Plagiocephaly: Tips for Preventing and Treating Baby’s Flat Head

Head shape

Dear parents,

If you’ve noticed that your baby’s head is becoming flat on one side or the back, you may be dealing with plagiocephaly. This condition, also known as flat head syndrome, is common among babies and can be caused by a variety of factors. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent and treat plagiocephaly. Below, we’ve outlined some helpful tips for you to consider.

Preventing Plagiocephaly

Prevention is key when it comes to plagiocephaly. Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of your baby developing a flat head:

  • Change your baby’s sleeping position frequently. Encourage them to look in different directions while awake to avoid prolonged pressure on one part of the skull.

  • Use tummy time to strengthen your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles, and to give the back of their head a break from resting on a flat surface.

  • Avoid extended time in car seats, swings, and bouncers, as these can contribute to flattening of the head if used excessively.

  • Consider babywearing to minimize the time your baby spends on their back.

  • Consult with your pediatrician for additional guidance and recommendations.

Treating Plagiocephaly

If you suspect that your baby is developing plagiocephaly, there are treatment options available to help correct the shape of their head:

  • Physical therapy: A pediatric physical therapist can recommend exercises to improve your baby’s head control and strengthen their neck muscles.

  • Positional changes: Altering your baby’s positioning during sleep and awake times can help redistribute pressure on their skull and promote more symmetrical head development.

  • Specialized helmets: In some cases, a custom-fitted helmet may be recommended to gently redirect your baby’s head growth and improve head shape.

  • Regular monitoring: Your pediatrician can track your baby’s head growth and provide ongoing guidance for managing plagiocephaly.


Plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a common condition among babies that can be prevented and treated with the right approach. By implementing strategies to promote healthy head development and seeking professional guidance as needed, you can help your baby avoid and overcome plagiocephaly.


Q: Is plagiocephaly a serious condition?

A: In most cases, plagiocephaly is a cosmetic issue and does not pose serious health risks. However, it’s important to address it early to prevent long-term head shape abnormalities.

Q: Can plagiocephaly cause developmental delays?

A: Plagiocephaly is not directly linked to developmental delays. However, it’s important to address any concerns with your pediatrician to ensure your baby’s overall development is on track.

Q: How long does it take to see improvement with plagiocephaly treatment?

A: The timeline for improvement varies for each baby, but with consistent effort and treatment, many babies show visible improvement within a few months.