flat spot on head
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Alison - posted on 08/08/2012
My 4 1/2 month old developed a flat spot on his right side of his head after sucking on his right thumb every night. The pediatrician told us to do 4 hours of tummy time a day! Ridiculous! I was able to get it up to an hour a day and just avoided having him on the back of his head during the day. We have a routine of 15 minutes of tummy time, 15 minutes of bumbo chair (I have to interact with him during both of these), and 15 minutes of activity saucer and rotate the last 15 minutes between dancing and singing to youtube videos, watching baby einstein lying down on his left side, baby bjron walks, or short stroller ride. I only put him in the swing when he's having a meltdown and then take him out once he's asleep. I also bought the mattress foam pad and cut into pieces and placed it in all of his baby gear (to help displace the weight). My husband and I had long discussion about whether to put a piece in his crib because I know its not SIDS approved, however in the end we decided it was best for our baby especially since they don't learn to roll from front to back until 6 months old. I tried positioning on left side when he sleeps but always shifts out of it even with a rolled up towel/blanket behind him up against the rail (not SIDS proof either but doesnt work for us anyway). All I do now at night is turn his head to the other side every time I am awake and checking on him (nap times I am constantly turning head too.) I think all of this will make a big difference in the long run (mostly from having him off his head during the daytime.)
Additionally, to prevent torticollis I started doing neck stretches at every diaper change. They are hold left ear to left shoulder for 10 seconds and vice versa and rotate head to look at left side for 10 seconds and vice versa (easiest to do this last exercise when they are lying on their stomachs). you don't have to press hard or worry that you could cause damage because these are the normal rotations of the neck muscles.He seems to enjoy these stretches too.
Hope this helps someone!
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Amanda - posted on 07/04/2012
Depending on where it is depends on what you should do. My baby had a flat spot on the right of her head (she favored that side more). I had to only feed her on her left side, and prop her up at night so she was sleeping with the weight more on the left side of her head. In a matter of a week or so I saw a difference. Babies heads are pretty easy to shape ;) Keeping the baby on it's tummy or sitting up so that they aren't laying on their head also helps. If you are really worried about it ask your pediatrician. If they think it is bad enough, they will suggest things that you can do or will suggest placing a helmet on their head to correct it.
Jackie - posted on 05/24/2012
I was very worried about this also. And everything you read online scares you! My little one is 4months and just had her check up and the pediatrician said it is VERY normal because babies sleep on thier backs now and once they start sitting up on thier own it will straighten out. If your pediatrician isn't worried about it, then let it be.
Kathy - posted on 10/11/2010
We were told not to let our daughter always sleep with her head facing the same way to prevent what they called flat head syndrome, which as Sara said is NOT a bald patch, its not always serious either. we got a sleep positioner with a wedge that goes under the head trying to get her to face the other way.... it didn't work her neck was strong enough that she slept reverse of what it should have with it, always faced right. Once she started rolling on her tummy it was fine.... she had a bald patch on the back of her head too, but the hair she was born with did NOT all fall out. Get your dr to check your baby's head, make sure its nothing serious, and even if they say its not get it rechecked if it stays flat, not just for the baby's sake, but also for your own peace of mind and sanity!!
Sara - posted on 10/11/2010
Sherry Hinton - How Dare You?!!
If a flat spot is noticed on a babies head it should be looked at if not just to make sure that its only mild and can be fixed with placement therapy, at least to calm and reasure the parents fears. Please do not look lightly on torticollis or plagiocaphaly as it can be quite a daunting path lined with much guilt for a parent! Yes babies loose their hair, but obviously you have never seen a baby with plagiocephaly, therefore maybe you should keep your comments to yourself! I think a mother can tell the difference between a BALD PATCH and a FLAT SPOT!!
Kimberly - posted on 06/18/2010
Talk to your doctor, and if you aren't satisfied with his/her response to your concerns seek a second opinion. All my kids had little flat spots from sleeping in one position when they can't move as much, but once they start moving it usually goes away. Some babies get flat spots that need more attention - there are little helmets they can wear to help correct the problem, etc. The key here is that you are concerned about it, so you should get advice from professionals until you are no longer concerned about it. That is my advice for any parental concern...
Valerie - posted on 06/18/2010
My daughter was born with torticollis and the Doctors kept telling me that it would fix it self and it didn't. If it had fixed itself then she would not have a flat head. At six months I complained to the Doctor that many mother's had told me that I should have made sure that she was positioned differently because I didn't she has a flat head. I found out that because of the torticollis she was sleeping in the same position and that it wasn't my fault.
I have learned since then that there were things that I could have done that the Doctors never mentioned but the physical therapists showed me exercises to fix the torticollis but she had to have a helmet for her head.
She is now seven and a half months old and has been wearing a helmet for about three weeks and we are starting to see a difference in her flat head. It has begun to fill out already. Talk with your peditrician about the whole thing.
Ivy - posted on 06/18/2010
Until your child can roll over or sit up you need to pick them up. Hold them more. Flat spots are from the child laying down too much in the same position. Buy a carrier like a baby Ktan or a beco to tote your baby around. Car seats are also a big contributor to flat spots.
Kathy - posted on 06/18/2010
She will get different flat spot and bald spots as sleeps in different positions as a baby. They all smooth out. Her skull is made of a bunch of different plates that aren't fused yet (this is what allowed her head to mold and fit through the birth canal). They shift and appear to be flat depending on how she sleeps or lays. As she grows, they begin to fuse. In her early twenties, her skull bones will be fully fused. Try changing the position she sleeps in. That should help shift the bones back the other way and round her head out more.
