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Flat head (plagiocephaly)

What is flat head syndrome ?

Studies have shown that flat heat affects 47% of babies, flat head syndrome or Plagiocephaly is a syndrome that causes flat areas on infants heads. Since the back to sleep campaign to reduce the more serious syndrome of SIDS in 1994 flat head syndrome has increased.

Babies bones are very soft and pliable and due to babies spending so much time lying on their back the pressure on areas of their heads which are most frequently in contact with the mattress surface will often create flat areas on their heads.

So how does the Poco baby hammocks help with flathead? 

As flat head is caused by weight and pressure to babies head whilst lying down, you will find that babies using Poco Baby Hammock will be at a lower risk of developing this condition, the firm but not hard mattress reduces the pressure against babies head and the position they sleep in is slightly upright which distributes your baby’s head weight more evenly to the rest of his body and reducing the risk of flathead.  

Babies can also develop flat head in the uterus should space be constricted, this is rare but is more likely to happen in cases of multiple births and breech babies as they can sometimes become wedged under their mothers ribs.

In some cases vaginally born babies can have oddly shaped head due to pressure through the birth canal. In most cases your babies head shape will correct itself in approximately six weeks, if your babies head has not corrected itself during this time or if your baby develops flat areas on their head around this time it is quite likely that they have plagiocephaly.

Babies that suffer with torticollis are more prone to suffer with flat head syndrome. This is caused by a tight or shortened muscle on the side of the neck resulting in babies head tuned to one side. This in then restricts babies sleep positions.

How to prevent flat head

  • Alternate the direction your baby's head is facing when you put him down to sleep. To encourage this, lay her down with her head at a different end of the crib for naps and each night your babie will naturaly look outwards from her crib 
  • If you are bottle feeding alternate from left to right side
  • Avoid leaving your baby for long periods when their head is resting in the same spot ie car seats, baby swings and carriers
  • Tummy time (under supervision) is very important for more than one reason, this will put absolutely no pressure on babies head and will build babies neck muscles  in turn your babies will then be able to move their head around into different positions whilst sleeping  
  • As your babie grows you will be able to use sitting aids (under supervision) for him these are ideal to prevent flat head  
  • Its always good to move mobile toys from left to right etc this encourages them to move their heads into different directions
  • A consistant change of equipment is essential move baby between play mats, bouncy chairs and slings to keep a constant movement, especially for the first six months
  • Use the Poco baby hammock to relieve pressure when sleeping
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