What is Plagiocephaly (Flat Head)?

Flat ‘pressure’ spots, referred to as positional plagiocephaly (flat head), can develop if a baby lies in one position on the head for long periods of time. Positional plagiocephaly is a relatively common condition that tends to improve with age and in most babies, flat spots will disappear completely as baby’s head grows and when baby starts to sit up and look around.

However, in some babies these flat spots can persist. There is no evidence to suggest that plagiocephaly affects brain development. A small number of babies with severe flattening require fitting with a specially designed helmet to help reshape the head. This is very rare.

For the majority of children, plagiocephaly is preventable. Ways to prevent or treat plagiocephaly include alternating baby’s head position (left or right) when placed to sleep, never placing baby in the seated position for long periods and offering baby increasing amounts of time playing on the tummy while baby is awake and watched by an adult. Alternate the holding position when feeding baby, i.e. hold in left arm for one feed and the right arm for the next feed.

Remember, always place baby to sleep on the back.

Last modified: 15/11/16