comfortable sleeping on their stomach. This is because the pressure on the back of the head is alleviated when they are in this position. However, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) states that babies who sleep on their stomachs have three times the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) compared to those who sleep on their backs; this is something to keep in mind before encouraging your child to sleep on their stomach.
  1. Place toys near their heads to encourage them to turn in that direction. This technique will help them grow their neck muscles equally and stop them from continually staring in the same direction.
  1. You can also look for ergonomic nursing accessories for your infant that will maintain support without forcing one side of the head down. In this way, your kid can get a good sleep while in the crib.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep with the Right Baby Pillow from Ashtonbee

ashtonbee infant pillow

Treatment begins at home. Though flat head syndrome usually goes away on its own, it’s critical to invest in some goods that will allow your kid to sleep soundly without worrying about their head. Our Ashtonbee baby head pillow can assist by giving crucial support to a newborn’s delicate neck and head.

It is constructed of 100% organic cotton that is soft but firm enough to give your baby the comfortable napping position they need. The infant head memory foam has a soft side and a breathable 3D air mesh material on the other side, so you don’t have to fret about overheating. Plus, you can take this infant pillow with you everywhere, ensuring that your kid’s head is protected from misalignment even when they are outside.

The concave core of this infant foam also permits your baby’s upper body—such as their head, neck, and spine—to be in optimal alignment. So, if your little one is still breastfeeding, having a baby pillow with head support will improve their health. This pediatrician-recommended foam is safe for babies ages 6 months and under.

If your baby’s flat head is still uneven after several months despite trying out various home remedies, seek professional treatment.

Your Challenges as Parents Are Valid

It is in the nature of parents to ensure that their child is happy, safe, and at ease. That also means being terrified about their child’s health and development, including the existence of a flat head

Navigating all the new territories of parenthood is difficult, and it’s imperative to have proper support and encouragement. Here at Ashtonbee, we always want to help make your parenting journey easier. We hope that this information regarding flat head syndrome and how to avoid it has alleviated some of your doubts.

In case you are looking for a great source of information on children’s safety, you can read more of our blog and find everything you need to know.

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