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Flat head syndrome

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Meet Mia - Sleep Counsellor, Child Sleep Expert and mother of four

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As a parent, you already know how important it is for your darling to sleep on his or her back. Unfortunately, spending many hours in the same sleeping position may lead to flat head syndrome.

Are you noticing that baby’s cranium is beginning to become misshapen? There is more information about flat head syndrome on this page, plus advice about preventing and treating pressure on the back of your child’s head.

WHY IS THE BACK OF MY BABY’S HEAD FLAT?

Soft baby bones, together with the fact that the cranium has not yet fused, make the head susceptible to pressure.

Does your baby often lie on his or her back? Medical guidance suggests that babies sleep on their backs to minimize the risk of crib death, but one result may be flat head syndrome. When the little one is on his or her back, looking straight up, the back of the head is under pressure, and over time this may flatten the back of the head.

A fixed sleeping position is not the only cause of flat head syndrome. Flat head syndrome may also be a result of the fact that baby does not spend enough time on his or her stomach, and a baby held for too long in one position or experiencing reduced mobility of the neck may be at greater risk of getting a flat head.

HOW TO AVOID FLAT HEAD SYNDROME

As a new parent of an adorable baby you are no doubt willing to do anything you can to give the little one a good start in life. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent flat head syndrome.

Do you know how? A basic premise is to keep an eye on how much time baby spends lying on his or her back. Let baby spend as much waking time as possible on the tummy. That’s why it’s a good idea to get baby in the habit of lying on the tummy straight from birth.

One other technique to prevent flat head syndrome is to avoid putting pressure on just one part of the head when sitting with, playing with, or carrying the precious one.

TREATMENT OF FLAT HEAD SYNDROME

Baby can be treated for flat head syndrome, and in particular, craniosacral therapy has proven effective.

The treatment loosens tension in the child’s neck and head and thus reduces pressure on the cranium. As the child grows, he or she will automatically spend more time on the tummy, thus reducing the risk of flat head syndrome.

About this author

Author cover

Meet Mia - Sleep Counsellor, Child Sleep Expert and mother of four

Mia Bernscherer Bjørnfort is an accredited holistic sleep coach and trained volunteer breastfeeding counsellor, with nearly 10 years of experience in the space of child sleep. Mia specialities in baby, child and family sleep in several areas and shares knowledge about sleep expectations, sleep biology, child development, and helps parents make informed decisions about their family’s sleep to strengthen their understanding of their own and their child’s needs. Furthermore, Mia is an active spokesperson and chair for the Danish foundation Sovende Børn, where she shares her experiences and expertise through articles and guides on social media.

Flat head syndrome

As a parent, you already know how important it is for your darling to sleep on his or her back. Unfortunately, spending many hours in the same sleeping position may lead to flat head syndrome.

Are you noticing that baby’s cranium is beginning to become misshapen? There is more information about flat head syndrome on this page, plus advice about preventing and treating pressure on the back of your child’s head.

WHY IS THE BACK OF MY BABY’S HEAD FLAT?

Soft baby bones, together with the fact that the cranium has not yet fused, make the head susceptible to pressure.

Does your baby often lie on his or her back? Medical guidance suggests that babies sleep on their backs to minimize the risk of crib death, but one result may be flat head syndrome. When the little one is on his or her back, looking straight up, the back of the head is under pressure, and over time this may flatten the back of the head.

A fixed sleeping position is not the only cause of flat head syndrome. Flat head syndrome may also be a result of the fact that baby does not spend enough time on his or her stomach, and a baby held for too long in one position or experiencing reduced mobility of the neck may be at greater risk of getting a flat head.

HOW TO AVOID FLAT HEAD SYNDROME

As a new parent of an adorable baby you are no doubt willing to do anything you can to give the little one a good start in life. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent flat head syndrome.

Do you know how? A basic premise is to keep an eye on how much time baby spends lying on his or her back. Let baby spend as much waking time as possible on the tummy. That’s why it’s a good idea to get baby in the habit of lying on the tummy straight from birth.

One other technique to prevent flat head syndrome is to avoid putting pressure on just one part of the head when sitting with, playing with, or carrying the precious one.

TREATMENT OF FLAT HEAD SYNDROME

Baby can be treated for flat head syndrome, and in particular, craniosacral therapy has proven effective.

The treatment loosens tension in the child’s neck and head and thus reduces pressure on the cranium. As the child grows, he or she will automatically spend more time on the tummy, thus reducing the risk of flat head syndrome.

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