Flat Head Worries? Understanding and Preventing Positional Plagiocephaly


As a new parent, it’s normal to worry about your baby’s health and development. One common concern that parents have is flat head syndrome, also known as positional plagiocephaly. This condition occurs when a baby’s head develops a flat spot due to pressure on one area of the skull.

While flat head syndrome is usually harmless and can often be corrected with simple steps, it’s important to understand how it occurs and how to prevent it. Here are some tips to help you address your flat head worries:

Understanding Flat Head Syndrome

Positional plagiocephaly can develop when a baby spends extended periods of time lying on their back, such as during sleep or when placed in a car seat or swing. The pressure on one area of the skull can cause it to flatten, leading to a noticeable flat spot.

Preventing Flat Head Syndrome

To prevent flat head syndrome, it’s important to vary your baby’s positions throughout the day. Here are some tips:

  • Change your baby’s position frequently when they are awake and playing.

  • Hold your baby upright or place them in a carrier to relieve pressure on their head.

  • Give plenty of tummy time to strengthen your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles.

  • Use a firm, flat mattress in your baby’s crib to provide adequate support for their head.

  • Avoid excessive time in car seats, carriers, and swings.

When to Seek Help

If you notice a flat spot developing on your baby’s head, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician. They can assess the severity of the issue and recommend treatments if necessary, such as physical therapy or specialized helmets.


While flat head syndrome can be a common concern for parents, it’s usually easily preventable with simple steps like varying your baby’s positions and providing proper support for their head. By staying proactive and seeking help when needed, you can help ensure your baby’s head develops properly.


Q: Is flat head syndrome dangerous for my baby?

A: Flat head syndrome is usually harmless and can often be corrected with simple interventions. However, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns.

Q: How long should my baby do tummy time each day?

A: Aim for short sessions of tummy time several times a day, gradually increasing the duration as your baby gets stronger.

Q: Will a flat head affect my baby’s brain development?

A: Flat head syndrome typically does not impact cognitive development. However, it’s still important to address the issue to prevent more severe flattening and ensure proper head shape.