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Flat Head Syndrome - What Is It And How To Prevent It.

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Worried about your #newborn getting a #flathead? Flat head syndrome is the name given to the condition when part of a baby’s head becomes flattened due to continued pressure on one spot. There are two types of flat head syndromes in babies:

Plagiocephaly - This is a flattening on one side of a baby’s head. Its most common form is ‘positional plagiocephaly’, which happens when a baby’s head develops a flat area due to continued pressure on one side of their head. Babies are most vulnerable because their skull is soft and pliable when they’re born.

Brachycephaly - This refers to the condition where a baby’s head is disproportionately wide compared to its depth. It can happen when babies lie for long periods on their backs. This causes the whole of the back of their head to flatten, resulting in a much wider and shorter head. Brachycephaly is less common.

Why are some babies affected?

Babies’ skulls are made up of several plates of bone which are loosely held together. As they grow older the bones will gradually join. However, during birth and for the first few months their skulls are very soft and their shape can be changed by gentle pressure. In some babies continued pressure on one area of the skull may lead to some form of flat head syndrome.


  • Flat area on back or one side of the head.

  • Bulging on one side of the head.

  • One ear more forward than the other.

  • Unbalanced look to the face.

Some children who have flattened skulls may have mild developmental delays that require additional treatment, Seattle Children's Hospital pointed out. Other children may experience torticollis, or muscle tightness that makes it difficult to move their neck, so they will need a physical therapist.

Researchers add that if not treated early, the deformities can be permanent and increase risk for teasing and bullying during school years.

It has been found that 47% of newborns develop Flat Head Syndrome at some point.

Preventing the Flat Head Syndrome in Newborns

Care needs to be taken from the very early days of a newborn's life. To prevent the condition, American Academy of Neurological Surgeons recommends placing babies to sleep on their backs, changing the direction they face and changing the location of the baby's crib, so they can look in different directions outside the window. Give the child "cuddle time" when they are awake, and make sure kids have lots of supervised playtime on their stomachs so they aren't always on their backs. Avoid keeping them in car seats, carriers and bouncers for expended period of time, the researchers suggested.

However, it is not always possible to implement the above on a daily basis. Alternatively there are available in the market special pillows ergonomically designed just to tackle flat heads. The Bunzuu™ Baby Head Shaper Pillow made of Premium Memory Foam is one the bestselling Baby Pillows on Amazon and the No 1 selling pillow in the category of Baby Head Shaping Pillows.

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