Mom’s Guide to Spotting and Preventing Positional Plagiocephaly in Babies


As a new parent, it’s natural to want to make sure your baby is healthy and thriving in every way. One condition that parents often worry about is positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. This condition can occur when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to prolonged pressure in one area. The good news is that there are steps you can take to both spot and prevent positional plagiocephaly in your little one.

Spotting Positional Plagiocephaly

Spotting positional plagiocephaly early on is important for addressing the issue before it becomes more severe. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Flattening on one side of the head

  • Asymmetrical appearance of the skull

  • Difficulty turning the head in one direction

  • Uneven ears or forehead

If you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to talk to your pediatrician. They can provide guidance on whether further intervention is needed.

Preventing Positional Plagiocephaly

While some babies are more prone to developing positional plagiocephaly due to factors like prematurity or multiple births, there are steps you can take to help prevent it:

  • Practice supervised tummy time to reduce pressure on the back of the head

  • Encourage your baby to switch up their head position while sleeping

  • Use a firm, well-fitted mattress in the crib

  • Avoid too much time in car seats, bouncers, or swings

By being mindful of these preventive measures, you can help reduce the risk of your baby developing positional plagiocephaly.


Overall, positional plagiocephaly is a common concern for parents, but by being aware of the signs and taking preventive steps, you can help keep your baby’s head healthy and round. Remember to always consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s head shape. With proactive attention, you can help your little one thrive!


What causes positional plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly is usually caused by prolonged pressure on one area of a baby’s head. This can happen when a baby spends a lot of time in one position, such as lying on their back.

Is it safe for my baby to sleep on their tummy to prevent plagiocephaly?

While supervised tummy time is encouraged to reduce the risk of positional plagiocephaly, it’s important to follow safe sleep guidelines, which recommend placing babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Can a helmet help correct plagiocephaly?

In some cases, a pediatrician may recommend a helmet to help reshape a baby’s head if positional plagiocephaly becomes severe. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.