The good news is plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is also a highly treatable condition, especially when treated early. Many of the techniques known to prevent or improve plagiocephaly can be practiced by you at home. Two of these practices—supervised tummy time and repositioning techniques—can be incorporated into your baby’s daily routine.
Supervised Tummy Time
Today, the relationship between back-sleeping and plagiocephaly is well-documented. While the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends back-sleeping for safety, as a countermeasure, the amount of time your baby spends on her or his back during waking hours should be limited. Supervised tummy time activities – which should always be supervised – encourage time spent on your baby’s stomach, a position in which no pressure is applied to the back of the head. The activities are designed to help your baby to develop motor skills and build upper body strength.
Please note, to help your baby to develop a tolerance for supervised tummy time, we recommend short, frequent intervals, working up to an hour a day.
Frequent changes to your baby’s positioning can also reduce the risk of developing a flat head. Simple adjustments, like alternating the side of the crib that your baby sleeps on or alternating the hip on which you carry your baby, can improve your child’s neck mobility and help to prevent or improve an abnormal head shape.
Repositioning techniques are generally effective up to four months of age. Most insurance companies will require parents to practice these techniques for at least two months before proceeding with a cranial orthotic, such as the DOC Band.
Please keep in mind that these techniques are intended as guidelines only. If you have questions or concerns about these practices in relation to your baby’s care, we recommend contacting your pediatrician.
Deciding What’s Right For Your Baby
Our clinical focus at Cranial Technologies is to provide you the information you need to make an informed decision about what’s right for your baby. Our knowledgeable and highly-trained clinicians are available to you for a free evaluation. You’ll leave your free evaluation with a better understanding of your baby’s head shape, including a recommendation whether to treat with the DOC Band and a detailed report including images from DSi® equipment to discuss with your pediatrician.