Heads up! What you should know about your baby’s head shape and flat head syndrome
In magazines and movies, every newborn has a perfectly shaped head, but your baby’s head shape may look a bit different. If your infant’s head is cone-shaped or uneven, there is an explanation. Many babies have conical shaped skulls after pushing their way through the birth canal. Some babies develop flat head syndrome, also known as positional plagiocephaly, giving them an unevenly shaped head. Our Plano pediatricians are here to answer the questions you have about the variations in infants’ tiny noggins.
Why is your baby’s head shape so pointy?
During a vaginal birth, your infant’s journey through the birth canal can change the head shape. A newborn baby’s skull consists of several bones that have not yet fused. Those small bones can easily mold into a different shape, usually a conical one, during birth. This is normal and nothing that should concern you. Your baby’s head will round out over the next few days or weeks as the bones move back into place.
What causes an uneven head, or flat head syndrome?
If your baby’s head shape is uneven, or flat on one side, he or she could have flat head syndrome. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that about 20% of babies develop this skull issue before birth or while going through the birth canal. In the other 80% of babies, the issue appears about four to 12 weeks after birth.
Uneven spots develop on babies’ heads, usually on the back of the skull, when they sleep or rest in the same position. When you see our caring physicians, they will examine your baby to determine the cause. If the baby has flat head syndrome, there are things you can do at home.
- When you place your baby on his or her back to sleep, turn the head in a different direction each time you lay your baby down.
- When your baby is awake, hold your infant as much as possible to avoid pressure from the mattress.
- Lay your baby down at a different end of the crib each time you lay him or her down to sleep.
If positional plagiocephaly is not causing the problem with your baby’s head shape, our Plano pediatricians will find out what is responsible for the issue. When you are worried, our caring physicians are always here to help. Contact us for an appointment.