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5 Ways To Prevent Flat Head Syndrome In Babies

Have you ever wondered what a flat head syndrome is? According to the UK’s National Health Service, flat head syndrome can happen when a baby spends too much time lying on his back. There are two types of flat head syndrome: plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. Plagiocephaly causes the head to look disproportionate with misaligned ears and bulging forehead and face. Brachycephaly, on the other hand, happens when the baby’s head looks a little wider with a flattened back.

Posts of celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Cheryl Wee on their Instagram accounts have made more people aware of this condition. John Legend and Chrissy’s son Miles had to wear a helmet used to treat flat head syndrome. Similarly, Cheryl’s son Marc had to be on helmet therapy to address the same issue. 

Photo credit: @chrissyteigen

Photo credit: @weecheryl

Some people ask: so how do you prevent it? Here are some ways: 

#1 Let your baby roll over onto his tummy from time to time

Giving your baby “tummy time” allows him to take a break from lying on his back. It also helps develop muscle control, especially for the neck and shoulders. Allotting 10 to 15 minutes for at least three times a day can be a good start. Just make sure you’re there to supervise, too.

#2 Hold him in an upright position whenever possible

The lesser time your baby spends lying on his back, the lesser the chances he will get flat head syndrome. Give your baby a chance to develop his motor skills as much as possible—either by carrying him in upright position or strapping him into infant carriers that still allow him to move. Plus, you get to bond with him even more.

#3 Change your baby’s head position in the crib each night

Explore putting your baby’s head in different positions whenever he sleeps at night. For example, you may first place his head to the right on the first night and to the left on the next one.

#4 Give him a gentle massage

Make sure to check for any tension in your baby’s muscles, especially in the neck part. If his neck muscles are tight, give him a gentle massage. Just ensure proper pressure is used when massaging your baby to avoid further discomfort.

#5 Avoid using pillows and cushions

Although using pillows may seem to add more comfort, it actually makes head movement a lot more difficult for your baby and increases the risk of choking. It is advisable to let babies sleep flat on their backs on a firm mattress. If you really need to temporarily prop him up with a pillow, do not leave your little one unattended.

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