Understanding Positional Plagiocephaly: What Every Mom Needs to Know

Head shape

Understanding Positional Plagiocephaly: What Every Mom Needs to Know

Welcome, moms! As a parent, we always want the best for our little ones. That’s why it’s important to stay informed about common conditions that can affect our babies, such as positional plagiocephaly. In this article, we’ll discuss what positional plagiocephaly is, its causes, and what you can do to prevent and treat it. Let’s dive in!

What is Positional Plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, is a condition where a baby’s head develops a flat spot. This can happen when a baby spends a lot of time lying in the same position, putting pressure on one area of the skull. It’s important to note that positional plagiocephaly is not a serious medical condition, and it does not affect brain development or intelligence. However, it can cause aesthetic concerns for some parents.

Causes of Positional Plagiocephaly

The primary cause of positional plagiocephaly is prolonged pressure on one area of a baby’s skull. This can occur if a baby spends excessive time in a car seat, bouncer, swing, or lying in the same position in a crib. Additionally, factors such as premature birth, multiple births, and torticollis (a condition where the neck muscles are tight or shortened on one side) can contribute to positional plagiocephaly.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing positional plagiocephaly involves creating a variety of positions for your baby during play and sleep. It’s important to give your baby plenty of supervised tummy time when they are awake, as well as alternating the direction in which their head faces when placed in a crib or bassinet. If your baby has torticollis, working with a pediatric physical therapist can help address this issue and reduce the risk of developing a flat head.

If your baby has already developed positional plagiocephaly, there are gentle exercises and positioning techniques that a pediatric physical therapist or healthcare provider can recommend. In some cases, a helmet or cranial band may be prescribed to help reshape the baby’s head. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your little one.


Positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a common condition that can affect babies who spend prolonged periods in the same position. While not a serious medical concern, it’s important for parents to be aware of the causes and prevention strategies for positional plagiocephaly. By implementing supervised tummy time and changing the direction of a baby’s head during sleep, parents can help reduce the risk of their baby developing a flat spot on their head. If positional plagiocephaly does occur, there are gentle exercises and medical interventions available to help reshape the baby’s head. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.


1. Is my baby at risk for positional plagiocephaly?

Babies who spend a lot of time in the same position, have torticollis, or were premature may be at a higher risk for developing positional plagiocephaly. However, all babies can benefit from supervised tummy time and varying their head position during sleep to reduce the risk.

2. Will my baby’s flat head go away on its own?

In some cases, positional plagiocephaly may improve on its own as a baby grows and begins to move around more. However, if the flat spot does not improve, medical interventions such as gentle exercises or a helmet may be recommended.

3. How can I encourage my baby to have supervised tummy time?

Start with short periods of tummy time when your baby is awake and gradually increase the duration as they become more comfortable. You can also engage with your baby during tummy time by playing with toys or making eye contact to make it more enjoyable for them.

Remember, as a mom, you’re doing an amazing job taking care of your little one. By staying informed about conditions like positional plagiocephaly, you’re already taking an important step in promoting your baby’s health and well-being. Keep up the great work!