My Baby Has a Flat Head!

Flat Head Syndrome - Plagiocephaly

Carson had a flat head as a baby, but I really wasn't too concerned as he was my first baby and people would all put me at ease saying it would round out. It didn't. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't look too bad and it's not something I think of or even notice on a weekly, never mind daily, basis. It's just, I wish I hadn't have been so eased by people's comments that it would round out on it's own.

But Finley has it real bad this time round. his left hand side is so flat it kind of makes the other side look pointy. It's difficult to photograph as he won't keep still, but rest assured it's there, and I hate it. It looks worse as he's starting to lose his hair in that area too, drawing attention to it.

Here you can (hopefully) see that his left side (Left pic) goes straight up as is flat, whereas his right side (right pic) is nice and round...



They say that more than half of children these days have FHS/Plagiocephaly and it's largely due to the advice in recent years that children should always be placed on their back to sleep to reduce SIDS. Obviously, FHS is a small price to pay in comparison.

OK, so what can I do to prevent FHS? 
I'll just note now that my research so far has quite firmly pointed against sleep positioners or rolled up towels/blankets in the carry cot/crib etc. However, these are the most positive hints and tips I've found so far...

> Swap sides to feed - we do this already as hubby is a lefty and I'm largely ambidextrous (Aren't all mums? It's all that multi-tasking!)
> Carry/hold baby as much as possible - we hold him all the time, it's the only time he stops crying! Seriously though, it's not practical when you have a 5yr old and a house to maintain on top. I suppose a baby sling would come in handy for this though.
> Encourage tummy time - this is so easier said than done. Finley doesn't mind laying on his tummy on my chest, but pop him on the floor or couch and we have a screamer. 
> Place baby down facing something new/different - this makes no difference whatsoever for Finley, he's a nosey monkey and looks in every which way anyway. When he wants to sleep, he wants to sleep (and I ain't stopping him!), but this means his head moves to his preferred side, like so... 


So it's all very well dishing out ways in which you can limit Flat Head Syndrome, but it hasn't worked for me - with either baby.
So, I'm going to embark upon a mission now to find handy products that can a) prevent FHS b) stop FHS getting worse and c) aiding in the correction of FHS. With regards to prevention I really wish I'd thought ahead and gotten something suitable from birth and it's certainly something I would mention to any expectant mums in the future.
I'll be reporting back over the coming weeks/months with my findings and recommendations for purchases/tips etc.

In the meantime... have you experienced FHS with your kids? Do you have any recommendations?


12 comments:

  1. Toby had a noticeable flat head from about 3 months. I did the same as you have recommended here but also found that once it was misshapen it was almost impossible to get him to sleep with his head the other way. He's one now and it has evened out a bit but his head is still a funny shape - it's maybe not that noticeable to others, especially now he has more hair, but I notice it and I wish I could have done something to prevent it happening when he was tiny. I think if I had another baby I would look at getting one of the donut pillows that are supposed to be safe from birth - even though I know they aren't really recommended by health professionals. I don't really have any advice for what you can do now though I'm afraid - we did look into treatment by using a helmet but it isn't available on the NHS. I hope you see some improvement in Finlay's head soon.

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  2. Awww bless him! I've no experience of this but I hope you get some recommendations to help improve Finley's head, he's such a cutie x

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  3. I hadn't heard of FHS, but a sling sounds like a good idea. I could have done with one as Osian spent lots of time getting carried which would eventually lead to a dead arm. Maybe a medical professional could give you some extra tips?
    Aww look at him fast asleep in his cute outfit :) #BabyBabble

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  4. I hadn't even heard of this until a lady in one of the baby groups we go to said her little girl had it. I never heard anything about it during pregnancy or antenatal classes, info would help a lot of parents to be more vigilant. I know you an buy pillow that's are supposed to help. I think Carmaloop sell them.

    As for a sling, we have a Connecta and honestly its fab, so comfy and great for bad backs.

    Cat
    www.rockandrollpussycat.co.uk

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  5. I've recently noticed that Jasmine has a really flat head too! It doesn't bother me that much and I'm not sure those tips would help me much either as Jasmine hates, hates, HATES tummy time. Like Finley, she's fine on my chest but on the floor/playmat etc. Nu-uh! I'll be interested to see which products (if any) work for you.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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  6. I can't say I know much about this, but I hope you find something that works and things improve x
    #babybabble

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  7. This wasn't something I was massively aware about, but I'll definitely keep your tips in mind when our first born arrives next month. Hope you find something to help out. Liking the tux as well by the way! :)

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  8. This is really interesting and it's really not something I have herd much about before! Will definitely be bearing it in mind when baby comes though! xx #babybabble

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  9. I hope you find some useful solutions Jo, Toby doesn't seem to have it at all, but it's always good to know any good solutions for future babies, to pass on to others etc. Finlay is scrummy gorgeous!xx #babybabble

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  10. my daughter had a flat head on one side, the only advice I was given was to turn her head when she laid down, this didn't work as she has a preference for sleeping a certain way, it seemed to improve when she got older and when the hair starts to grow you don't really see it

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  11. Really interesting read hun, hope you find something to help!!
    Lianne | TheBrunetteSays...

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  12. my son has a really flat head he's 18 months now and i still dont think it looks right x

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