Treatments of Flat Head Syndrome
What should I do if I can see flattening developing?
The golden rule is that the earlier detection, the earlier something can be done to initiate self-correction.
Self-correction (or allowing the bones to slowly reshape themselves back towards normal) can only be achieved if the gravitational pressure is removed.
Gravity forces the baby’s head to rotate back onto the flat surface making the condition worse.
Self correction can be achieved with helmet therapy or by using an ergonomically shaped mattress during both day and night and by avoiding putting baby on flat surfaces. See photo below:
How can I help solve my baby’s head shape problem?
There is quite a lot that can done especially if the problem is identified early. The ideal scenario is not to allow the condition to develop in the first instance by using ergonomically shaped surfaces for your baby.
But, if a problem has arisen, corrective measures can be started anytime – and the earlier the better, when baby is 2 or 3 months old. Remove the pressure from the baby’s head by avoiding flattened surfaces and allow the skull to reshape itself.
Repositioning therapy – frequently reposition baby so the continual pressure is removed, as discussed earlier. No cost but can be inconvenient if repositioning when baby is sleeping.
Ergonomic mattress and day mat. - research conducted at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has found that if babies are placed on an ergonomically shaped mattress, such as SleepCurve, to sleep at night , self- correction can take place up to the age of 12 months. Advantages over a baby helmet are cost (under £100) , convenience and comfort. See report by Alder Hey Children's Hospital (This will open in a new tab)
Helmet therapy is often also considered by parents and healthcare practitioners. When a helmet is fitted to the baby, parents do not need to concern themselves about avoiding flat surfaces as the outside of the helmet takes the pressure and self-correction becomes possible. The disadvantages are the cost (in excess of £1K) and they can be clumsy and hot for the baby.
Using a SleepCurve mattress as a treatment for Flat Head Syndrome is likely to see relatively quick results if your baby is under 1 year old.
97% of babies showed a significant improvement in head shape in a 6 month clinical study of babies with mild, medium and severe plagiocephaly.
There was an improvement in head shpae and in the alignment of the ears as the example on the right shows.
More information on the study and on how to buy a SleepCurve mattress can be found on the website