December 09, 2008,
D.K. asks from Danville, CA on December 08, 2008
Any Suggestions of Sleep Positioning a 7 Week Old to Avoid a Flat Spot?
My 7 week old son has a flat spot on the right side of his head. He tends to turn his head to the right when he sleeps. I have tried to turn his head to the left but he always manages to turn his head back to the right. I don't want him to end up with a helmet - so I was wondering if any moms had any suggestions on how to avoid the flat spot from getting worse. Also, I was told the Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support can help round out his head (but it can't be used at night in the crib) or using a sleep positioner to have him sleep on his side. But can I have him lay on his side all night when he is swaddled? Please advise. Thanks so much!!! =)
K.M. answers from San Francisco on December 09, 2008
"positional deformities" are temporary. I have found though that crib matresses are hard. I soften mine by putting a cushy blanket or comforter under the sheet. This makes a soft spot to lie on, and isn't dangerous as it is kept out of reach by the sheet.
A.S. answers from San Francisco on December 09, 2008
My daughter had a tight neck on one side, also leading to a flat spot on one side. My pediatrician called it torticollis, and said it was probably due to how she was curled up in utero. Not much to worry about. She referred us to a pediatric Physical Therapist, through Kaiser, who showed us some simple neck exercises and infant massage techniques to get her to relax the neck muscles. It worked great. No harm done, and we both enjoyed the massage time after bath time in the evenings before bed. We also used a rolled blanket, lengthwise against her back while sleeping, to get her to lay a bit to the other side.
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N.M. answers from Port St. Lucie on December 09, 2008
this doesn't really answer your question, but i can tell you that both my kids had flat spots from sleeping on their backs which led to pointy freakish looking heads. for both, it went away on its own. they now have nice round heads at 2.5 years and 15 mos old. so you may want to consider opting to do nothing.
J.J. answers from San Francisco on December 09, 2008
I had the same issue with my son, who is now 20 months old. He slept in the same position all the time until he learned to roll over (which was about at 4 months old I think). A friend of mine had this issue with her daughter and she would wake herself up every hour to rotate her daughters head... We didn't want to go to that extreme, and the doctor didn't seem worried, so we just let him be. He had a flat spot on the left side of his head, but he has since grown and the spot is no longer flat. I've heard other people say the same thing, that if you just give it time, his head is still growing, so it should correct itself, as it did with our son.
P.C. answers from San Francisco on December 09, 2008
My baby girl is just shy of one year old and she did the same thing, only she turned to the left. I learned that if I gently turned her head to the right (while she slept) and held my hands there for a short while (surely no longer than a minute) she would stop trying to turn back to the left and go back into a deep sleep. Some days I even woke up with her head still turned to the right.
I typically get up to use the bathroom at night, so I would always check her and turn her head. It did take several days before I could turn her head and she wouldn't immediately turn back though, so while researching all the other stuff you may just want to keep trying to gently turn his head to the left to see if eventually he'll be OK with it. Incidentally, my daughter's head looks fine to me and now that she can turn over her preference for looking left is all but a fading memory.
Good luck. (by the way, SIDS is a much greater concern to me than a flat head...so make sure you understand the risk before you put your 7 week old on his tummy.)
J.S. answers from San Francisco on December 09, 2008
Flip him over to his belly. My son never slept on his back and he never had a flat head. If your son can lift his head then you need not worry. But don't swaddle his arms.
P.C. answers from San Francisco on December 09, 2008
Try taking him to an osteopath....she'll help the bones in his head and any other tension he may be carrying from birth.There is an excellent one here in Sebastopol.....Kay Weinshienk ###-###-####.
S.C. answers from San Francisco on December 09, 2008
My daughter had the same problem and is now 5 months with a round head. We put a mirror in her crib on one side so that she would look the other way during the day. It worked to round out the back of her head and she also started to sleep on both sides of her head at night. Hope it can work for you too!
L.P. answers from San Francisco on December 08, 2008
Congratulations on your new little boy. When my kids were babies we either put them on there tummies with heads to the side or placed a rolled blanket behind them while they slept on their sides. I think this question is best for your Dr. especially with the concern over his head. I doubt his flat spot is any concern but your Dr. should be able to relieve this worry. A nurse will also be helpful. And do not feel silly calling either. They would rather you call then not.