June 18, 2010,
L.F. asks from Riverside, CA on June 14, 2010
Shaping Baby's Head
My son is 10 weeks old and I just notice a flat spot on his head. He was born by c-section so I didnt pay as close attention to shaping his head right away because it was shapped purfect to begin with. Is it too late to shape it? Should I still be rubbing his head? His flat spot is on one side in the back of his head so the back of his head is loppsided if you look at it from one side. How old are they when the bone in their head is solid?
K.K. answers from Las Vegas on June 15, 2010
Lots and lots of tummy time for baby when he is awake. It will fix itself as the baby gets older. Very normal.
M.M. answers from Chicago on June 14, 2010
No, it's very common and based mostly on what position he sleeps in. You just need to be a little conscious about adjusting his head while he sleeps. Turn it in a different direction or to the side a bit. Literally, this is what our pediatrician suggests to do.
Until the fontanelle closes (past a year, I think), or baby is big enough to have his own ideas about how he wants to sleep, you can do this for him.
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I.G. answers from Seattle on June 14, 2010
He is developing a flat spot because he is lying on his back so much. It's very common since the start of "back to sleep" campaign.
Here is what you can do:
- Get him off his back when he is awake. That means either tummy time (most kids that age won't like more than 5 minutes of that though), holding him or wearing him in a sling or carrier. Do not leave him in the crib, swing, bouncy or carseat for extended periods while he is awake.
- If you do have him laying on his back, alternate his orientation. For example if he is in his bouncy seat and likes to look at you, put the bouncy on your other side to he turns his head in the less preferred direction.
In the crib you can alternate his orientation as well.
Most kids at ten weeks have slight flat spots that will improve with positioning, getting him off his back and him gaining more control of the muscles that help him hold up and turn his head. If you have more concerns bring it up with your pediatrician.
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G.M. answers from Los Angeles on June 18, 2010
You got a mix of suggestions. I would recommend you have him checked out and the sooner the better. When you catch it early, you're less likely to need a corrective helmet. Not only ugly but QUITE COSTLY!
We had to do therapy and exercises to correct my son's flat spot. A misshapen head can cause problems throughout the rest of their lives. It affects jaw alignment. I know TMJ was one of the potential problems that the therapist mentioned, but I can't remember the others.
OH, and I don't think rubbing will do anything accept for maybe irritate his skin.
M.D. answers from Los Angeles on June 15, 2010
Nothing to worry about. His head is flattening on the back because he sleeps on his back and pretty much spends his life on his back. Make sure you hold him enough and give him little bursts of tummy time, but it'll fix itself. Around six months, he'll start to sit and then crawl, he'll be rolling around by around 4-7 months...and it'll start to go away. Nothing to worry about!
M.R. answers from Columbus on June 14, 2010
That sounds really odd to me. If you are worried abou the flat spot on your babies head from sleeping on his back, speak to your pediatrican about it. Maybe I am just an old lady, but these things usually take care of themselves and I doubt that any parent should be manipulating a head to change it's shape, even if were possible. Speak to your doctor.
T.W. answers from Milwaukee on June 14, 2010
We offer a cushion that can help when he is laying down to not get a flat spot. Check out the website when you have a chance. www.snugglemecushion.webs.com
J.B. answers from Los Angeles on June 15, 2010
I'm goint through this with my 6 month old. She developed a flat spot on one side due to always laying to one side. Anyway, I just went today to CHOC to get her evaluated. Long story short, go to your pediatrician and ask for a referral to get his head evaluated. I believe the term is Plagiocephaly. Good luck and email me if you have any more questions!
K.K. answers from San Diego on June 15, 2010
Hello, My sweet little grandaughter spent a lot of time in the hospital after her birth. Due to the fact that she was laying in bed most of the time in the first few weeks (couldn't be held for a while), she had a flat head in the back. The hospital suggested the helmet for shaping her head. My daughter talked to me about it and we decided it wasn't necessary. I explained that her daughter would start to roll over in bed and would then reshape her own head. Guess what, she did. I think the helmets are more for the child whose head is pushing out in the front. This baby had come home from the hospital with a feeding tube and had eating issues as well as growth problems. She also has Down's Syndrome. I just couldn't see putting her through any more than she had to go through. She is (after two heart surgeries) a beautiful little girl who is thriving in every way. She is on track with her cognitive thinking with other babies her age (21 months) and is 6 months ahead with her social skills, she has a great sense of humor and is learning to walk and get around on her own. We couldn't be happier and are pleased with how well her head has reshaped itself. Just try laying him on his opposite side so that he gets even time. Their bones are much more pliable than ours.
Good luck with your precious little baby.