22 answers

Wondering About Older Kids with Plagiocephaly (Flat Head from Back Sleeping)

My daughter is nine months old and her head is slowly getting better but still noticablly flat from sleeping on her back. I discuss this issue with her pediatrician at every check up and he assures me that it will continue to correct itself as she spends more time upright. I have read into this condition online and as concerning as the images I see of infants with plagiocephaly seem, I must admit that I have never come across an image of, say, a 3 year old with a flattend head. Is there anyone out there with an older child with this condition that did not improve over time? I can not afford a $3,000. helmet for cosmetic reasons and I would love to hear of some sucess stories that did not need the helmet. Thanks!

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I had never heard the term before but when I took my baby girl to the pediatrician for her 4 month visit the doctor noticed her head being flat from sleeping on her back as well. Once it was pointed out to me I noticed it more and more and became quite concerned about it. Her next visit I asked and the doctor explained to me that my daughter's head would round itself out once she became upright too.
Just to let you know...she's 19 months old now and has a perfectly shaped head. We pull her hair up in little dog ears and her head looks perfectly normal!

I too saw Dr. Jeffrey Fearon when my now 2 year old son was 6 mos. old. He also told me that his head was flat just because he wasn't rolling over yet. The sleep position was limiting his movement therefore flattening his head. He told me that once he started rolling over and being more upwardly mobile his head would round out. He was right. No helmet needed at all. Although, I have to tell you I didn't believe him at first but later saw that my son's head was doing exactly as he said...rounding out. If you want to see Dr. Jeffrey Fearon his is a specialist who is sought out from people all over the country. He is an expert in his field. He might give you some piece of mind. Hang in there and when in doubt see a specialist...get multiple opinions.

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I too saw Dr. Jeffrey Fearon when my now 2 year old son was 6 mos. old. He also told me that his head was flat just because he wasn't rolling over yet. The sleep position was limiting his movement therefore flattening his head. He told me that once he started rolling over and being more upwardly mobile his head would round out. He was right. No helmet needed at all. Although, I have to tell you I didn't believe him at first but later saw that my son's head was doing exactly as he said...rounding out. If you want to see Dr. Jeffrey Fearon his is a specialist who is sought out from people all over the country. He is an expert in his field. He might give you some piece of mind. Hang in there and when in doubt see a specialist...get multiple opinions.

We took my son to see Dr. Fearon when he was 7 mos old. His head shape was a little irregular and our pediatrician at the time made us very concerned w/this issue and even said he would have to be put in a helmet if not better by 7 mos. But, a friend (RN) of mine recommended I see Dr. Fearon before we did anything about a helmet. He is at Medical City, Childrens and is a top physician around the US. I believe he is the doctor who separated the Egyptian twins. He does amazing work!
And after seeing my son, he told us if it were his son he would do nothing. Because this mostly does reshape on its own. You do need to alternate sleep positions, and do exercises to get her to turn different directions.
But, Dr. Fearon doesn't like to take any measures that are not necessary. Believe me, he sees extreme cases.
And of course our son is now 17-mos and has a beautiful shaped head! I am so glad we hesitated to listen to our former pediatrician!

Dr. Jeffrey Fearon
7777 Forest Lane Ste. C 700
###-###-####

My niece has a flat head in the back and she is fine. I would not worry to much. Good luck.

My son also had a flat head as an infant, and I too questioned the ped. at every visit. He is now 2 and his head, while still a little flat, is definitely rounding out. Our ped. said don't worry about it, but it may take until he's 5 or 6 to completely round back out. As my ped. put it, other countries have been putting babies on their backs to sleep for decades and we don't see countries of adults walking around with flat heads =>

We had our daughter in a helmet after seeing 2 different pediatricians and getting measurements/assessments from Cranial Technologies. Once ped said they 'round out', several including ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) said they will not. The earlier it is corrected, the better and faster the results. My suggestion is that you get another opinion from a specialist or Cranial Technologies who will do measurements to assess the magnitude of the problem (flat only, flat and irregular)

I had never heard the term before but when I took my baby girl to the pediatrician for her 4 month visit the doctor noticed her head being flat from sleeping on her back as well. Once it was pointed out to me I noticed it more and more and became quite concerned about it. Her next visit I asked and the doctor explained to me that my daughter's head would round itself out once she became upright too.
Just to let you know...she's 19 months old now and has a perfectly shaped head. We pull her hair up in little dog ears and her head looks perfectly normal!

My son just turned three. I first noticed the flat spot when he was a baby. I asked my doctor who told me his plagiocephaly would self correct within a few years.

Except it didn't. And now if we tried treatment, he would have to wear a helmet for an extensive period and it still most likely will not work. The only other option is surgery. Fortunately, when I saw that his head was forming a flat spot, I started rotating his head at naptime and bedtime, so his flat spot isn't very noticeable. My daughter I had sleep on her side and her head is perfectly shaped. I wish I had ignored my doctor's reassurances and done something while he was still a baby. From what I've read, anything past 12 months has a lower success rate.

As for the price tag, try www.asemt.com. Their helmets are much more affordable, though they still have to be fitted and checked by an orthotist.

E.,
There are many different types of "flat head" most that are positional can reshaped on their own and with changing sleep habits.
There are times when the craniual sutures have closed prematurily and children do need helemts or some other intervention.
Most Pedis can tell the difference by doing an exam and watching what the growth pattern for the head circumfrence is.

D.
Pedi RN

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