Positional Plagiocephaly: How to Keep Baby’s Head Round and Healthy

As a parent, you want to ensure that your baby is healthy and happy in every way. One aspect of your baby’s health that you may not have considered is the shape of their head. Positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, is a condition where a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to pressure on one part of the skull. It is important to be aware of this condition and take steps to prevent it from occurring.

Causes of Positional Plagiocephaly

Positional plagiocephaly can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Spending too much time in one position, such as lying on their back

  • Using devices such as car seats, strollers, or swings for extended periods of time

  • Being born prematurely, which can lead to weaker neck muscles

  • Having tight neck muscles that limit movement

Preventing Positional Plagiocephaly

Here are some tips to help prevent positional plagiocephaly and promote a round and healthy head shape for your baby:

  • Practice tummy time: Encourage your baby to spend time on their tummy while they are awake and supervised. This can help strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles, as well as prevent flat spots on their head.

  • Change positions frequently: Avoid leaving your baby in the same position for extended periods of time. Reposition them regularly to prevent pressure on one part of their head.

  • Avoid excessive time in devices: While car seats, strollers, and swings are convenient for parents, limit the time your baby spends in these devices to reduce pressure on their head.

  • Use a firm mattress: When putting your baby down to sleep, make sure they are on a firm mattress to reduce the risk of flat spots developing.

  • Provide supervised playtime: Allow your baby plenty of supervised playtime on their back and tummy to encourage movement and strengthen their muscles.

  • Consult with a healthcare provider: If you notice any changes in the shape of your baby’s head, or have concerns about positional plagiocephaly, speak with your pediatrician for guidance and support.


Positional plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a common condition that can be prevented with the right measures. By practicing tummy time, changing positions frequently, and limiting time in devices, you can help keep your baby’s head round and healthy. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your baby’s head shape.


How common is positional plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly is becoming more common as parents are advised to put babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

At what age is positional plagiocephaly most likely to occur?

Positional plagiocephaly is most common between the ages of 2 to 6 months, when babies spend a lot of time lying down and have less neck control.