Understanding Positional Plagiocephaly: Tips for New Moms


Welcome, new moms! As you navigate the exciting world of motherhood, there are many things to learn and understand about caring for your little one. One important topic that often comes up is positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. In this article, we’ll discuss what positional plagiocephaly is, how it can be prevented, and what you can do if you notice any signs of it in your baby.

What is Positional Plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly is a condition that affects the shape of a baby’s head. It occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to prolonged pressure on one part of the skull. This can happen when a baby spends a lot of time lying on their back, such as during sleep or while in a car seat or stroller.

Prevention Tips

While some degree of flat head shape is common in babies, there are some steps you can take to help prevent positional plagiocephaly:

  • Provide plenty of supervised tummy time when your baby is awake and alert

  • Change the position of your baby’s head during sleep to avoid constant pressure on one spot

  • Avoid extended time in car seats, strollers, and other devices that put pressure on the back of the head

  • Use a firm, flat mattress for your baby’s sleep surface

What to Do if You Notice Signs of Positional Plagiocephaly

If you notice that your baby’s head is developing a flat spot, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician. They can provide guidance on exercises and positioning techniques to help improve your baby’s head shape. In some cases, a special helmet may be recommended to help reshape the head.


As a new mom, it’s natural to have concerns about your baby’s health and development. Positional plagiocephaly is a common condition that can be addressed with the right guidance and support. By following the prevention tips and seeking help if needed, you can help ensure that your baby’s head develops properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much tummy time should I give my baby?

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

Q: Will my baby need a helmet if they have positional plagiocephaly?

A: Not all babies with positional plagiocephaly require a helmet. Your pediatrician can assess your baby’s specific situation and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Q: Can I use special pillows or devices to prevent flat head syndrome?

A: It’s best to avoid using special pillows or devices, as they may pose a suffocation risk. Stick to safe sleep practices and provide plenty of supervised tummy time instead.