Say Goodbye to Flat Head Syndrome: Your Guide to Positional Plagiocephaly


As a parent, you want the best for your baby. You diligently follow all the guidelines for safe sleeping, feeding, and playtime. However, there’s one issue that many parents overlook – the risk of flat head syndrome, or positional plagiocephaly. This common condition occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to prolonged pressure on one area of the skull. It’s a concern for many new parents, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent and treat it. Let’s take a closer look at positional plagiocephaly and what you can do to protect your little one.

Understanding Positional Plagiocephaly

Positional plagiocephaly typically develops in the first few months of a baby’s life when their skull is soft and malleable. It often occurs when a baby spends too much time lying on their back, such as during sleep or playtime. While tummy time is essential for proper development, babies should also have supervised and safe time on their tummies while awake to prevent flat head syndrome.

Preventing Flat Head Syndrome

There are several simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of positional plagiocephaly. First and foremost, ensure that your baby has plenty of supervised tummy time while awake. This not only helps to strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles but also reduces the amount of time they spend with pressure on the back of their head. Secondly, try to vary your baby’s head position during sleep by alternating which end of the crib they sleep on. Additionally, consider using a firm and flat mattress for sleep and avoiding excessive time in baby gear such as car seats and strollers.

Treating Flat Head Syndrome

If you notice that your baby is developing a flat spot on their head, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to help correct the issue. First, be sure to reposition your baby’s head during sleep to relieve pressure on the flat spot. You can also talk to your pediatrician about exercises and stretches that can help improve your baby’s neck strength and flexibility. In some cases, a pediatric physical therapist can provide additional guidance on how to address positional plagiocephaly.


Positional plagiocephaly is a common concern for many parents, but with the right knowledge and proactive steps, you can help prevent and treat flat head syndrome in your baby. Remember the importance of supervised tummy time, varying your baby’s head position during sleep, and seeking guidance from your pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s head shape. By staying informed and taking action, you can ensure that your little one develops a healthy and round head shape as they grow.


Q: How much tummy time does my baby need?

A: Aim for at least 30 minutes of tummy time spread throughout the day, starting from the first week of life.

Q: Can flat head syndrome cause long-term issues for my baby?

A: In most cases, flat head syndrome is cosmetic and does not cause long-term problems. However, severe cases may lead to developmental delays or issues with jaw alignment, which is why early intervention is important.

Q: Are there special pillows or devices that can help prevent positional plagiocephaly?

A: While there are products on the market that claim to prevent flat head syndrome, the best approach is to focus on supervised tummy time and varying your baby’s head position during sleep.