Why does my baby’s head look flat on one side?

Plagiocephaly is a common disorder of the skull which makes your baby’s head appear flatter at the back or on one side. Cases have majorly risen since the increased awareness of sudden death syndromes in infants and the resultant advice to lay babies on their backs instead of on their tummies. If a baby is lying on their back for a prolonged period of time or continuously looking to one preferred side, the areas of their skull that have the most pressure on them can become flatter.

Plagiocephaly affects all races and both sexes equally but is seen more in premature babies as they have softer skull plates than babies carried to full term.

Will plagiocephaly cause my baby problems?

Plagiocephaly is mainly a cosmetic issue but it can lead to delayed development, restricted head, neck and back movements, dental abnormalities and can potentially cause asymmetries in your baby’s face.

Is there something I can do to help?

Yes, there are a few things you can do at home to stop your baby’s plagiocephaly from getting worse….

  1. Increase your baby’s tummy time to help take the pressure off your baby’s skull and reduce the possibility of further moulding.
  2. Encourage your baby to turn their head more to their restricted side. This can be done by you standing to that side of them or playing with a toy to get their attention.
  3. Pop a small rolled up towel under the flatter side of their head or use a donut shaped pillow  to even out the pressure on their skull and keep their head as neutral as possible.

Can cranial osteopathy help?

Cranial osteopathic treatment on infants with plagiocephaly can potentially improve any facial or head asymmetry and will reduce any restricted neck and head movements. With gentle touch, the Osteopath can release stress from the tissues that have been compressed and improve the subtle movements of the cranial bones. This can potentially improve function and allows the body to grow into the uncompressed space.. If you have any questions on whether cranial treatment would benefit your baby, please get in touch with the clinic on 01444 200575

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