By Jan Murray
Plagiocephalie or flattened head area can develop in babies after birth. This occurs from applying constant pressure on one part of their head. The first 6 - 8 weeks of babies life is the most important time to avoid a flattened head area (Plagiocephalie) developing. This is because the bones in a newborn's head at this time are thin and flexible and the head is soft and easy to mould.
Four reasons why flat areas may occur in a baby's head:
1. Lying in one position for long periods of time.
2. By always turning the head to the same side when lying on their back (favouring looking out a window to the light).
3. Always sitting in a propped up position. May occur in babies who suffer from reflux pain.
4. Birth trauma resulting in neck pain - leaving a baby to favour a pain free position.
Discover eight important steps to facilitate a baby developing muscle balance and therefore decreasing the risk of developing a flattened head area.
1. Alternate the head position when putting them down to sleep.
2. Alternate putting baby at different ends of the cot when putting him to bed.
3. A period of tummy time during every play time.
4. Change the position of the toys when babies are on the floor so they move their head to different angles.
5. Vary holding and carrying positions.
6. Changing the side that a baby carry sling is worn on.
7. When picking babies up, approach them from different sides of the body.
8. Visit a baby accredited chiropractor or physiotherapist to assess baby's head alignment, especially after a long or difficult birth, forceps assisted birth or birth by caesarean section. Babies who do not feed well from a particular side, hate tummy time or suffer from considerable wind, may have an alignment issue requiring attention.
Seek professional help EARLY if you see baby's head becoming flattened in areas or the head constantly tilts to one side or he favours facing a certain direction.
A physiotherapist may advise a cranial helmet be worn for a period of time if a baby's head remains flat beyond five to six months.
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Jan Murray has been committed to studying and working as a Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse for over 25 years. Jan is a mother of 5, Child Health Consultant who co-founded and directs Settle Petal. Jan provides information and support for parents to develop their knowledge base and confidence. Receive your FREE Routines eBook at http://www.settlepetal.com to unlock a secret to helping babies settle, sleep and grow.