Parenting & Family

Anyone has a baby/infant with flat head syndrome?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 26th, 2017 10:44 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 26, 2016
105 posts
33 upvotes

Anyone has a baby/infant with flat head syndrome?

Baby girl likes to turn only one way (at her right that is) while she's asleep, hence developed an obvious flat spot on the back of her head on the right side.

The doctor told us to change her sleeping position and/or stimulate her more on the left, which we did but no use because for some reasons, she needs to put her little right hand on her face to fall asleep, and when she is awake she only sucks her thumb on her right hand, so her head/neck is always tilted to the right. Changing her position while she's asleep will wake her up and make her cry. We told the doctor about that and he said our baby will get better when she's bigger (can sit up, roll etc.)

We are very concerned because her head shape looks weird and we are afraid it's harder to get it fixed as she grows. Is there anything we can do? Any suggestion welcome.
19 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 17, 2008
3775 posts
730 upvotes
Sask.
Is she seeing a family doctor or pediatrician? Even if a pediatrician, get another opinion. Depending upon what it's evaluated like, there are things which can be done, like using a molding helmet.

http://www.parentscanada.com/baby/optio ... d-syndrome
https://www.babycenter.com/0_plagioceph ... 1187981.bc

some good tips here

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/flat-spot ... -1.1350241
Sr. Member
Jan 2, 2015
945 posts
335 upvotes
How old is your daughter? Our first was showing signs of flat head. Here are some of my thoughts.

First, get you pediatrician or dr to get her in for a specialist. In our city we have flag head clinics, but the wait list was up to 6 months, The first year is the most critical. We were lucky that we got her in early enough that we could avoid the helmet.

Tummy time is really important pand we were told keep her off her head as much as possible. That meant tummy time, as little time in the infancy seat as possible, same with the swing. We had our daughter on tummy time and in her bumbo chair.

The dr recommended that if we cam into a room to always try to approache her from the other side where her head wasn't flat so then she would get more used to turning her ha
Sad that way. When she was in her swing or car seat all the toys were on the other side so she would turn that way.

There are ways to correct, but the earlier you get on it, the easier it is.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 26, 2016
105 posts
33 upvotes
Thanks for replying!!

Our baby daughter is 5 months old now. We went to see the family doctor first and she said tummy time would help and it would improve once our baby could sit-up (now she can roll back to belly, tries for belly to back, and needs to be held to sit up). Then we went to a paediatrician walk-in clinic to get a 2nd opinion, and we were told the same thing. The only other advise is that flat head syndrome may affect vision if she uses one eye more than the other eye. We swing objects in front of her to track her eye movements and so far she seems doing ok.

Our friend (a parent of 3) told us to massage her head more often and try to "mold" it back... I wish we had that skill. We really want it fixed as our baby daughter’s head is shaped unevenly and it looks like an egg tilted at 45 degree from the top...
Deal Guru
Aug 22, 2011
14555 posts
3875 upvotes
Ottawa
Why is the Pediatrician not sending your daughter to see a specialist?
If it is an issue, they have special helmets to help shape the head back.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jul 26, 2016
105 posts
33 upvotes
vkizzle wrote:
Jul 9th, 2017 1:47 am
Why is the Pediatrician not sending your daughter to see a specialist?
If it is an issue, they have special helmets to help shape the head back.
Because both of our family and the walk-in pediatrician think that our baby will improve when she is older (now she is 5 months old). Apparently they are not concerned but as parents we are.

My family doctor once said she would send our baby to an eye specialist if she tends to use only one eye, but she doesn't.
Deal Guru
Aug 22, 2011
14555 posts
3875 upvotes
Ottawa
Eric1010 wrote:
Jul 11th, 2017 4:34 pm
Because both of our family and the walk-in pediatrician think that our baby will improve when she is older (now she is 5 months old). Apparently they are not concerned but as parents we are.

My family doctor once said she would send our baby to an eye specialist if she tends to use only one eye, but she doesn't.
I'd be just as concered as you are.
How about getting a 2nd opinion?
Member
Jun 23, 2006
298 posts
91 upvotes
Ask for a referral to the plagiocephaly clinic at the children's hospital right away.

We noticed our daughter' flat head around four months old. She always slept on her right so the back of her head was looking strange and a bald patch developed due to friction. I tried all the things you mentioned but no dice. She was fond of sleeping in the car seat, I think she enjoyed the embrace by the seat belt. She hated tummy time with a vengeance.

We finally saw the specialist at seven months and he recommended getting the helmet tried to scan her head to customize the helmet the same day. Of course the baby didn't stay completely still for the scanner (kinda like a moving red beam like at cashier checkouts) so she had to get casted for a mould. That sucked even more than the scanner with all that plaster and mess. Anyway, she wore the helmet from eight months til 15 months and there were improvements but her head is still not completely round. My extended health insurance covered the whole thing but it would have costed $3000-4000 if I remember correctly. Thankfully she didn't have torticolis which would have made it more severe and require physiotherapy. There were frequent appointments to attend to adjust her helmet, like weekly, because she had bad chafing. Since she wore that thing for 23 hrs a day, it was pretty sweaty and smelly in the summer. We would spray it down with disinfectant and blow dry it after dinner so she was helmet free for bath time.

