Flat Head Prevention

To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), all infants should be placed on their backs to sleep. This simple maneuver has dramatically decreased the risk of SIDS, but it has also dramatically increased the risk of infants developing flat heads (plagiocephaly)

To prevent the formation of a flat head it is important to make sure that your baby’s head is sometimes turned to the right and sometimes turned to the left when she sleeps. By alternating the position of the head, no one side of the skull gets flat and your baby will have a round, symmetric head.

Some infants have tightness in their neck muscles (torticollis) that prevents the baby from turning their head to one side. If you notice your baby has a preference for only looking one direction, be sure to notify your doctor at your next well visit. There are exercises that can be done to loosen the neck muscles and allow your baby to turn his head right or left.

For additional information about how to prevent your baby from developing a flat head, check out this Video from the local pediatric physical therapy group, Baby Begin.