Flat Head Syndrome (Plagiocephaly / Brachycephaly) Treatments
As a new parent your main concern is to raise a happy and healthy baby. If your baby has a flat spot on their head, early intervention is essential for successful treatment.
What do I do if I notice a flat spot on my baby’s head?
If you notice a flat spot on your baby’s head it is important that you pursue treatment as soon as possible. Babies heads grow very quickly in the first 6 months, and early treatment is therefore important.
The first step is to see your health care professional as soon as you detect a flat spot.This maybe your Paediatrician, GP, Health Nurse, Physiotherapist, Orthotist, Osteopath or Chiropractor.
Seeing a Health Care Professional
There are a number of reasons a baby can develop a flat spot on their head and some are more serious than others. To ensure the correct treatment for your baby you should seek an opinion from a health care professional.
Effective prevention and treatment generally involves a combination of the following…
The Mimos Baby Pillow
Head shape irregularities generally occur as the result of external pressures applied to your baby’s head such as prolonged preferred positioning on the same area. Mimos Baby Pillows can be a great help in the prevention and correction of Plagiocephaly / Brachycephaly. The Mimos Baby Pillow is designed in such a way that it reduces pressure and minimises misshaping without the need for your baby to change to a new sleeping position. This means your baby can have an uninterrupted sleep and you can rest easy knowing your baby’s head is getting the support it needs. It is most effective for babies in the age range of 0-6 months old.
Tummy Time and Repositioning
Increasing the amount of tummy and upright play time your baby has can also help correct flat head syndrome. For newborn babies you can start tummy time by laying them skin to skin on your chest for short periods of time. When they are old enough to play on a mat you can encourage tummy time on the floor or bed for 30 minutes a day. This helps strengthen the neck and also encourages the head to grow normally by reducing the amount of pressure on the skull.
Another treatment method is repositioning. This treatment involves changing the position of your baby as they sleep to ensure they aren’t resting on the flat spot. This can be a challenging task because you have to reposition the head consistently and encourage your baby to rest on their less preferred side.
Physical Therapy and Torticolis
In some instances, babies may have a condition known as Torticolis, where there is a tightening of the neck muscles on one side that cause a baby to favour one side. In addition to a Mimos Pillow and Tummy Time, treatment may also involve physical therapy.
Cranial Remodelling Helmets
If asymmetry/flattening is severe or persists, a Cranial Remodelling Helmet may also be required to redirect growth and promote symmetry. These are most effective between the ages of 4-6 months.
Craniosynostosis is a more serious condition that has similar physical signs as flat head syndrome. If your baby has this condition, the flat spot on their head is caused by the premature closing the of skulls sutures. This means that the rest of the skull continues to grow while the affected area is prevented from growing. Surgery is the only way to treat this condition.