Shaping an Infant’s Head


Lots of babies have somewhat uneven heads. However is it cause for worry? Comprehend what causes disproportion in babies’ heads when treatment is needed.

What causes a baby’s head shape to appear uneven?

In some cases a baby’s head is molded unevenly while travelling through the birth canal. In other cases, head shape modifications after birth as an outcome of pressure on the back of the head when the baby pushes his/her back.

You’ll observe two soft areas at the top of your baby’s head where the skull bones haven’t yet grown together. These spots, called fontanels, enable a baby’s relatively big go to move through the slim birth canal. They likewise accommodate your baby’s rapidly growing brain during infancy.

Because your baby’s skull is flexible, however, a propensity to rest the head in the exact same position can lead to an uneven head shape well past the time when birth-related lopsidedness evens out. This is called positional plagiocephaly.

What’s normal and what isn’t really?

Your baby’s doctor will inspect the soft spots on your baby’s head and the shape of your baby’s head at birth and at each well-baby test– generally every two to four months for the first year.

Positional molding might be most obvious when you’re taking a look at your baby’s head from above. From that view, the back of your baby’s head may look flatter on one side than on the other. The cheekbone on the flat side might extend, and the ear on the flat side may look pressed forward.

Is an uneven head shape cause for worry?

Your baby’s head shape will probably level by itself. Positional molding is typically considered a cosmetic concern. Flat spots associated with press on the back of the head do not cause brain damage or interfere with a baby’s growth and advancement.

Keep in mind that if you spend too much time stressing over your baby’s head shape, you may miss a few of the enjoyable of being a new parent. In a few brief months, better head and neck control will assist your baby keep pressure more uniformly distributed on the skull.

How is an uneven head shape treated?

Your baby’s head shape will more than likely level on its own. But changes in the method you position your baby can lessen unevenness and accelerate its resolution. For example:

  • Change direction. Continue to put your baby on his or her back to sleep, however alternate the direction your baby’s head deals with when you put him or her in the crib. Or put your baby’s head near the foot of the baby crib one day, the head of the baby crib the next. You might also hold your baby with alternate arms at each feeding. If your baby go back to the initial position while sleeping, adjust his/her position next time.
  • Hold your baby. Holding your baby when he or she is awake will help eliminate pressure on your baby’s head from swings, providers and infant seats.
  • Attempt tummy time. With close supervision, location your baby on his or her tummy to play. Make certain the surface is firm.
  • Get innovative. Position your baby so that he or she will need to turn away from the flattened side of the head to look at you or to track motion or noise in the space. Move the crib occasionally to provide your baby a new vantage point. Never ever rest your baby’s head on a pillow or other kind of soft bed linen.

Helmets and head shape

If disproportion does not enhance by age 4 months, your baby’s doctor may prescribe a molded helmet to help shape your baby’s head. The helmet offers directed development, maintaining contact with the baby’s head in all areas other than for the flat spot.

Molded helmets are most effective when treatment starts by ages 4 to 6 months, when the skull is still malleable and the brain is proliferating. To be effective, the helmet must be used 23 hours a day during the treatment duration– typically a variety of months. The helmet is adjusted frequently– often weekly– as the baby’s head grows and alters shape. Treatment with a molded helmet isn’t likely to be reliable after age 1, when the skull bones are merged together and head development ends up being less rapid.

Current research, nevertheless, recommends that repositioning with or without physical therapy might be as reliable as helmet therapy in most cases.

Beyond positional molding

Often an underlying muscular concern– such as torticollis– causes a baby to hold his/her head slanted to one side. In this case, physical therapy is necessary to assist extend the afflicted muscles and permit the baby to more easily alter head positions.

Seldom, two or more of the bony plates in a baby’s head fuse prematurely. This rigidness pushes other parts of the head out of shape as the brain grows. This condition, called craniosynostosis, is usually treated during early stage. To give the brain adequate space to grow and develop, the merged bones must be surgically separated.

Remember, a lot of cases of unevenness in babies’ head shapes will resolve on their own. If you’re concerned about your baby’s head shape, check with your baby’s doctor.


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