Flat head syndrome (FHS) is a condition that newborns can develop where the shape of their head becomes flattened. While it is not harmful and usually resolves itself as the baby grows, there are some things parents can do to help prevent and address it including using baby crib pillows.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at FHS and explain how pillows for baby cribs and other treatments may be able to help. We’ll also give you tips on preventing your little one from developing a flat head. So, keep reading for all the information you need!
Causes of Flat Head Syndrome
There are a few different things that can cause FHS, and knowing each of them can help you give the proper treatment for the condition. Flat heads are caused by more than just your baby’s sleeping position. Here are some of the most common causes:
Congenital plagiocephaly or craniosynostosis is a congenital disability where the skull’s sutures close prematurely causing the head to have an uneven shape. It is the more serious type of flat head that does not just simply disappear as your baby begins crawling, sitting, and standing. Doctors can determine whether the condition can improve in time or whether it requires surgery.
There are different types of fetal positions:
- Occiput anterior/head-down position
- Occiput posterior/head down but facing your belly position
- Oblique/diagonal or slanted, feet down position
- Transverse/diagonal or slanted, head-down position
Any of these positions may cause a flat head, especially when there is not enough space for the head. Nevertheless, babies in the breech position are more likely to have FHS when they come out.
Having more than one fetus inside the womb may also cause babies to have FHS when they come out because of the cramped space the babies share. As the babies grow inside the womb, their soft skulls cannot form a perfect head shape as there is no place to properly expand.
The baby is at higher risk of having torticollis when there is a tight space in the womb because of multiple fetuses or improper positioning. Also called “wryneck,” this condition is characterized by the stiffness of the baby’s neck muscle, causing it to turn on one side only and eventually causing flatness.
Baby’s Sleep Position
Do you notice your little one always sleeping with their head on the same side? If this habit stays for long, it may cause FHS. Babies moving their heads to the same position as they fall asleep may be caused by objects positioned in that direction (i.e., a toy in their line of sight). When babies lay in the same position, a comfortable curve may form on the mattress making the baby position their head on the same side.
Some birthing methods that involve assisting the head of the baby on its way out of the birth canal can cause FHS. For instance, using a spoon-shaped tool called forceps during birthing can affect the baby’s head shape. Another method is through vacuum delivery, where a suction cup is attached to the head of the baby, altering the baby’s normal head shape.
Addressing Flat Head Syndrome: Baby Pillows and More
After learning what causes FHS, it is important to know how you can address the condition. Baby pillows are a common way to help, but there are other methods. Here are some ways to address FHS and bring your baby’s head to its perfect shape.
The best way to address FHS is to ensure the baby doesn’t lay their heads in the same position for a long time. Here are the many ways to stop this from happening:
- Adjust your baby’s head from time to time to avoid them sleeping on only one side.
- You can also give them more carry, cuddle, and tummy time to keep the head off the pillow and mattress.
- Alternate the left and right breasts for feeding, so your baby will be used to moving their necks left and right.
- Change their sleeping position, so they’ll have different views and be encouraged to move their heads.
- You can also move the crib to a different location where your baby has new sights to see.
- Redecorating your baby’s crib surroundings will help them move their heads to explore the new design.
If the cause of your baby’s flat head is torticollis, a specialist may prescribe physiotherapy. The therapy will loosen the tight muscles on your baby’s neck. This procedure, however, should be done by a trained therapist as the neck muscles are sensitive. Any wrong move can affect the brain or the motor skills of your little one.
Helmet and Baby Pillows for Cribs
You can also use products to avoid FHS or to address it. Nevertheless, these products should always be approved by your baby’s pediatrician for safety.
For instance, there are helmets babies can use to help bring back the right shape for their heads. These helmets are made of baby-safe materials to avoid skin allergies and harm to the baby’s head.
Baby pillows for cribs especially designed to address flat heads are also widely available. Note that pillows aren’t encouraged for babies younger than two years old because it increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. So take extra care if you are using this method.
Check Out Ashtonbee’s Baby Pillows!
Flat Head Syndrome is a condition that can occur in newborn babies. FHS may be due to a congenital disability, the baby’s position in the womb, multiple fetuses in the womb, torticollis, or how the baby sleeps. There are several ways to address it, including position changes, physiotherapy, and using baby pillows for cribs. You can also buy helmets to help correct your baby’s head shape.
If you think baby pillows can help you address your baby’s flat head, you can get them here at Ashtonbee!
The pillows we have are designed to prevent and address FHS. They are also made from baby-friendly materials to ensure your little one’s comfort and safety. Check it out and give your baby a happy and safe time in bed!