Preventing and Treating Flat Head
However, due to spending a good portion of their time on their back, babies are also susceptible to plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome. Yet there are simple steps parents can take to prevent flat spots, and they can also be used to minimize the progression if a positional skull deformity has already developed.
According to Carolina Kinder Development, a Charlotte-based cranial specialist devoted to educating parents and caregivers on how to help their baby establish developmentally and head shape supportive routines, the following tips can help prevent and reduce head shape issues:
*from birth on, try to limit the amount of time that your baby spends in any piece of equipment (carseat when not traveling, bouncy seat, swing, exersaucer, etc). A babys time is much better spent on a firm, flat surface (i.e. a blanket on the floor, a pack-n-play, etc), on his/her side or tummy, awake and supervised.
*try to vary positions for you baby; for example, if you usually hold your baby in your right arm to feed him/her a bottle, alternate between right and left. If you usually change your babys diaper with his/her head at one end of the changing table, alternate at each diaper change, etc.
*try to have your baby sleep on a firm, flat surface for night and naps, on his/her back, alternating which way his/her head is turned.
*if you are noticing that your baby has a preference to look to one side more than the other, or to hold his/head head in a certain position in the carseat or while asleep, this might indicate an underlying neck tightness, in which case a therapy evaluation would be recommended. Often times, when underlying neck issues are resolved (via therapy or through use of therapist-developed Home Program), head shape issues are better able to resolve as well.
If you have questions about how to do the tips, take a look at the video series developed by Carolina Kinder Development.
Yet, despite even the most valiant efforts, some babies will develop flat head, and again, Carolina Kinder Development has treatment solutions and support to offer, including cranial banding, one on one therapy, small group classes, and even high quality videos you can watch at home.
Their Video on Demand series is chock-full of information, in easy to digest short segments. Check out a short video introduction to the video series below:
You can also see a sample from the series, dedicated to the importance of and strategies for tummy time by clicking here.
For more information on head shape, prevention, and treatment options, as well as other on demand videos, visit Carolina Kinder Development at www.carolinakinderdevelopment.com or call at 704-379-7773.
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