Cephalic Index: The Key to Understanding Baby’s Skull Development


As a parent, it’s natural to be concerned about the development of your baby’s skull. One way to monitor and understand this development is through the use of the cephalic index, a tool that can provide valuable insights into your baby’s head shape and growth. In this article, we’ll explore what the cephalic index is, how it’s measured, and what it can tell us about a baby’s skull development.

What is the Cephalic Index?

The cephalic index is a measurement that compares the width and length of a baby’s head. It is calculated by dividing the maximum width of the head by the maximum length, and then multiplying by 100 to get a percentage. This percentage gives an indication of the overall shape of the skull, with higher values indicating a rounder head shape and lower values indicating a longer, narrower head shape.

How is it Measured?

To measure the cephalic index, a medical professional will use a specialized instrument called a cephalometer to take precise measurements of the baby’s head. This is a painless and non-invasive procedure that can be performed during a routine check-up. The measurements are then used to calculate the cephalic index and assess the baby’s head shape.

What Can it Tell Us?

The cephalic index can provide valuable information about a baby’s skull development. For example, a cephalic index below 75% may indicate a condition known as dolichocephaly, where the head is longer and narrower than average. On the other hand, a cephalic index above 85% may indicate brachycephaly, where the head is rounder and wider than average. By tracking changes in the cephalic index over time, parents and healthcare professionals can monitor the progress of the baby’s skull development and detect any abnormalities that may require further attention.


The cephalic index is a valuable tool for understanding and monitoring a baby’s skull development. By providing insights into head shape and growth, it can help parents and healthcare professionals identify and address any potential issues early on. If you have any concerns about your baby’s head shape or development, be sure to consult with a medical professional who can provide personalized guidance and support.


Q: Are there any risks associated with measuring the cephalic index?

A: No, measuring the cephalic index is a safe and non-invasive procedure that does not pose any risks to the baby.

Q: Can the cephalic index change over time?

A: Yes, the cephalic index can change as the baby grows and the skull continues to develop. Monitoring these changes can help identify any abnormal patterns early on.

Q: What should I do if I have concerns about my baby’s head shape?

A: If you have any concerns, it’s important to consult with a pediatrician or healthcare professional who can assess the situation and provide personalized guidance.