The Straight Scoop on Positional Plagiocephaly: Tips for New Parents

As a new parent, you want the best for your baby, and that includes ensuring their health and development. One common condition that many parents may not be familiar with is positional plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. But fret not, we’re here to give you the straight scoop on what it is, how to prevent it, and what to do if your baby is affected.

What is Positional Plagiocephaly?

Positional plagiocephaly is a condition where a baby’s head becomes flattened or misshapen due to prolonged pressure on one part of the skull. This can happen when a baby spends a lot of time lying on their back, such as during sleep or while in a car seat or swing. It is important to note that positional plagiocephaly is a cosmetic issue and does not affect brain development or intelligence.

Prevention Tips

While some babies may be more prone to developing positional plagiocephaly, there are steps you can take to help prevent it:

  • Give your baby plenty of tummy time when they are awake and supervised. This helps to relieve pressure on the back of the head.

  • Alternate the side of the head your baby sleeps on to prevent prolonged pressure on one spot.

  • Avoid using infant car seats, bouncers, and swings for long periods of time.

  • Use a firm mattress and a fitted sheet in your baby’s crib to create a safe sleep environment.

What to Do If Your Baby Has Positional Plagiocephaly

If you notice that your baby’s head is becoming flat or misshapen, it is important to consult with your pediatrician. They can provide guidance on whether any interventions or treatments are necessary. In some cases, physical therapy or special helmets may be recommended to help reshape your baby’s head.


While positional plagiocephaly can be concerning for new parents, it is a common and treatable condition. By following the prevention tips mentioned above and seeking guidance from your pediatrician if needed, you can help ensure your baby’s head shape develops properly.


Q: Is positional plagiocephaly dangerous?

A: Positional plagiocephaly is primarily a cosmetic issue and does not pose any risks to your baby’s health or development.

Q: Can positional plagiocephaly be prevented?

A: Yes, you can help prevent positional plagiocephaly by providing your baby with plenty of tummy time, alternating their sleeping position, and avoiding prolonged use of infant equipment that may contribute to head flattening.

Q: Will my baby need surgery to correct positional plagiocephaly?

A: In most cases, surgery is not necessary to correct positional plagiocephaly. Your pediatrician may recommend interventions such as physical therapy or helmet therapy to help reshape your baby’s head.