Plagiocephaly: A Guide for Parents

As a parent, it can be overwhelming to learn about plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, especially if your child has been diagnosed with it. This guide is here to help you understand what plagiocephaly is, what causes it, and how it can be treated. Remember, you are not alone, and there are solutions available to help your child.

What is Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly is a condition where a baby’s head develops a flat spot as a result of external pressures on the skull. This can happen when an infant spends a lot of time lying on their back, such as during sleep or while in a car seat or stroller. It can also occur if there is limited movement of the baby’s head, causing one side to flatten. Plagiocephaly can affect the overall shape of the head and face, and in some cases, it may also affect the development of the ears and the position of the eyes.

Causes of Plagiocephaly

The primary cause of plagiocephaly is the pressure on the baby’s skull. This can happen due to factors such as always laying the baby on the same side of their head, or using devices that restrict the baby’s head movement. It is important to be mindful of the time your baby spends in car seats, strollers, and other devices that may limit their movement. Additionally, it is recommended to alternate the side the baby lays on during sleep to help prevent the development of a flat spot on the head.

Treating Plagiocephaly

If you notice that your baby has a flat spot on their head, it is important to consult with your pediatrician. They can provide guidance on repositioning techniques, physical therapy exercises, and may suggest the use of a specialized helmet to help shape the baby’s head. Depending on the severity of the plagiocephaly, your pediatrician will recommend the most suitable course of action to address the condition. It’s essential to follow the guidance of a medical professional to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.


As a parent, it can be distressing to learn that your child has plagiocephaly. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and there are steps you can take to address this condition. By being mindful of your baby’s head positioning and seeking guidance from a pediatrician, you can help your child overcome plagiocephaly and ensure they have a healthy head shape as they grow. Remember, early intervention is key, so don’t hesitate to seek help if you have concerns about your baby’s head shape.


Q: Can plagiocephaly be prevented?

A: While plagiocephaly may not always be preventable, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. Be mindful of your baby’s head positioning during sleep and limit the time they spend in devices that restrict head movement.

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

A: Depending on the severity of the condition, your pediatrician may recommend a specialized helmet to help shape your baby’s head. The decision to use a helmet will be based on the guidance of a medical professional.

Q: How long does it take to correct plagiocephaly?

A: The duration of treatment for plagiocephaly can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the chosen course of action. It’s important to follow the guidance of your pediatrician for the best results.