Baby on Board: How to Prevent Plagiocephaly While Traveling

As a parent, you want to make sure your baby is comfortable and safe while traveling. One concern many parents have is the development of plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome, in their infants. Plagiocephaly can be caused by prolonged periods of time spent in car seats, strollers, or carriers while on the go. However, there are ways to prevent plagiocephaly while traveling with your little one.

1. Use a Supportive Headrest

Investing in a supportive headrest for your baby’s car seat, stroller, or carrier can help distribute the pressure on their head more evenly and prevent flat spots from forming. Make sure the headrest is specifically designed for infants and provides adequate support for their neck and head.

2. Take Breaks

It’s important to take breaks during long car rides or flights to give your baby a chance to stretch and move around. Allow your baby some tummy time or playtime outside of their car seat or carrier to relieve pressure on their head and prevent plagiocephaly.

3. Change Positions

While traveling, make an effort to change your baby’s position frequently to avoid putting continuous pressure on one spot of their head. For example, if your baby falls asleep in their car seat, try to gently move their head to the side to distribute the pressure.

4. Use a Baby Carrier

Opting for a baby carrier instead of a stroller can be a great way to keep your baby close and upright, reducing the risk of developing plagiocephaly. Make sure the carrier provides proper support for your baby’s head and neck while allowing them to move freely.

5. Monitor Your Baby’s Head Shape

Be mindful of your baby’s head shape and monitor for any signs of flattening. If you notice a flat spot forming, consult with your pediatrician for recommendations on how to prevent further flattening and promote healthy head shape development.

6. Limit Time in Baby Gear

While it’s convenient to use baby gear while traveling, it’s important to limit the amount of time your baby spends in car seats, strollers, or carriers. Whenever possible, hold your baby or allow them to play on a flat, firm surface to reduce the risk of plagiocephaly.


Traveling with a baby can be a wonderful experience, but it’s essential to take steps to prevent plagiocephaly and promote healthy head shape development. By using supportive headrests, taking breaks, changing positions, using a baby carrier, monitoring your baby’s head shape, and limiting time in baby gear, you can help minimize the risk of flat head syndrome while on the go.


Q: How common is plagiocephaly in infants?

A: Plagiocephaly is fairly common in infants, with studies showing that up to 47% of babies may develop some degree of flat head syndrome. However, taking preventive measures can help reduce the risk of plagiocephaly in your baby.

Q: When should I be concerned about my baby’s head shape?

A: If you notice a significant flat spot forming on your baby’s head or if their head shape appears asymmetrical, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician for guidance on how to address the issue and prevent further flattening.