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Flat headed baby wearing a helmet

Continuing the discussion of SIDS and flat heads in babies that started here, we’re finally getting to the solutions.

How do I make sure my baby has a nice round head?

1. Change baby’s orientation in the crib every day.
One day, place your baby with her head at the head of the crib. The next day place your baby with her head at the foot of the crib.

2. Tummy time – several times a day.
It will remove the pressure from the back of the baby’s head. Always supervise your baby when he’s on his tummy.

3. Nursing – every feed change breast. Try to remember the side you used last time and avoid feeding the baby from the same breast several times in a row.

4. When changing the baby, approach him every time from different side of the table or the mat. Another idea is to change the position of changing table every week or so. This will cause your baby to turn his head to different side to look at you and thus avoid flat spot on one particular side of the head.

5. Move the mobile to different side of the crib every week.
It will encourage the baby turn the head and look to different side

6. Move the source of light in the nursery from side to side every week.Babies tend to follow the light with their eyes and consequently with their heads

7. Check for flat spots. If you’ve noticed one, put the baby on the other side as much as possible.

If my baby already has a significant flat spot, what can I do?

First, go see a doctor. If they tell you it’s nothing to worry about, but you’re not convinced – don’t just let go, insist on being referred to a specialist (orthotist).

There are some treatments you could try:

A helmet – your kid might need to wear it for several weeks or even months, but compared to a lifetime with misshapen head it’s nothing. The helmets are custom made and adjusted by orthotist every couple of weeks. I have never used one, but people who did say that it’s only uncomfortable in the begging and babies get used to them.

* the helmet is often called a DOC band

Cranial sacral therapy – the therapist will apply a gentle pressure to your baby’s head to correct its shape.

Is it too late to fix my baby’s head?

According to many resources online the best time to start the treatment is between 3 and 6 months. The earlier it starts, the less time your infant will have to spend wearing that helmet. The latest point to start a treatment I have heard of is 14 months.

Am I over-reacting?

You might be, but then again, you might be not. If the flat spot is not significant, in many cases it will disappear or become barely noticeable by the time your kid is 2 years old. I’ve heard from my doctor that there is nothing to worry about unless the entire head/facial area is asymmetrical and distorted.