Baby’s Head Shape: What Parents Should Know About Positional Plagiocephaly

Head shape

As a parent, it’s natural to be concerned about your baby’s health and development. One common issue that parents may come across is positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. This condition occurs when an infant’s head develops a flat spot due to prolonged pressure on one area of the skull.

Causes of Positional Plagiocephaly

Positional plagiocephaly can develop when a baby spends a lot of time in one position, such as lying on their back. This can happen when babies sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Other factors, such as prematurity or multiples birth, can also increase the risk of developing positional plagiocephaly.

Prevention and Treatment

Parents can take steps to prevent positional plagiocephaly by ensuring that their baby has plenty of supervised tummy time while they are awake. This helps to reduce the amount of time their baby spends on their back. Additionally, alternating the direction in which a baby’s head faces while sleeping can help distribute the pressure more evenly.

If positional plagiocephaly is already present, there are treatment options available. These may include physical therapy, repositioning techniques, or the use of special helmets or headbands to gently shape the baby’s head. It’s important to consult with a pediatrician to determine the best course of action for your child.

Emotional Impact on Parents

Many parents may feel distressed upon noticing their baby’s flat head, but it’s important to remember that positional plagiocephaly is a common and treatable condition. Seeking guidance from healthcare professionals can help alleviate any concerns and provide a plan for addressing the issue.


In conclusion, positional plagiocephaly is a condition that parents should be aware of, particularly as it can affect a baby’s head shape during a critical period of development. By implementing preventive measures and seeking guidance if necessary, parents can address positional plagiocephaly and ensure their baby’s head shape develops properly.


What are the signs of positional plagiocephaly?

Signs of positional plagiocephaly may include a visibly flat spot on the baby’s head, uneven or asymmetrical head shape, and possible difficulty turning the head in one direction.

Is positional plagiocephaly a serious condition?

While positional plagiocephaly is not usually a serious medical concern, it can affect the overall shape of a baby’s head if left untreated. It’s important to address the issue early on to prevent long-term effects.

How can I help prevent positional plagiocephaly?

Parents can help prevent positional plagiocephaly by providing supervised tummy time for their baby while they are awake, alternating the direction in which the baby’s head faces while sleeping, and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals if they have concerns about their baby’s head shape.