The American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending in 1992 that babies sleep on their backs. This helped reduce the number of infant deaths from so-called sudden infant death. However, this has also increasedcases of babies with cranial asymmetry, that is, with a flattened head, technically known as postural plagiocephaly. And it is that, the bones of the baby's head have not yet closed and, if the baby spends a long time in the same position, his head could look flattened.
The baby's skull is made up of mobile bones, the fontanelles are the separation between these bones and facilitate the passage through the birth canal. However, since these bones are not closed, if the baby spends a long time in the same position, these plates that have to move to close, do not perform the necessary movement and can cause a flattening of the baby's head.
According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, to avoid flattening of the baby's head, also known as postural plagiocephaly, it would be necessary to:
- regularly change the baby's position and try to keep the baby on his tummy for at least a while a day. This will also help you to gain muscle in the neck and to support the head.
- even if the child sleeps on his back, change the position of the head every week, that is, looking to the right or left. Even if the child is awake we can put a toy that catches his eye on one side or the other of his crib or his stroller.
- during the day and only if the baby is supervised, can he sleep on his side.
- When you take the child in your arms, try to keep him upright with his head resting on your shoulder or arm.
- change the position of the baby to the mother's breast.
Positional plagiocephaly, in the most severe cases, can lead to a child's jaw closing or vision problems. However, in most cases it is only an aesthetic problem that it is corrected with an orthopedic helmet adapted to the baby's head.
Children should generally wear this helmet for 3 months continuously, day and night. According to experts, babies adapt easily to the helmet and do not feel discomfort.
You can read more articles similar to Babies with flattened heads. Plagiocephaly in Babies, in the category of on-site development stages.