More and more parents are noticing that their baby has a flat spot forming on his head. More and more physicians are referring babies for helmet treatment for Flat Head Syndrome (Positional Plagiocephaly). In fact, some research suggests that close to 50% of babies now develop head flattening.
It's enough to make you shake your head in disbelief! It's enough to make you wonder, what is going ON? And I hope it's enough to make you start to check out your baby's noggin for signs of flattening!
I am passionate about teaching parents about the prevention and early detection of Flat Head Syndrome. I'm a total child development nerd and this is one area that gets me all geeky and giddy. So I can't wait to share with you the 4 biggest myths about Flat Head Syndrome!
Baby Head Shape Is Purely About Appearance
Nope. If it was purely about appearance, this child development nerd would find it far less fascinating.
A developing flat spot on a babies skull can be a red flag that the baby has tightness of the neck muscles. It can be a warning sign that baby isn't getting enough opportunities for movement (often from the overuse of super cute and convenient pieces of baby gear). In some cases, head flattening is an early warning sign of developmental issues such as low muscle tone or visual problems. Research also shows that head flattening is associated long-term vision problems, jaw problems and ear infections.
The Back To Sleep Campaign Is Solely To Blame
Grrr. This myth is perhaps one of the most problematic myths.
Yes, the Back to Sleep / Safe to Sleep campaign does increase pressure on the back of the head and increase the risk of flattening. BUT it's not the only cause! By focusing on the one factor that’s nearly impossible to safely change, we miss the boat and overlook important opportunities for preventing and managing head shape problems during babies' awake time.
More Tummy Time Is The Solution
I've yet to meet a baby who can, in the first 4 months of life do sufficient Tummy Time to offset the hours and hours they spend on their back sleeping. Tummy Time is one of SEVERAL really important positions that babies should experience daily. Variety is the spice of life and it's also the key to preventing flat spots.
In The Flat Head Syndrome Fix, I introduce a simple way of thinking about your baby's positioning throughout the day that can prevent, stop and reverse head flattening. By fully understanding ALL the different positions your baby can be in and how to prioritize them, parents are able to confidently and playfully promote healthy development AND nice round heads.
The "Wait and See" Approach Works
The “Wait and See” Approach is in complete opposition to the conclusion of nearly every single research study of effective treatments for head flattening. There. I said it.
That fact was the biggest reason why I wrote The Flat Head Syndrome Fix. Since starting CanDo Kiddo I have heard every week from desperate parents who notice head flattening in their babies and desperately want to fix it. Their concerns have been brushed aside by a healthcare provider but their gut instinct is that there has to be something they can do other than "wait and see." And they're totally right. I aim to give parents complete and accurate information about what causes head flattening and the strategies that have been proven effective in preventing and treating it. As a fellow parent, I think we deserve the tools to give our babies the healthiest start possible.