The ABCs of Positional Plagiocephaly: Understanding and Preventing Baby’s Flat Head

Head shape

Welcome, parents! If you’re concerned about your baby developing a flat head, you’re not alone. Positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, is a common condition that can occur in infants. In this article, we’ll explore the ABCs of positional plagiocephaly, including what it is, how it happens, and what you can do to prevent it.

Understanding Positional Plagiocephaly

Positional plagiocephaly occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot, often as a result of spending a lot of time in one position. This can happen when a baby consistently sleeps or rests in the same position, putting pressure on one area of the skull. While it is not typically a cause for concern in terms of physical health, it can be concerning for parents who notice changes in the shape of their baby’s head.

Preventing Flat Head Syndrome

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent positional plagiocephaly. Some simple strategies include:

  • Changing your baby’s resting position regularly

  • Using tummy time to strengthen neck muscles

  • Avoiding too much time in car seats, bouncers, or swings

  • Using a firm mattress and avoiding excessive pillows in the crib

By being mindful of these factors, you can reduce the risk of your baby developing a flat head and promote healthy head shape development.

Seeking Professional Guidance

If you’re concerned about your baby’s head shape, it’s important to seek guidance from a pediatrician. They can provide advice specific to your baby’s needs and monitor their head shape as they grow.


Positional plagiocephaly can be a common occurrence in infants, but with awareness and proactive steps, it is often preventable. By being attentive to your baby’s resting positions and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, you can help ensure healthy head shape development. Remember, every baby is unique, and there is support available to guide you through any concerns you may have.


Q: Will my baby’s flat head correct itself as they grow?

A: In many cases, positional plagiocephaly will improve as a baby grows and becomes more mobile. However, it’s important to monitor their head shape and seek guidance if you have concerns.

Q: Can using a special pillow or helmet help correct a flat spot on my baby’s head?

A: While some parents may consider special pillows or helmets, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before pursuing these options. They can provide personalized guidance based on your baby’s unique needs.

Q: How much tummy time should my baby have each day?

A: It’s recommended for babies to have supervised tummy time for short periods throughout the day, starting from a few minutes and gradually increasing as they grow and develop.