Congratulations! Bringing home that little bundle of joy is the most exciting time in a parent’s life. Often followed by the most terrifying. The worry that comes with having a newborn paired with the exhaustion of caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. Parents worry about everything, is baby eating enough, are they having enough wet diapers, is the baby sleeping too much, etc. One worry that’s relatively new is the worry that the baby will suffer from Flat Head Syndrome.
What is Flat Head Syndrome?
Flat Head Syndrome, or Plagiocephaly is when a baby’s skull looks flat. Signs and symptoms include, the back of the baby’s head is flat on one side, the baby has a spot where hair isn’t growing in the back on the flat side, and/or the ear on the flat side is pushed forward. Plagiocephaly is caused by tight neck muscles that make it hard for babies to move their heads. The neck condition is called torticollis and since it’s hard for babies to turn their head, they tend to keep their heads in the same position when lying down. This can cause flattening and once the head has a flat spot, the torticollis can get worse. (Source)
3 Tips to help Eliminate Flat Head Syndrome:
Limit Car Seat Sitting
The convenience of having a car seat that can easily be removed from the car and then effortlessly clicked into a stroller or swing is a parents dream come true. Parents literally never have to wake a sleeping baby once they arrive at their destination, even if that destination is home. However it’s important that you fight that urge to keep the baby in their car seat for too long. Prolonged time in their car seat can contribute to Flat Head Syndrome.
Head Shaping Pillows
A baby pillow can help prevent a stiff neck and distribute pressure evenly on the baby’s head. They are like a headrest for babies, ergonomically created to minimize the effects on the neck muscles and ultimately minimize chances for Flat Head Syndrome. Head shaping pillows should only be used under the supervision of a caregiver. Lil Cuddlers head shaping pillow is the perfect addition to “activity time”, when the baby is on their back looking up at an activity center and under the supervision of a caregiver.
Tummy Time & Face Time
In order to really strengthen those neck muscles it’s imperative that the baby gets tummy time and face time every day. From the moment a baby is born it’s important that parents/caregivers engage with the baby face-to-face, this encourages the baby to mimic and respond to parents facial expressions and voice influxes, ultimately helping the baby engage their neck and facial muscles.
Bringing home a new baby can come with many worries, following these simple tips can help alleviate one worry, Flat Head Syndrome. And who knows maybe that will help you sleep better tonight, that is unless you’ve got a little one who has their days and nights mixed up, but that’s a post for another day.