How to Spot and Treat Positional Plagiocephaly in Infants


Welcome, parents! As your little one grows, you may notice certain changes in their physical development, including the shape of their head. One common condition that can affect infants is positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. In this article, we will discuss how to spot the signs of positional plagiocephaly and what treatment options are available to help correct it.

Spotting Positional Plagiocephaly

Positional plagiocephaly is characterized by a flattening of the head, usually on one side, due to prolonged pressure on that area. This can occur when infants spend too much time in one position, such as lying on their backs in a crib or car seat.

Here are some common signs of positional plagiocephaly:

  • Flat spot on one side of the head

  • Asymmetrical facial features

  • Difficulty turning the head to one side

  • Uneven ears or eyes

If you notice any of these signs in your infant, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician. They can diagnose positional plagiocephaly and recommend a treatment plan.

Treating Positional Plagiocephaly

There are several treatment options available for positional plagiocephaly, depending on the severity of the condition.

  • Repositioning: One of the first steps in treating positional plagiocephaly is to change your baby’s position regularly. Encourage tummy time when your baby is awake and supervise them to prevent them from developing a flat spot.

  • Physical therapy: Your pediatrician may recommend physical therapy to help improve your baby’s range of motion and strengthen their neck muscles.

  • Helmet therapy: In more severe cases of positional plagiocephaly, a custom-fitted helmet may be prescribed to help reshape your baby’s head. The helmet applies gentle pressure to the flat areas while allowing room for growth in other areas.

It’s important to follow your pediatrician’s recommendations and be patient with the treatment process. With proper care and intervention, most cases of positional plagiocephaly can be successfully corrected.


Positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a common condition that can affect infants due to prolonged pressure on one area of the head. By recognizing the signs early and seeking treatment from your pediatrician, you can help correct the shape of your baby’s head and prevent long-term complications.


Q: Will my baby outgrow positional plagiocephaly on their own?

A: In some cases, mild positional plagiocephaly may improve on its own as your baby grows and becomes more mobile. However, it’s important to monitor the condition and seek treatment if necessary.

Q: How long does helmet therapy typically last?

A: Helmet therapy can vary in duration depending on the severity of the condition. Your pediatrician will monitor your baby’s progress and determine when the helmet can be safely removed.

Q: Are there any exercises I can do at home to help prevent positional plagiocephaly?

A: Yes, incorporating regular tummy time and changing your baby’s position frequently can help prevent the development of flat spots on their head. Consult with your pediatrician for specific recommendations.