Preventing a Flat Head

Preventing a Flat Head

PREVENTING A FLAT HEAD

Everybody wants their baby to have a beautiful round head.  A flat head is not only a problem in the future if your child decides to shave their head, but there can actually be other significant issues that may arise.  Imagine if you took a perfectly round ball of clay and drew a line down the middle separating it into two sides.  If you took a flat palm and squished down on the back of one side to mimic a flat side of the head, what happens to the front of that side?  The front naturally gets pushed forward and causes the ball of clay to become asymmetric.  Something similar can happen with the head of babies, potentially distorting the natural symmetry of the face permanently.  Here are a few tips to prevent flattening of your baby’s head in the first 4-5 months of life.

Firstly, tummy time while awake for 10 minutes three times per day.  This will promote neck strength and keep your baby off the back of their head.

Secondly, during the first 4-5 months of life, parents are recommended to have babies sleep on their backs.  Your baby will always look towards the more interesting side of the crib, usually towards the side where there’s more movement.  Always placing your baby with their head pointing in the same direction can cause regular nightly pressure on the same side of the head, leading to a flat spot.

So to help prevent this, alternate the position in which your baby’s head faces each night.  For example, place your baby with their head pointing to the left side of the crib on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Then on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, do the opposite and place your baby with their head pointing to the right side of the crib.  Sundays can be determined by a coin toss or a simple game of rock, paper, scissors between parents.  If you worry about forgetting which side your child was facing the night before, tape a sign to the crib with the following on it “<– M, W, F  //  T, Th, Sa –>, Sun (??)”.

Keep in mind, this prevention tip only works in the first 4-5 months.  This is because after this time, babies can start rolling over on their own and therefore will not necessarily stay in the same place you left them.

If you find your baby is always looking in one direction regardless of how they are held or placed in bed, then this is a warning sign that they may need to be seen by a health care professional for assessment of torticollis or twisted neck.

**Disclaimer – Any information found in these blog posts is only for informational purposes and not intended to replace the diagnosis and care of a physician.  Should you have any specific concerns about your child, please consult with your family doctor or pediatrician.

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Safe Sleep

Safe Sleep

SAFE SLEEP

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), can be described as every parent’s worst fear.  It is the sudden and unexplained death of a child under 1 year of age in their sleep.  In this post you will learn some useful tips to help you reduce the risk of SIDS in babies.

It is found that babies who sleep in the following conditions are LESS likely to die from SIDS.

Babies should sleep in a crib with a firm mattress and not on a couch or recliner.  The mattress should be covered with a tight sheet and there should be NO bumpers, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or anything soft inside the crib.

Babies should be put to sleep on their backs.  They should be wearing a sleeper or a onesie and not be over bundled.  Babies that are overly dressed or overly warmed are shown to have a higher risk of SIDS.  They should not be swaddled in a blanket to sleep.

Don’t be afraid to let your child use a pacifier when they fall asleep.  In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to support pacifier use to reduce the risk of SIDS in babies.  Once they fall asleep, the pacifier will usually drop out of their mouths and can be safely scooped away.

In addition, some of the things parents can do as well is to ensure there are no smokers in the house and to refrain from allowing your baby to co-sleep with any adult (specifically an overtired or intoxicated individual).

Taking all these steps will help you keep your baby healthy, happy, and sleeping safely!

**Disclaimer – Any information found in these blog posts is only for informational purposes and not intended to replace the diagnosis and care of a physician.  Should you have any specific concerns about your child, please consult with your family doctor or pediatrician.