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What is Flat Head Syndrome?

Flat head syndrome occurs as the infant’s head develops a flat spot when pressure gets exerted on a particular part of the skull. The reason for this is that a newborn’s cranium is delicate and incredibly pliable and remains so for the initial few weeks after birth. It can become misshapen due to the push of the baby’s journey through the birth canal but the more common cause of this syndrome is spending too much time sleeping in a particular position which causes pressure to be applied to a specific part of the head.

There are three forms of flat head syndrome:

- Plagiocephaly: The most common and widespread form of flat head syndrome, this happens when the baby’s head is flattened to one side, leaving the ears misaligned and appearing asymmetrical.

- Brachycephaly: This occurs due to pressure on the back of the skull which gets considerably flattened and makes the forehead widen and bulge out.

- Craniosynostosis: The rarest form of flat head syndrome, this occurs when the soft bony plates that form a newborn’s cranium get joined and cemented prematurely, thereby flattening the head. Craniosynostosis is of a higher critical level and requires immediate surgery.

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Guide to Flat Head Syndrome treatment

Once it has occurred, flat head syndrome can be treated in many ways. The earlier it is detected, the easier it is to treat.

- Repositioning the baby as frequently as possible is the prime solution although it can prove to be inconvenient at times, especially when the child is slumbering.

- Ergonomically shaped mats allow self-correction to take place by not letting the child’s head to rest on a flat surface.

- Helmet therapy, on the other hand, puts flat surfaces out of the scenario as the child is made to wear a special helmet that takes all the weight and pressure of the head, thus molding the skull effectively.

- If it continues to persist beyond the age of 12 months and despite these therapies, one must resort to surgery, in which case consult the best pediatric surgeon that you know of.

At BabyJoy.ca, you will find newborn baby's pillows and caps for flat head syndrome. Here are some of the products on BabyJoy.ca that could treat the flat head syndrome, made specifically keeping your baby’s needs in mind.

- TORTLE BEANIE: Tortle is a simple, comfortable beanie that helps prevent and treat early stages flat head syndrome. It makes the job of repositioning newborns safe and easy. It comes in two baby colours – pink and blue so you can pick your preferred choice for your child.

- BABYMOOV LOVENEST BREATHEABLE MESH: An ergonomical head rest designed to keep baby’s head nice and round. Available in soothing shades of ivory and almond.

Enjoy Fast & Free Shipping on order of $49. Orders are shipped from our warehouse in Toronto, Ontario.

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How to prevent Flat Head Syndrome?

Flat head syndrome is something that can be easily prevented and even cured.

- The simplest way to prevent it is to not permit the baby to spend long periods snoozing in the same position. The most effective technique is to give the little one ample ‘tummy time’ during the day as most babies tend to lie on their backs while at rest.

- Ensure movement by carrying the child around in with the head supported in your arms. As long as the baby’s head changes position from time to time, there will be absolutely nothing to worry about.

- Specialized mattresses and pillows that specifically designed to prevent flat head syndrome. These products support the baby’s head by spreading its weight over a large area instead of focusing on one part thereby reducing the pressure on the skull bones while allowing room for unrestricted movement.

All that being said, flat head syndrome really isn’t a major problem. With a love and care, prevention and self-correction can be easily achieved.

Please note that the above article is written by the BabyJoy.ca team based on the personal, family and friend's feedback. Treatment may vary depending on the baby development.