How can I prevent or correct flat spots?
When we meet with parents whose children are diagnosed with plagiocephaly, often times they’re worried they’ve done something to cause the disorder. If you’re struggling with feelings of self-blame or guilt, know that plagiocephaly is a common condition that can be the result of many different factors—you aren’t at fault. The important thing is that you are doing something about it!
The good news is, plagiocephaly is also a highly treatable condition, especially when treated early on. Many of the techniques known to prevent or improve plagiocephaly can be practiced by you at home. On this page, we’ll explore two of these practices—supervised tummy time and repositioning techniques—and explain how to incorporate them into your baby’s daily routine.
Supervised tummy time
Today, the relationship between back-sleeping and plagiocephaly is well-documented. While the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends back-sleeping for safety, as a counter measure, the amount of time your baby spends on her or his back during waking hours should be limited. Supervised tummy time activities – which should always be supervised – encourage time spent on your baby’s stomach, a position in which no pressure is applied to the back of the head. The activities are designed to help your baby to develop motor skills and build upper body strength.
Download our Babies & Supervised Tummy Time brochure for early, intermediate and advanced activities you can practice with baby from newborn to nine months.
Please note, to help your baby to develop a tolerance for supervised tummy time, we recommend short, frequent intervals, working up to an hour a day.
Frequent changes to your baby’s positioning can also reduce the risk of developing a flat head. Simple adjustments, like alternating the side of the crib that your baby sleeps on, or alternating the hip on which you carry your baby, can improve your child’s neck mobility and help to prevent or improve an abnormal head shape.
Repositioning techniques are generally effective up to four months of age. Most insurance companies will require parents to practice these techniques for at least two months before proceeding with a cranial orthotic, such as the DOC Band®.
For a full list of repositioning techniques, available in both English and Spanish, download our Positioning Protocol information sheet. Please keep in mind that these techniques are intended as guidelines only. If you have questions or concerns about these practices in relation to your baby’s care, we recommend contacting your pediatrician.
Deciding what’s right for your baby
Here at Cranial Technologies, our clinical focus is to provide you the information you need to make an informed decision about what’s right for your baby. Our knowledgeable clinicians are available to you for a free evaluation. You’ll leave with a better understanding of your baby’s head shape, including a recommendation to treat with the DOC Band or not, and a detailed report from our sophisticated, patented DSI® imaging equipment to discuss with your pediatrician.
Learn more about what to expect during your first visit to Cranial Technologies.