If you notice that your baby has an uneven, flat, or asymmetrical head shape, a trip to the doctor to get everything checked out is a smart idea. It’s easy to think that you’re too cautious, and maybe you shouldn’t worry about your baby’s flat head.
Flathead syndrome is relatively common, and the misshapenness can range from mild to severe. Don’t forget that babies are born with misshaped heads, which helps them come down the birth canal. Over time, their head starts to change and shift to resemble a rounder, normal shape.
If you feel as if your baby’s head doesn’t look the way it should, your doctor can let you know what’s happening.
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Signs of Flathead Syndrome
Typically, if your child has a flat head, it’s easy to notice, but sometimes, you need to look for signs of an issue.
Here are some symptoms of this syndrome.
- The back of your baby’s head is flatter on one side.
- There is less hair on one part of his head.
- The flat side might have an ear that is pushed forward if you look down at your baby’s head.
- In severe cases, you might notice a bulge on the opposite side from the flat side.
- If your child has torticollis, it makes it hard for your child to turn his head, causing an uneven neck, jaw, or face.
When Should You See a Doctor About Your Baby’s Flat Head
You should be able to see your doctor whenever you are concerned about your child’s health. However, there are times when you need to think about making an appointment specifically.
- You notice that your baby has a strangely shaped head or a noticeable flat spot that doesn’t go back to a normal shape by two months of age.
- Your baby strongly prefers to turn his head to one side or struggles to turn his head in the opposite direction.
- You’re feeling worried about the shape of your baby’s head.
Treatment for Flathead Syndrome
When you realize that your baby has a flat head, you might wonder if your baby needs a helmet or if his head is flat enough to need one. That’s a natural thing for a parent to consider.
You don’t always need to use a helmet. Most cases are mild and can be fixed with simple techniques that you can try at home. Here are some tips.
- Give your baby plenty of tummy time throughout the day.
- Hold your baby in different arms and nurse or bottle-feed in different positions to avoid lying on the same side.
- Avoid letting your baby spend too much time in car seats, swings, bouncy seats, or other places that lead to your baby putting pressure on his head.
- Try using a pillow designed for flathead syndrome, which can help round out your baby’s head.
It’s natural to worry about your baby’s flat head, but remember that it is fixable. Your doctor can let you know if the shape of your child’s head is an issue or not, and you’ll develop a plan to fix the problem. Don’t stress about a helmet just yet!