Preventing Flat Head Syndrome in Babies

Head shape

As a parent, it’s natural to want to protect your baby from any potential health issues. One common concern for many parents is preventing flat head syndrome, also known as plagiocephaly. This condition occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot, usually from laying in the same position for extended periods of time. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent flat head syndrome in your little one.


One of the most important ways to prevent flat head syndrome is to vary your baby’s head position during sleep and play. When putting your baby down to sleep, alternate the direction their head is facing each day. You can also encourage tummy time when your baby is awake, as this not only helps prevent flat head syndrome, but also strengthens their neck and shoulder muscles.

Holding and Carrying

Another way to prevent flat head syndrome is to avoid always holding your baby in the same position. When carrying your baby, try alternating which arm you use to hold them. Using a baby carrier or sling can also help distribute your baby’s weight more evenly, reducing the likelihood of developing a flat spot on their head.

Sleeping Surfaces

It’s important to provide a safe sleeping environment for your baby, but it’s also important to consider the surface they are sleeping on. While it’s recommended to always place your baby on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), you can still vary the position of their head by alternating which end of the crib or bassinet they sleep at.

Regular Check-ups

As your baby grows, it’s important to keep an eye on the shape of their head. Regular check-ups with your pediatrician can help ensure that any flat spots are noticed and addressed early on. Your pediatrician may recommend specific exercises or repositioning techniques to help prevent the development of flat head syndrome.


By being mindful of your baby’s head position during sleep and play, varying the way you hold and carry them, and maintaining regular check-ups with your pediatrician, you can help prevent flat head syndrome in your little one. Remember, every baby is different, so if you have concerns about the shape of your baby’s head, don’t hesitate to consult with your pediatrician for personalized advice.


What are the risk factors for flat head syndrome?

Some potential risk factors for flat head syndrome include premature birth, multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), and limited space in the uterus. Additionally, babies who have tight neck muscles or prefer to look in one direction may be more prone to developing a flat spot on their head.

Can flat head syndrome be reversed?

Yes, in many cases, flat head syndrome can be corrected. Repositioning techniques, specialized pillows, and physical therapy exercises may be recommended by your pediatrician to help improve the shape of your baby’s head.

How long should a baby do tummy time each day?

It’s recommended to start tummy time from birth, gradually increasing the time as your baby gets older. Aim for a few short sessions (3-5 minutes) of tummy time each day, gradually working up to 20-30 minutes by the time your baby reaches 3-4 months old.