What is Plagiocephaly?
Baby flat head, better known as plagiocephaly, is characterized by a flattened area of the head in an infant.
In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics began the 'Back to Sleep Campaign' to help reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Since the inception of the program there has been a reduction in SIDS by approximately 40%.
Because infants have been encouraged to sleep on their back, there has been a significant increase in babies with flat spots.
Counter-positioning and helmeting are two avenues used to help re-shape the flattened area.
Some of the common causes of baby flat head include:
- Sleeping in one position from birth through the first few months can change the head shape.
- Torticollis can be defined as the bending of the neck to one side and rotation in the opposite direction. This results in the infant sleeping constantly in one position thus possibly resulting in a flat spot. Therapy, which includes stretching the sternocleidomastoid muscle, will help restore proper neck movements.
- Limited space in the womb may result in a flat spot before birth. Torticollis can also occur in the womb due to positioning. Baby flat head and torticollis can also occur during the birthing process. In this case there may be trauma as the baby moves through the birthing canal.