Plagiocephaly Demystified: A Guide for New Moms

Head shape

Plagiocephaly Demystified: A Guide for New Moms

Congratulations, new moms! As you navigate the exciting and sometimes overwhelming journey of motherhood, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about your baby’s health and development. One issue that often surfaces is plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome. This condition can cause worry for many parents, but it’s important to understand that it is common and treatable. In this guide, we will demystify plagiocephaly and provide you with valuable information to help you navigate this aspect of your baby’s care.

What is Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly refers to a condition in which a baby’s head becomes flattened or misshapen. This can occur as a result of pressure on the baby’s soft skull bones, often from spending extended periods of time in one position, such as lying on their back. The “flat spot” may develop on one side of the head, causing asymmetry in the shape of the skull.

Causes of Plagiocephaly

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of plagiocephaly:

  • Prolonged time spent lying in one position, especially on the back

  • Tightness in neck muscles, known as torticollis, which limits the baby’s ability to turn their head in different directions

  • Multiple birth (twins, triplets, etc.) where space in the womb may be limited

Preventing and Treating Plagiocephaly

While some cases of plagiocephaly may self-correct as the baby grows, there are proactive steps parents can take to prevent and treat the condition:

  • Implementing regular “tummy time” to reduce the amount of time the baby spends on their back

  • Using repositioning techniques to encourage the baby to turn their head in different directions

  • Offering a variety of engaging toys and activities to motivate the baby to move and explore their environment

  • Consulting with a pediatrician or specialist for guidance on corrective measures, such as physical therapy or the use of a specialized helmet or band

Emotional Support for Parents

It’s important for new moms to remember that plagiocephaly is not a reflection of their parenting skills. The condition can occur despite the most attentive care, and seeking treatment is an act of love and concern for your baby’s well-being. It’s okay to feel anxious or worried, but remember that there are resources and professionals available to guide you through this experience.


Plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a common condition in infants that can result from prolonged time spent lying in one position or other factors. While it can be concerning for parents, there are preventive measures and treatment options available. By implementing tummy time, repositioning techniques, and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, parents can navigate plagiocephaly with confidence and care for their baby’s well-being.


Q: Will my baby need surgery for plagiocephaly?

A: In most cases, plagiocephaly can be treated with non-invasive methods such as repositioning techniques, physical therapy, or corrective helmets. Surgery is rarely necessary.

Q: Can I prevent plagiocephaly from occurring?

A: While it may not be entirely preventable, implementing regular tummy time, repositioning techniques, and encouraging your baby to explore their environment can help reduce the risk of plagiocephaly.