Positional Plagiocephaly: Tips for Keeping Your Baby’s Head in Shape

Head shape

As a parent, you want the best for your baby, and that includes ensuring their head develops properly. Positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to prolonged pressure on one part of the skull. 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. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent and correct positional plagiocephaly.

Tips for Preventing Positional Plagiocephaly

Here are some tips to keep your baby’s head in shape:

Tummy Time:

Encourage supervised tummy time while your baby is awake. This helps to relieve pressure on the back of the head and also strengthens your baby’s neck, back, and shoulder muscles.

Change Positions:

Alternate the side of the head your baby lies on when sleeping. This helps to distribute the pressure more evenly across the skull.

Hold Your Baby:

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

Limit Time in Baby Gear:

Avoid leaving your baby in swings, bouncers, car seats, or other baby gear for too long, as this can contribute to flat head syndrome.

Correcting Positional Plagiocephaly

If you notice that your baby has developed a flat spot on their head, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician. They can provide guidance on corrective measures, which may include:


Your pediatrician may recommend specific repositioning techniques to encourage your baby to turn their head to the non-flat side when sleeping.

Physical Therapy:

In some cases, physical therapy may be recommended to help your baby strengthen their neck muscles and improve their range of motion.

Orthotic Devices:

In more severe cases, your pediatrician may suggest a custom-fitted helmet or band to help shape your baby’s head as it grows.


Positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, can be concerning for parents, but there are steps you can take to prevent and correct it. By incorporating tummy time, changing your baby’s sleeping position, and limiting time in baby gear, you can help keep your baby’s head in shape. If you notice any flattening of your baby’s head, be sure to consult with your pediatrician to determine the best course of action for correction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is flat head syndrome serious?

A: While flat head syndrome is typically not serious and can often be corrected with repositioning and other techniques, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s head shape.

Q: How long should tummy time be?

A: Aim for at least 15-30 minutes of tummy time each day, gradually increasing the duration as your baby gets older and more accustomed to being on their tummy.

Q: What if my baby hates tummy time?

A: If your baby is resistant to tummy time, try doing it in short spurts throughout the day, incorporating fun toys or activities to keep them engaged.