Baby’s Head Shape: The Scoop on Cephalic Index


Welcome, Parents!

As new parents, we always want the best for our little ones, and that includes making sure they are healthy and happy. One aspect of your baby’s health that you may not have thought about is their head shape. You might have heard the term “cephalic index” before, but what exactly does it mean? Let’s delve into the world of baby head shapes and learn more about this topic.

What is Cephalic Index?

The cephalic index is a measurement that determines the shape of a baby’s head. It is calculated by taking the width of the head and dividing it by the length, then multiplying by 100. This measurement provides information about whether a baby has a more rounded head shape or a longer, narrower head shape. A cephalic index of 75-85 is considered normal, while anything below 75 is considered brachycephalic (short and wide) and above 85 is considered dolichocephalic (long and narrow).

Causes of Abnormal Head Shapes

There are various reasons why a baby may have an abnormal head shape. One common cause is positional plagiocephaly, which occurs when a baby’s head is consistently positioned in one direction, leading to a flattening on one side. This can happen if a baby spends a lot of time lying on their back or in a car seat. Another cause is craniosynostosis, a condition where the bones in a baby’s skull fuse prematurely, resulting in an abnormal head shape. If you notice any unusual changes in your baby’s head shape, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician.

Prevention and Treatment

Preventing abnormal head shapes can be as simple as changing your baby’s position frequently when they are lying down. Tummy time is also crucial for helping your baby develop strong neck and shoulder muscles, which can prevent flat spots on their head. If your baby already has an abnormal head shape, your pediatrician may recommend helmet therapy or physical therapy to help reshape their head. These treatments are usually most effective when started early.


Remember, every baby is unique, and their head shape may vary. While cephalic index provides valuable information about your baby’s head shape, it’s essential to focus on their overall health and development. Being attentive to your baby’s head shape and taking proactive steps to prevent and treat any abnormalities will help ensure they grow up happy and healthy.


Q: Can I prevent my baby from developing an abnormal head shape?

A: Yes, you can help prevent abnormal head shapes by providing plenty of tummy time and changing your baby’s position frequently when they are lying down.

Q: How common are abnormal head shapes in babies?

A: Abnormal head shapes can occur in a small percentage of babies, but most cases are easily treatable with early intervention.

Q: Is helmet therapy safe for babies?

A: Helmet therapy is a safe and effective treatment for correcting abnormal head shapes in infants when recommended by a healthcare professional.