Understanding Plagiocephaly: How to Spot It and What to Do

Head shape

Understanding Plagiocephaly: How to Spot It and What to Do

As a parent, it’s natural to worry about every aspect of your child’s health and development. One condition that can cause concern for many parents is plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. Plagiocephaly occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot, usually from lying in the same position for long periods of time.

Spotting plagiocephaly early is key to addressing the issue and preventing it from becoming more severe. Here are some tips to help you recognize plagiocephaly and what to do if you suspect your child may have it.

How to Spot Plagiocephaly

Plagiocephaly is often noticeable by observing the shape of your baby’s head. Some signs to look out for include:

  • Flat spot on one side of the head

  • Asymmetrical appearance of the head when viewed from above

  • One ear positioned forward more than the other

  • Tilted or rotated head position

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to bring them to the attention of your pediatrician. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend the best course of action.

What to Do If You Suspect Plagiocephaly

If you suspect your child may have plagiocephaly, there are several things you can do to address the issue:

  • Change your baby’s lying position frequently to prevent pressure on the same spot of the head

  • Provide supervised tummy time to encourage your baby to strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles

  • Avoid excessive time spent in car seats, swings, and bouncers

  • Use cushions or specially designed pillows to support your baby’s head and promote proper head shape

  • Consult with a pediatrician or pediatric specialist for guidance and potential treatment options

It’s important to remember that every baby is different, and some cases of plagiocephaly may resolve on their own with these preventative measures. However, seeking professional advice is crucial for more severe cases that may require intervention.


Plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a condition that can affect some babies, but early recognition and proactive measures can make a significant difference. By staying attentive to the shape of your baby’s head and taking steps to prevent prolonged pressure on one spot, you can help promote healthy head development. If you suspect plagiocephaly, consult with your pediatrician for guidance and support.


1. Is plagiocephaly a serious condition?

While plagiocephaly is not usually a serious medical condition, it’s important to address it early to prevent more severe head shaping issues.

2. Can plagiocephaly be corrected without medical intervention?

In some cases, plagiocephaly may improve with repositioning and preventative measures. However, more severe cases may require medical intervention such as helmet therapy.

3. How long should my baby have tummy time each day?

Start with a few minutes of supervised tummy time a few times a day, gradually increasing the duration as your baby becomes more comfortable and stronger.