Has anyone had to go to a specialist for plagiocephaly (flatness of the head)? I went to the pediatrician for Lauren's 6 month appt and their sending us to Boston Children's hospital...she may have to be fitted for a helmet. I've read up and see it's fairly common problem, but I'd like to avoid the helmet if we can.

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Kerri - posted on 02/25/2009

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my son was an unexpected  natural breech birth and due to his position while pregnant and his birth he has had plagiocephally (flat on back r-hand side and front left forehead) since birth and we've been seeing a ped since then about it. my ped has told me that he is usually against using helmets as in most cases they arent necessary (he said he'd only think about it if it was quite severe) my sons seems to be getting better with time (he's 6 1/2 mths now). have you been told to use tummy time and seat your daughter as much as possible (even just on your knee) if shes able and to place toys/mobiles on the side of he cot so that she will look to them and roll off the flat spot.my ped said it will likely never be "gone" but with constant use of things like this it will be unnoticable to other people by the time he's 4-5yrs (seems a long time but the skull does a lot of growing over that time and therefore is somewhat moldable). hope this helps and imo id ask for a second opinion about the helmet if you dont think it seems necessary. good luck and sorry for the essay of an answer lol

Michaline - posted on 02/24/2009

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We are actually in the process of getting the helmet for our son. It's funny because we were waiting for all of the insurance stuff to go through and his head is actually looking better. They told us he would only have to wear it for 3 months and then the treatment would be complete. I would rather he wear the helmet for three months to fix his head than have a flat spot or cause problems with the growth of his brain.

To avoid the helmet they suggest more tummy time and trying to wedge them to one side when they sleep. At 6 months that is near impossible and mine wouldn't let us do that when he was really little either.

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Samantha - posted on 03/03/2009

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The back of my son's head is flattening and it's definitely more indented on one side. He sucks his thumb with his right hand, so it is hard to avoid his preference for that side. He's also not a big tummy time fan, although he's getting better about it. Our ped told us that it's not bad enough to warrant a helmet and will work itself out. I hope so!

Lisa - posted on 02/26/2009

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My son was just seen for his 6 month appointment and we have an apointment with Childrens Boston to see if a Helmet is approriate. I have a friend of mine that had her son in a Helmet for 8 weeks and she was very happy with the results. She did not regret it at all. I want to put my son in a Helmet. I would feel bad if it does not re shape itself and I could have done something about it. What docotor are you seeing at Childrens?

Danielle - posted on 02/26/2009

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FYI: Flat head is purely cosmetic. It has no effects at all - that's why my none of the doctors are too concerned with the helmet.

Jennifer - posted on 02/25/2009

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very helpful responses...we've been trying to wedge her head to the opposite side when she sleeps and we're also sitting on the opposite side (the side she doesn't turn to as often) to try and correct the problem and have her get used to turning that way more (putting toys next to her for her to reach for, etc) so hopefully this will help.  I certainly will get the helmet if the doctors feel it's severe enough and if they feel it's affecting the growth of her brain, I just hope that's not the case :(

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2009

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thank you to everyone who has responded...I feel better about things.  I have heard the same as far as tummy time, changing sleep positions etc. and that's what we're trying to do with Lauren - more time in her bumbo, excersaucer, jumpy toys, etc. We have an appointment with a neurosurgeon in March at Boston Children's Hospital, but hopefully we won't have to go with the helmet...my Chiropractor told me that this can cause problems down the road with her spine...eeek!

Michelle - posted on 02/24/2009

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I just took Connor for his 6 month check up and our family doctor said the same as Melissa Stevens' doctor - try to give more tummy time or turn their heads when they're sleeping, but not to worry about it. They said it's very common now since they want babies sleeping on their backs because of SIDS and that his head will round itself out.

Kristen - posted on 02/24/2009

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Our son ended up with a flat spot as well we also gave him more tummy time and rotated his head when he slept to help reform the flat spot

Danielle - posted on 02/22/2009

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Hi there! My son is having the same problem. He has moderate flatness on the left side of his head. It's not too bad. However, we have a friend who is a public health nurse, she referred us to Physio. The first appointment at physio she recommended some things that I could do: try to keep his head to the other side, switch him around in his crib so he's looking out on his right side, put things to look at on the right side (mobiles, toys when on the floor, etc). Just try to keep him on the other side as much as possible. She also said tummy time and any activity off his head would help. However, the goal is to get the weight on his right side so that it rounds out again on his left side. This is also the objective of a helmet. It slightly pushes in on one side and leaves room for the flat side - all helmets are custom made.



I don't know if you are here in Canada, but if so, you usually have to go to a Pediatric Neurosurgeon who will perform a cat scan to see if the babies soft spot is grown over. And I was told by the physiotherapist, they try to get the helmet around 4 - 6 months. None of my doctors have mentioned waiting it out. The physiotherapist simply said that because the procedure is so lengthy I should start it right away. She also said a flat head will not affect the baby in any way, it is simply cosmetic and it is really to the parent's discretion on what they want to do. If it was really bad she would have recommended a helmet, but she said my son's head is not too bad. Seeing that we have still not gotten him a CAT scan, I said I would let it play itself out and she was fine with that



I know this is long, but I hope it helps.



Danielle

Nicki - posted on 02/22/2009

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jayden had the same problem too. i kept turning his head to the other way every chance i got. i also did alot of tummy time and once he was able to sit a better it started to round out more. my doctor wasnt too concerned. she did mention the helmet but also said that they have until 3 years for it to round out. and she wont worry till he was like at least a year. she wanted to aviod the helmet if at all possible

[deleted account]

That happened with my son..it was really noticeable at his 2 month check up. At his 6 month check, you can definitely see improvement, but it hasn't totally gone away yet.  I specifically asked the pediatrician about a helmet (I had heard that's the only that would fix it). My Dr said it wasn't necessary, that as they get older, and sit up more, that their shape returns to normal, it would just take a little time.  He then said that many doctors are moving AWAY from pushing the helmets, as it can cause other issues (I don't know what the other issues are though).  You may want to get a second opinion from another Dr.

Julia - posted on 02/21/2009

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I heard osteopath can help...but not sure, you have to do more research on this.

Melissa - posted on 02/21/2009

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Since Layla was 8 weeks old she's had a little bit of a flat head. On her 4 month check up the public health nurse recommended for her to go to physiotherapy for it. I got it checked out with our family doc and she said not to worry about it. I've just been giving more tummy time.

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