Kaitlyn - posted on 06/17/2010
Definitely don't take this lightly. Don't freak out either though because it can be corrected, but definitely keep your eye on it. I read all the other posts and yes, it can correct itself if your baby starts turning his/her head in different positions when he/she sleeps. However, if you do not eventually see it starting to even out it really needs to be looked at by a specialist. Flattening of the head, plagiocephaly as others have already informed, can cause major problems later on. It could affect walking, talking and hearing. Look for other signs too, like one ear being lower or turning funny, one eye drooping or starting to go in the other direction. Be sure to do tummy time often, even if baby hates it because strengthening the neck muscles is what needs to happen so that baby will turn their head both directions.
My son had a flat spot at 5 months. He would only turn his head to the left when he slept. This is what lead to his flat spot. He wore a helmet for 6 weeks and all was good.
Don't just assume it will correct itself, because it doesn't always. Keep an eye on it and try to get your LO to turn his head both directions.
Diana - posted on 06/10/2010
A lot of babies get flat spots on their head from laying on their back to sleep! It should go away soon after she starts rolling around. Try laying her on either side to sleep occasionally so that all the pressure isn't on the flat spot.
Sherri - posted on 06/10/2010
My son is now 13 Sherry and he was content to just be in his swing or his car seat next to me. I didn't have to pick him up all the time. His head was very flat and his head was begining to misshapen so yes this was more than balding from turning their head from side to side. It is common but needs to be corrected before there skull starts to harden as they get older. My son's peditrician mentioned it and told us we needed to put him in other positions to get his head to correct itself. It did by the way and know he is a normal kid with a normal shaped noggin. We are not dopes Sherry we know when our babies have a flat spot on their skulls or if it is missing hair Geesh.
Adrienne - posted on 06/09/2010
My youngest has a small flat spot on the side of his head at the moment. He likes to put his head on it all the time and no matter if I change the way his head goes always goes back to that side within seconds. The doctor said right now that it's normal and will fix itself. But a friend of my husbands had the same problem with their oldest and his head has corrected itself. You would never have known he had a bad flat spot on the back of his head.
Sherry - posted on 06/09/2010
wow wow.. ladies.. how old are these babies??
If your babe was born with hair make a mental note.. this is not perminant hair and will fall out... Now if your fallowing directions from a health nurse and putting your baby on his/her back when sleeping that's another thing that can help that flatspot along... All that's happening is the soft pre-hair (or newborn hair-- the stuff that falls out and is replaced with perminant hair) will get warn down and off within a few months... my son had a bald.. and I do mean BALD spot right on the back of his head... even now the hair is still growing back and he's nearly 7 months.. This is normal... take a good look.. I'll lay odds that your baby's head is not flat at all but because a patch of hair is worn away from sleeping on his/her back that it gives the impression and LOOKS flat...
once your babe starts crawling and turning over on his/her tummy more often on its own then the hair will grow back...
My nephew is alot less mobile then my son and also a month younger... though he sleeps on his belly all the time and is lazier then most kids I know... LOL he also has a patch on the side of his head that looks flat but again it isn't really, just hair worn away from friction of laying on his side all the time..
Hope that helped at least calm your fears. Good luck
Sherri - posted on 06/09/2010
Really try not to keep them laying in the same position to long. Try and keep them upright in a exersaucer or jump a roo. They get it from continually laying the same way too long. So you want to try and get off that spot as much as possible so it can correct itself on its own.
Kristy - posted on 06/09/2010
The flat spot where they need a helmet (Start Band) is called plagiocephaly. My daughter just got diagnosed and she is 4.5 months. The orthotics doctor said catching it between 4-6 months is best. If you are worried, I would ask your doctor and he can always give you a referral to an orthotics doctor.
Leigh - posted on 06/09/2010
When my son was in for his 4mo checkup the Ped made a comment about a flat spot on his head. She didn't seem worried about it so I didn't ask anything. But, once I got home I started obsessing over it. I called my friend who is an ObGyn to ask some of her Ped friends. She asked one whose son had to wear a helmet for a flat spot. Her answer to me was they don't start worrying about it until they are older 6-9mo unless it is really pronounced and/or is on the forehead area (because it can be more noticable)
My guy got his from laying on his back and always turning to suck his right thumb. When he finally realized that he could turn over onto his tummy and he liked it (he hated tummytime) he stopped always turning his head that one way. At his 6mo checkup a few weeks ago, the Ped said his head had evened out.
So, moral of my long winded story, if she is young, don't worry about it (yet). It will probably even out on its own when she becomes more mobile. If she is getting older 6+ mo and is pretty mobile (not always lying in one position) then ask her Ped about it.
Catherine - posted on 06/09/2010
its normal for babies to have it.Some recover fast and some slow.I noticed overdue babies recover faster than babies born before due date.The baby im baby sitting is already 1 yrs 4 mths and she has a really big flat spot and still beating. She was born around 1 month before her due date.As for my daughter she had also but not so obvious it recovered before her full month.She was overdued 10 days after my due date.
So no need to worry about it but need to be carefull cause that flat part is weak.=)
Marisa - posted on 06/09/2010
I was very worried about this so I invested in special pillows for my daughter to sleep on. We ended up getting something called the "nap nanny". It was said to help with flat spots and reflux problems which I think it did. I have to say my daughters head is very round ...like a mellon! ...maybe too round :) I would ask the doctor if getting one of these pillows or beds would help at this point.
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