People on the street looked at us with curiosity or sympathy when we went out. 'Gee where can I get one of these helmets to protect my clumsy toddler?' 'Oh poor kid, her parents are the crazy overprotective type' or they just stared at us like she had some contagious disease.

Now she's nearly six with a full head of hair that covers her flat spot. Only when she asks us to put her hair up in a bun for ballet or some other fancy hairdo would family members maybe see something but definitely not to strangers.

With my second kid, I wore her upright in the Ergo from day 1 and she was able to do tummy time happily. She was able to flip, push up, crawl, etc well before her big sis. I learned my lesson, her head is as round as a bowling ball.

Good luck to you!
Member
Nov 28, 2007
248 posts
27 upvotes
We had a flat head issue starting to develop with one of our twins.
She only preferred sleeping on on side and would becoming cranky when we tried to have her turned over.
What was explained to us is that her neck/back muscles are stiff from having an incorrect position in the womb.
We were recommended to proceed with massage sessions utilizing a Pediatric Massage specialist. Found a great one and had maybe 12 sessions.
It helped immensely, her posture improved, muscle loosened and we were making sure that she would be sleeping in correct positions through the night and day naps.
Also massage helps them with muscle/strength developments, digestion and improves their sleep.
Member
User avatar
Sep 19, 2006
257 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
I found out my baby had this on one side of the head at her three months.we haven seen 3 doctors and all suggested more Tummy time. 1 Doctor first suggested turtle hat but didn't work. Then I bought mimos pillow and the cover and tried to position her on the other side when sleep by putting a rice bag on her back to prevent her roll back.
It worked. now she is almost 5 months. The head is round again.
We do A LOT of tummy time. Now she can even crawl now as a bonus.
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Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
15087 posts
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Thornhill
Sorry didn't read the entire thread so some of my comments may be duplicated...

Our daughter definitely favoured one side over the other and had a slight flattening on that side. We had seen a specialist for something else, who called in another specialist dealing with neck muscle imbalances. We were given a bunch of neck stretches to do.

We also bought the Mimos pillow for flat heads off Amazon - it was quite pricey ($120?) but it was one of the few that were actually breatheable.

When she started sitting up, she obviously spent less time lying down, which our pediatrician suggested would help.

Eventually when she started crawling, she started sleeping on her side or tummy which also helped. She stopped using the pillow at this point. Right now, she sleeps randomly each night so it's even less of a concern.

Anyway, our pediatrician said that many babies have this problem now that the recommendation is to lie them flat on their backs.

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Newbie
Nov 15, 2016
74 posts
18 upvotes
I think I just realized why I have a bit of a lopsided head in my adult years... :( Sucks when you like to shave your head alot
Newbie
Dec 10, 2006
43 posts
3 upvotes
Thornhill
valerka wrote:
Jul 13th, 2017 9:06 am
We had a flat head issue starting to develop with one of our twins.
She only preferred sleeping on on side and would becoming cranky when we tried to have her turned over.
What was explained to us is that her neck/back muscles are stiff from having an incorrect position in the womb.
We were recommended to proceed with massage sessions utilizing a Pediatric Massage specialist. Found a great one and had maybe 12 sessions.
It helped immensely, her posture improved, muscle loosened and we were making sure that she would be sleeping in correct positions through the night and day naps.
Also massage helps them with muscle/strength developments, digestion and improves their sleep.
Hi valerka, can you provide me the contact for the Pediatric Massage specialist? Thanks!
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Jun 3, 2005
27672 posts
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Dildo, NL
Yikes, this is really scary.

Can I ask in all seriousness. Is there a genetic, or otherwise serious actual medical condition that causes this, or is it simply because the parents don't engage the child enough & otherwise keep the child off a static body positioning all-day-long?

One of our daycare kids had a bald spot on the back of the head for the first 6months of coming. We were so concerned & kept telling the parents to keep their child moving around. Thankfully now a few years later, the child has a beautiful round & full head of hair.

I can see if sleeping in one position is problematic, so a pillow will help, but the child is active for the remaining hours. You can't just leave the child in one position. Move them around people!!!!! So sad to read about this., but kudos to the parents who are taking action.
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I think there's a whole list of factors but every dr reassured us flat head is completely cosmetic and did not affect brain development and such. It could've ben a combination of how baby was positioned in utero, sleep position preference, tummy time/ development of upper body strength, etc. Please don't assume that I was a lazy parent who just plunked my baby down in the crib/car seat all day. To the contrary we tried everything and that was just how she was so we had to go for the helmet. I ergo'ed her whenever I can, all the tummy time that she could take without freaking out and crying her brains out, used the bumbo to help her sit up more, consciously refused to use all the convenient baby jails like the playpen, swing or bouncy chairs. With friends who suffered a loss to SIDS, we didn't use any pillows or rolls to help nudge her to sleep position. Having to go to all those adjustment appointments was a huge pain: an hour drive there, a hour appointment, an hour drive back if there was no traffic with an overstimulated, overtired baby screaming in the car, at least four or five times a month. Don't blame, accept and take action. Show support and sympathy. No one wants their kids to suffer. ❤️

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