Say Goodbye to Flat Heads: How to Combat Positional Plagiocephaly

Head shape

Hey there, parents! If you’ve noticed that your baby’s head is developing a flat spot, don’t panic. You’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to combat positional plagiocephaly, commonly known as flat head syndrome. In this article, we’ll discuss what causes positional plagiocephaly and provide some tips for preventing and treating it. Let’s dive in!

What Causes Positional Plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot, usually as a result of lying in the same position for extended periods of time. This can happen when babies spend a lot of time lying on their backs, such as during sleep or while in a car seat or stroller.

Other factors that can contribute to positional plagiocephaly include limited neck movement (which may result from spending too much time in bouncers or swings), premature birth, or multiples (such as twins or triplets) who may have limited space in the womb.

Prevention and Treatment

The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent and treat positional plagiocephaly. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Tummy Time:

Encourage your baby to spend time on their tummy while awake and supervised. Tummy time helps to strengthen neck muscles and prevent flat spots from forming on the back of the head.

2. Change Positions:

Try to vary your baby’s position throughout the day to prevent them from spending too much time in one particular spot. Use different play areas or alternate the direction your baby faces in the crib.

3. Hold and Carry:

Hold or carry your baby in your arms as much as possible, rather than relying on car seats, strollers, or baby swings for extended periods of time.

4. Use Special Pillows or Mattresses:

There are special pillows and mattresses designed to support proper head shape and reduce the risk of flat head syndrome. Consult with your pediatrician or a healthcare professional for recommendations.

Ask the Expert: Q & A

Q: Is it true that helmets can help treat positional plagiocephaly?

A: Yes, helmets are sometimes recommended for more severe cases of positional plagiocephaly. They are designed to gently reshape the baby’s head over time. However, it’s important to explore other treatment options first and consult with a healthcare professional before considering a helmet.

Q: My baby already has a flat spot on their head. Can it be fixed?

A: Yes, in many cases, flat spots can improve or correct themselves with repositioning and tummy time. If you’re concerned, it’s best to seek guidance from a pediatrician or a specialist who can evaluate your baby’s head shape and provide personalized recommendations.

Q: Are there long-term effects of positional plagiocephaly?

A: In most cases, positional plagiocephaly does not have long-term effects on a child’s development. However, it’s important to address flat spots early to prevent potential issues with head shape and facial symmetry as the baby grows.


Remember, a little bit of prevention and repositioning can go a long way in combatting positional plagiocephaly. If you have concerns about your baby’s head shape, don’t hesitate to reach out to a pediatrician or a healthcare professional for guidance. With the right steps, you can help ensure your little one’s healthy head development.