Posted in Write for me Wednesday

Write for me Wednesday: Babies’ Head Shape and Flat Head Syndrome (Sarah’s Guest Post)

I’m really happy to present yet another guest post.  This time, it is from Sarah from babyflathead.org.  Sarah is a 40-something mom to a 21 month old boy who had flat head syndrome.   She ended up using a helmet to treat his condition when it was continuing to worsen at 8 months, but her blog advocates trying natural methods such as repositioning and tummy time as a first option.  Unfortunately not all babies respond to repositioning.  She has a full time day job in technology marketing, and this blog is a side project and a real passion of hers since there isn’t enough good information available for parents about this problem.

Normal is a relative term. As our children grow, we notice every little detail about them, and marvel at the little person who came from our hearts and wombs into the world. Sometimes, the little differences we notice are medically important, however. One thing we may notice that distinguishes our child from other children is head shape. There are many ‘normal’ head shapes, but symmetry is a defining feature of them all.

How do you know if your baby’s head shape is normal?

A normal baby’s head shape can vary widely across a range of measurements. In fact, there are even special instruments that are designed to help a physician measure your little one’s head shape. They assess factors like the cranial vault symmetry and index. One of the most popular devices in use is a craniometer.

If your child’s pediatrician is concerned about your baby’s head shape, he or she will tell you. The standard head shape evaluation is a part of the 2 or 3 month well-baby visit for most infants. You may not even notice when your doctor conducts the exam, unless a variation from the range of normal head shapes is detected.

Normal head shape is generally symmetrical, although often not perfectly so. Premature infants are often closely monitored for altered head shape, but other babies are also at risk. Males, first borns, multiples (twins,triplets, etc), and babies with limited room to move around in the uterus are especially prone to abnormal head shape.

Why does head shape matter?

Many babies who are diagnosed with plagiocephaly or brachycpehaly – cranial deformities – are often also diagnosed with reflux or torticollis. A normal head shape indicates healthy growth of both the skull and brain. Deviation from normal head shape can signal the presence of other, more serious, problems – such as craniosynostosis.

Craniosynostosis occurs when the bones of the skull fuse before they are supposed to, resulting in a deformed head shape. Most cranial deformities are related to position, and occasionally to torticollis, however. These tend to resolve with treatment, and in mild cases may disappear on their own.

What is Flat Head Syndrome?

Some babies develop a flat spot on the rear or side of their skull, and are diagnosed with Flat Head Syndrome, which includes plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and sometimes two other conditions – scaphocephaly and torticollis. If your child is diagnosed with this syndrome, you might not be sure where to turn. There are numerous resources available, however. Treatment can be fairly simple, and isn’t invasive. It is important, however. Without treatment, this condition may lead to developmental delays, scoliosis, and possibly even visual and auditory problems.

For more information on Flat Head Syndrome, as well as resources for parents, check out my website:http://www.babyflathead.org. The site includes product reviews, tips, stories from other families, and general information that can help you and your child cope with this syndrome.

Thank you Sarah for sharing this post with us!  I agree that there is very little information on the subject (no one not even doctors or nurses ever talked about it when I was pregnant or when I gave birth, I found out about this by accident by snooping around on the Web).

If anyone else would like to write a guest post for me, you can check out the original post here and shoot me an email through the contact me page.

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Author:

Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

6 thoughts on “Write for me Wednesday: Babies’ Head Shape and Flat Head Syndrome (Sarah’s Guest Post)

  1. Good information! I didn’t realize their were babies with higher risk for having a flat head. I wonder why preemies are more likely to have it; is it because they still have so much growing to do?

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