Preventing and Treating Plagiocephaly in Infants


As a parent, you want to ensure the best for your baby, including their health and development. One common condition that parents may come across is plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. Plagiocephaly 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. In this article, we’ll discuss ways to prevent and treat plagiocephaly in infants.


Preventing plagiocephaly involves taking proactive steps to ensure that your baby’s head develops evenly. Here are some tips to help prevent flat head syndrome:

  • Implement tummy time: Encourage your baby to spend supervised time on their tummy while awake. This not only helps prevent flat spots on the head but also promotes motor skill development.

  • Change positions: When your baby is awake, try alternating their head position to reduce prolonged pressure on one area of the skull. You can do this by placing toys or objects of interest on different sides to encourage them to turn their head.

  • Use a supportive mattress: Opt for a firm mattress and avoid using positioning devices that can put pressure on the back of the head.

  • Limit time in infant seats and carriers: While it’s convenient to use infant seats and carriers, try to limit the time your baby spends in these devices to prevent constant pressure on the same part of their head.


If you notice that your baby has developed a flat spot on their head, there are treatment options available to help correct it:

  • Positional adjustments: Your pediatrician may recommend repositioning techniques to encourage your baby to turn their head in different directions while awake. This can help alleviate pressure on the flat spot and promote more symmetrical head development.

  • Physical therapy: In some cases, pediatric physical therapy may be recommended to address muscle tightness or asymmetry that could be contributing to plagiocephaly.

  • Helmets or headbands: For more severe cases of plagiocephaly, your pediatrician may suggest the use of a corrective helmet or headband. These devices are custom-fitted to your baby’s head and work by gently directing growth to the areas that need it most.


Plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a common condition that can be prevented and treated with the right measures. By implementing tummy time, changing positions, using a supportive mattress, and limiting time in infant seats, parents can help prevent the development of flat spots on their baby’s head. If plagiocephaly does occur, positional adjustments, physical therapy, or corrective helmets can help correct the condition and promote more symmetrical head development.


Q: Can plagiocephaly cause developmental delays?

A: In most cases, plagiocephaly does not cause developmental delays. However, it’s important to address the condition to ensure proper head and motor skill development.

Q: Are corrective helmets uncomfortable for babies to wear?

A: Corrective helmets are custom-fitted and designed to be lightweight and comfortable for babies to wear. They are worn for a specific duration each day to gradually reshape the head.