If your baby is a back sleeper, as is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, you may have noticed a flat spot on the back of your baby’s head. These are “positional” skull deformities and are usually only cosmetic. Flat spots do not affect your child’s brain development or cause delays in development but there are ways to curtail flat spots on your infant’s head.
Keep putting your baby to sleep on his back every time he naps or turns in for the night. Putting babies to sleep only on their backs has been recommended as the best way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Change up your baby’s sleeping position. Switch up which side you turn your baby’s head to when you put her to bed. Change the direction that you lay her in the crib (put her head where her feet were the night before). Most likely, your baby will turn her head toward the direction of the action in the room.
Give your baby plenty of time on her stomach. Keep an eye on your baby but allow her an allotted time on her tummy each day. This helps prevent flat spots on her head as well as strengthens her trunk muscles she’ll need when she begins pulling up and crawling.
Try to keep her time in her car seat to a minimum. I am guilty myself of leaving my baby in her car seat if she is still asleep after a long ride in the car. It’s easier to not disturb her but leaving babies in car seats, swings, carriers, strollers, or bouncy seats can cause flat spots. Change up her position throughout the day while she’s awake and be sure to give her lots of snuggles.
Make regular visits to the pediatrician. If your baby’s doctor notices any flattening, you may be asked to do some exercises or make adjustments in order to strengthen your baby’s neck muscles. Following doctor’s orders should bring results in two to three months. If not, you may be referred to a specialist who may recommend a “skull molding” helmet or further treatment.