Flat Spots – Should I Worry?
Worrying about your baby is completely natural, especially if you’re a new parent. But not everything that’s unusual with your baby is a cause for concern.
One example is when you notice flat spots on your baby’s head.
What Are Flat Spots?
When babies are born, their skull isn’t as hard as adult skulls are. Instead, they’re soft and malleable. Because of this, the shape of the skull is subject to change during the passage through the birth canal during birth.
Sometimes, too much pressure at a certain point in the skull can cause it to lose its normal curvature, resulting in a flat spot on the head. It’s also called plagiocephaly.
Should You Worry About Them?
According to a study, nearly half of all infants have flat spots on their heads. This is mainly as a result of the back to sleep campaign that called for infants to be put to sleep on their backs to prevent the risk of SIDS.
According to experts, flat spots or plagiocephaly is mainly a cause of cosmetic concern. There has been no proven adverse effect of flat spots on brain health or mental development. So usually there is no need to worry, it’s likely going to get better on its own.
However, if you aren’t satisfied with waiting it out and feel like the flat spot on your baby’s head is a little exaggerated, you should feel free to contact your pediatrician right away.
Tips To Help With Flat Spots
While flat spots aren’t a cause for concern, you can surely take a few steps to improve the appearance of these spots and encourage proper molding of your baby’s head.
Some of these steps include:
- Using A Helmet
Helmets are used when a flat spot on your baby’s head isn’t improving or is getting worse by 4 months of age. Your doctor will be checking your baby’s head circumference during every well-child visit, and if they think it appropriate, they’ll recommend a helmet for your baby.
The helmet needs to stay on for several months, with adjustments every month to accommodate your baby’s growing head. It needs to be worn for up to 23 hours every day.
- Using A Shaping Pillow
Wearing a helmet isn’t easy for every baby. You might want to try a head-shaping pillow instead. It’s a specially designed pillow made to accommodate the curve of your baby’s head to prevent flat spots.
- Doing Tummy Time With Supervision
While putting your baby to sleep on their back is important to prevent SIDS, you can always give them some tummy time when they are awake, under supervision. This will give your baby’s skull time to adjust.
If routine methods don’t work, your baby might need special physiotherapy to correct flat spots and neck muscle spasms often associated with these spots.
To reiterate, flat spots are not something to be worried about and will often eventually resolve on their own. It’s more important to ensure your baby sleeps on their back to prevent any SIDS, pneumonia, and other complications that arise from lying on their stomach.