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High Pointe Physical Therapy – Clarksville, Tennessee -
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My Baby’s Head is Flat…What Can I Do?

Why is his head flat?

Babies’ skulls are very soft and moldable.  Anything that causes pressure on the skull can cause the bone to mold to that shape.  If your baby keeps his head turned to the same side when he’s on his back he could quickly develop a flat spot in that area.  This is preventable and fixable.

What can you do about it right now?

“Tummy Time!”   While your baby is awake put him on his tummy.  Tummy time is very important for helping to re-shape his head because it takes pressure off his head.  

Limit time in “containers” such as bouncy seats, car seats, and swings.  When he is in a “container” he always has something pressing on his skull, which is very moldable right now so any little bit of pressure can shape his head.

When he is asleep (always on his back!) make sure you change the way his head is turned every time you put him down, to the right one time and to the left the next.

Does he need a helmet?

A helmet is used as a last resort and can be very helpful.   Helmets are expensive and sometimes insurance won’t pay for one.  If your baby has excessive head flattening that hasn’t changed with all the tips listed above, a helmet may help.  

What happens if I don’t do anything?

When he is older it  can be difficult to find protective headgear (bicycle or football helmet) or eyeglasses that fit properly since the ear position can shift on the head.   In extreme cases it could cause tempormandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ disorder) which could lead to headaches and pain with chewing and eating.  

Are you still worried?  Call High Pointe-a pediatric physical therapist can take measurements to help determine the cause, the severity and what treatment is needed.