Plagiocephaly – or ‘flat head’ syndrome – is a common newborn condition affecting around 1 in 5 babies. Here’s what you need to know about it and how can it be prevented.
What is Plagiocephaly/flat head syndrome?
Flat head syndrome, or plagiocephaly, is a condition where baby’s head is flattened on one side, causing it to look slightly asymmetrical. It affects many babies, but isn’t normally a major cause for concern, as it does not have any effect on baby’s brain or cause them pain.
Flat head occurs as a result of constant pressure on a single point on baby’s skull. Newborn babies’ bones are still relatively soft, so the skull’s shape can be changed slightly during the early stages of development.
The 1994 ‘Safe to Sleep’ campaign raised awareness that the safest position for babies to sleep in was on their backs. This led to the number of infant deaths halving. But while it is vital that babies do sleep on their backs, this knowledge has led to an increase in cases of flat head.
Flat head can also be caused by problems in the womb, premature birth or neck muscle tightness.
How can flat head syndrome be prevented/treated?
You can help prevent a flat head by making sure your baby’s head is not always resting in the same position. These techniques can also help improve visible plagiocephaly and encourage natural correction of the skull, up to around 5 months of age:
“Tummy time” - play with your baby where both of you are lying on your front (but make sure they always sleep on their back as this is safest for them)
Use toys or mobiles to encourage your baby to move their neck muscles in the cot
Change the position of toys in the cot, so baby turns their head to different angles
Swap which end of the cot your baby sleeps at
Reduce the amount of time baby spends in car seats and prams when you’re not travelling
Move your baby between flat surfaces, slings and sloping chairs to ensure there isn’t constant pressure on just one part of the head
Alternate the sides you hold baby for carrying and feeding
The NHS advises all new parents to speak to their health visitor or GP if you’re concerned about the shape of your baby’s head. They can examine it and recommend how best to treat it further.
The simple Solution?
Our anti-flat head baby pillow was designed to distribute the weight of baby's head evenly, preventing any flat spots from forming...
In collaboration with a Paediatric Ostepath, Babymoov created 2 unique and award-winning solutions specifically designed to help prevent and reduce signs of flat head syndrome, while also enhancing baby's comfort in the first 3-4 months.
Developed and patented by French Paediatrician Dr Maidenberg, the original Lovenest is designed with a unique incline, to fit the shape of baby’s head perfectly and evenly distribute pressure across the back of the skull. The soft breathable foam filling and gentle contoured shape creates a cocoon effect, to reassure baby. Learn more about Lovenest
The Lovenest+ baby pillow provides the same supportive, contoured shape as well as being made from highly breathable, antibacterial Coolmax® fabric to ensure baby is cool and comfortable. The non-slip back makes Lovenest+ suitable for use in cots, bouncers, swings and car seats, offering equal support without restricting freedom of movement.
Lovenest Natural Care
Our latest Lovenest design, the Natural Care made with natural anti-bacterial copper threads throughout the organic cotton, ensure optimal hygiene for baby and the softest fabrics used for delicate and sensitive skin! Learn more about Lovenest Natural Care
The Cosydream baby support was developed to help babies sleep,rest and play in the most comfortable, safe position on his/her back (as reccomend by WHO) The built-in anti-flat head pillow supports baby’s growing skull and helps spread the weight evenly over baby’s head. Soft cotton fabric and memory foam make Cosydream a snug nest for newborns who are used to the cocoon-like protection of the mother’s womb.
Discover more about our expert-led comfort products and the benefits for babies in our dedicated comfort and sleep range.