Some babies develop misshapen, flat or an uneven head shape from too much time spent lying on one part of the head. This is called ‘positional head-flattening’ or medically the term is Plagiocephaly (play-gee-oh-kef-a-lee). Here are 4 simple ways to avoid a flat sport forming.
4 ways to prevent a flat spot forming on your baby’s head
- Head and cot position for sleep: A newborn baby will generally stay in the position they are placed for sleep, until they can move themselves. Alternate your baby’s head position when they sleep. Place your baby at alternate ends of the cot to sleep, or change the position of the cot in the room. Babies often like to look at fixed objects like windows or wall murals, so changing their cot position will encourage them to look at things that interest them from different angles.
- Play time: When your baby is awake and alert, play or interact with them facing you (face time) or place them lying down on their front (tummy time) or on their side from as early as one or two weeks of age. Place rattles or toys (or other people’s faces) that your baby likes to look at in different positions to encourage your baby to turn their head both ways. Even at two weeks of age your baby can follow your voice or eyes (maintain eye contact) and turn their head themselves each way if you support their head in your hands while they are awake and alert.
- Carrying position: Vary your holding and carrying positions of your baby: Avoid having your baby lying down too much by varying their position throughout the day, e.g. use a sling, hold them upright for cuddles, carry them over your arm on their tummy or side.
- Baby Head Shape Support: When your baby is laying on a flat surface such as their cot, bassinet or on the floor, use a Baby Head Shape Support to provide gentle cradling to reduce pressure on one area of their skull.
Remember to always sleep baby on his back.