Q: My 16-week-old has a flat spot on the back of his head. I’ve tried switching him around in his crib, but he seems to favour one side of his head no matter what his position. How can I make sure he doesn’t get flat head?
A: Flattening — called positional plagiocephaly — occurs when babies keep their heads in one position for a long time. For the past 15 years, since parents have been advised to put babies on their backs to sleep, the number of cases has increased. Flattening doesn’t affect brain growth and the skull will usually reshape on its own once baby spends more time sitting up. In very rare cases, a child may need to wear a special helmet to help mould his head. Encourage your little one to turn his head more by strategically placing interesting objects around him, and give him lots of tummy time.
There is a condition where the bones of the skull fuse early, so your infant’s skull should be checked at his regular checkups. If he keeps his head turned to one side even during the day, ask his doctor to check for torticollis.
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