44 answers

6 Month Old with Flat Head

My son has a slightly flat head (back right). When looking at him from the front, you can't see any misshappen head at all. It was mentioned to us that me might want to have him wear one of those Doc Band Helmets for 2-3 months. We have been doing stretches recently to help with his tight neck also. He has also just started to roll over to his tummy to sleep at night. I am just trying to figure out if this flat spot will correct itself? It seems like these helmets are a lot of money, and for a minor case-it just doesn't seem necessary. I do not need my kid to have the "perfect" head, I just want to be sure he will be able to fit into hats and sunglasses when he gets older, and that it worn't stand out. Any thoughts or experiences you have would be very helpful. Thanks

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but I would suggest taking him to a pediatric chiropractor. I took my daughter (who is now nine months) to see a chiropractor about her lopsided head and the therapy really helped. Chiropractic therapy would probably be very beneficial for his neck as well. If you live in the Plano/Frisco/Allen area then I highly recommend Doctor Melissa Shelton. We really love her! She's wonderful with little babies, and extremely gentle!! I think my little girl was about six months when we first started going and it took a little over a month of going three times a week.

My son, who is now 3 had a very flat head as an infant. We were told by a pediatrician that it would fill out as he got older and it did! He really looks normal and we never used a helmet. I wish you the best!

I don't have personal experience with this, but would highly recommend carrying him in some kind of soft carrier (hostling, wrap, maya wrap). Good for their overall development, anyone can do it (mom, dad, babysitter), also helps with neck control. Plus it's fun to have them so close!

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One of my twins had this issue and my pediatrician reffered us to a chiropractor. The chiropractor was able fix the issue over several appoitments over several weeks. I don't know about all insurances but ours covered it.

We also noticed our DD having flattening of one side of her head also known as Plagiocephaly. She was born with Torticollis a shortening and stiffening of one side of the neck which made her only turn her head to one side. Because of this she had flattening...we didnt notice this until her 2nd month.

We chose to do both PT and the DOC Band. Yes the helmets are expensive $3000 (no ins did not cover due to a clause in our insurance). One side of her face was being pushed forward and this was unexceptable for me!

So we paid the money to offer her the best start in life! The older they get the harder it is to fix it and at six months your pushing it. Since you have a son it might be more noticiable due to short hair if you dont get it fixed.

http://www.cranialtech.com/ does offer a Care Credit card that you can apply for to help pay for the band. So we ended up only having to pay $500 cash at the time and the rest went on the card to pay off.

It was worth every penny!!!!! She does have a little flattening on the back of the head but only I would notice it. Her face and head looks perfect.

I say get the helmet!

I just read a couple of your responses so far. My sister, who has 5 kids, always says those carseat/carriers will flatten the back of a baby's head, because of the way they sit in them. Is he in his carrier or swing a lot? That may be what caused it. You should get a second opinion before you do that helmet, that sounds painful.

I agree that you should consult with a dr, but it is a very personal and very difficult choice. My girl twins were diagnosed with flat heads, and we went to specialists to discuss the helmets. For me it was not the cost that kept me from getting the helmets, it was the idea of torturing the children by making them wear that awful thing 23 hours per day. Our dr told us that much of the reason our daughters' heads were flat was the way that we lay them in the cribs and in their little bouncy chairs; too long on one side caused the flat head. In our case, we then started being very conscious about how the children were sitting or sleeping. We took long towels or blankets and rolled them up to support the back and made them lay on their sides; we alternated sides constantly. We got a little "donut" to put under the head to keep pressure off the back of the head when in the bouncy chair. And after the babies could turn on their tummy it got a ton better. The drs we consulted about the helmets said our daughters' heads were about 4 or 5 on the scale of 10, where 10 was the worst. Our girls' heads did get better without the helmet, though it took a lot of work to be sure they were never on one side too long. You might want to go ahead and consult with the specialists that would actually recommend whether you would get the helmets; that would probably help you make the decision. Feel free to email me with questions.

Does he have tortacolis too, with the stiff neck? Are you getting help from ECI Early Childhood Intervention? The flatness is due to not enough tummy time and being in a swing and or carseat carrer and because of the back to sleep in the crib. It can round out but you may need to do special things like not putting him in the swings or boncys and having him on the floor more on his tummy, and laying him on his sides instead of back. I would say talk to ECI, if your not already.HTH

you need to ask your son's MD--depends on how flat the head is but if a cranial shaping helmet is necessary than it needs to be done before age 12 months and ideally before 9 months. insurance should pay. there is a clinic that does the helmet at Children's and also one off of Hillcrest at 635.

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We are going through the same thing right now. My 5 1/2 month old has been going through therapy for his neck for about a month now. His head is slanted on the back/flat on one side of the back. I can't decide if there has been any change in his head or not. We are looking into the band, but we're not sure about it either. I don't want to not do it and regret it later, but our doctor keeps telling us "it's totally cosmetic. it's up to you." Will try to update you on what we decide and why.

That is very common to see especially when your child has torticolus (tight neck). This is because your child prefers one position to lay because of his neck. Like all the other posters said, the key thing to do is to try to get your child to lay in different postions. This will be harder for you than others that don't have the neck tightening. But the good news is that you have been working on stretching the neck. The doctor can tell you how flat your child's head is and how hard or easy it would be to correct at home with positioning. I have seen many cases with children like your son that didn't need the helmet and one was not recommended by the doctor. I have also seen others that did. Babies adapt very well to the helmet and usually can sleep and play just fine with it on. Either way, you will be fine. I recommend checking with a doctor and weighing your options. Good luck. You obviously are a wonderful mom to your son.

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