Happy Baby, Healthy Head: Tips for Preventing Plagiocephaly

Head shape

As a parent, you want your baby to be healthy and happy. One important aspect of your baby’s health is the development of their head shape. Plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, can occur when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to prolonged pressure on one area of the skull. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent plagiocephaly and promote a healthy head shape for your little one.

Tips for Preventing Plagiocephaly:

1. Tummy Time:

Encouraging your baby to spend time on their tummy while awake and supervised can help strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles, as well as reduce the risk of developing a flat spot on their head. Aim for at least 30 minutes of tummy time throughout the day, divided into smaller sessions.

2. Change Positions:

When your baby is awake, be sure to regularly change the direction they are lying in their crib or bassinet. This can help prevent prolonged pressure on one area of their head and promote healthy head shape development.

3. Babywearing:

Using a baby carrier or wrap can provide a change in your baby’s position and reduce the amount of time they spend on their back. Just be sure to follow all safety guidelines for babywearing to ensure your baby is properly supported.

4. Limit Time in Devices:

While it can be convenient to let your baby spend time in devices like swings, bouncers, and car seats, prolonged use of these devices can contribute to the development of plagiocephaly. Aim to limit the time your baby spends in these devices and provide plenty of supervised floor time instead.

5. Regular Check-Ups:

Be sure to attend all of your baby’s well-child check-ups with their pediatrician. Your pediatrician can monitor your baby’s head shape and provide guidance if there are any concerns about plagiocephaly.


Preventing plagiocephaly is an important aspect of promoting your baby’s overall health and well-being. By incorporating techniques such as tummy time, changing positions, babywearing, and limiting time in devices, you can help support the healthy development of your baby’s head shape. Be sure to consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s head shape or if you need additional guidance.


Q: How common is plagiocephaly?

A: Plagiocephaly is relatively common, with studies suggesting that anywhere from 20-50% of babies develop some degree of flat head syndrome. However, by following preventive measures, you can reduce the risk for your baby.

Q: Will my baby need treatment if they develop plagiocephaly?

A: In many cases, plagiocephaly can improve with repositioning techniques and the implementation of preventive measures. In some cases, a healthcare provider may recommend helmet therapy, but this is typically reserved for more severe or persistent cases of plagiocephaly.

Q: What if my baby doesn’t like tummy time?

A: It’s common for babies to initially resist tummy time, but you can gradually increase their tolerance by starting with short, supervised sessions and gradually increasing the time as they become more comfortable. You can also engage your baby during tummy time with toys and games to make it more enjoyable for them.