Understanding Plagiocephaly: Tips for Navigating Your Baby’s Head Shape


Understanding Plagiocephaly: Tips for Navigating Your Baby’s Head Shape

As a parent, it can be concerning to notice changes in your baby’s head shape. If you’ve noticed flattening on one side of your baby’s head, it may be a condition called plagiocephaly. Understanding what plagiocephaly is and how to navigate it can help you feel more prepared to address it.

What is Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to external pressures on the skull. This can happen when a baby spends a lot of time lying on their back or in one position. It’s important to note that plagiocephaly is a common condition and often resolves on its own with some simple interventions.

Tips for Navigating Plagiocephaly

If you suspect that your baby may have plagiocephaly, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician. They can provide a proper diagnosis and offer guidance on how to manage the condition. In the meantime, here are some tips for navigating plagiocephaly:

  1. Encourage Tummy Time: Spending time on their tummy can help relieve pressure on the back of your baby’s head and promote healthy development.

  2. Change Positions: Alternating the side your baby lies on during sleep can help prevent further flattening of the head.

  3. Use Supportive Baby Gear: Using supportive baby gear, such as a properly fitting car seat and a baby carrier that promotes a natural position, can also help reduce pressure on the skull.

  4. Avoid Excessive Time in Baby Gear: Limiting the amount of time your baby spends in swings, bouncers, and other baby gear can reduce pressure on the head and allow for more natural movement.

  5. Consult with a Specialist: In some cases, your pediatrician may recommend seeing a specialist, such as a physical therapist or orthotist, who can provide additional support and guidance.

Summing It Up

While plagiocephaly can be concerning for parents, it’s important to remember that with the right interventions, most cases can be effectively managed. By encouraging tummy time, changing positions, using supportive baby gear, and consulting with your pediatrician, you can help guide your baby’s head shape in the right direction.


Q: Is plagiocephaly a serious condition?

A: In most cases, plagiocephaly is not a serious condition and can be effectively managed with simple interventions. However, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician to rule out any underlying issues.

Q: Will my baby need to wear a helmet for plagiocephaly?

A: In some cases, a pediatrician or specialist may recommend a helmet to help reshape your baby’s head. This decision is based on the severity of the flattening and other individual factors.

Q: How long does it take for plagiocephaly to improve?

A: With the right interventions, many cases of plagiocephaly show improvement within a few months. However, every baby is different, and it’s important to follow your pediatrician’s guidance for your specific situation.