Treatment Methods for Positional Plagiocephaly

treatment helmet for positional plagiocephalyIf your baby develops a flat spot on one side of the head, or on the back of the head, she could have a condition called positional plagiocephaly, or flattened head syndrome. Positional plagiocephaly is very common, especially in children who lie or sit against a flat surface regularly, due to the softness of their skulls. Fortunately, it is a fairly easy condition to diagnose and treat, with a favorable prognosis.

MORE:  Positional Plagiocephaly: What Is It? }

If you suspect your child has positional plagiocephaly, ask your pediatrician to confirm the diagnosis. X-rays and other tests will not be necessary. The doctor will do an examination and determine whether it is positional plagiocephaly or a more serious condition called craniosynostosis.

 Just make sure all “tummy time” is supervised, and that your baby is awake and alert during it.

Treatment methods for positional plagiocephaly are fairly easy and mild. For the most part, it simply involves re-positioning your baby during sleep time. It is still important to place your baby on his back to sleep, but try positioning him differently in the crib so that he has to turn his head a different way to look out of the crib.

“Tummy time” is another important treatment, giving your child time to exercise his neck muscles and gain more strength and control. Just make sure all “tummy time” is supervised, and that your baby is awake and alert during it.

Your home treatment may involve some physical therapy. A physical therapist will teach you simple stretching moves to treat torticollis, a condition in which the muscles on one side of the neck are tight or short. These techniques will gradually lengthen the muscles, encouraging greater and easier movement of the head. They are simple techniques, but must be performed correctly.

{ MORE:  Torticollis }

In some cases, the plagiocephaly is severe enough to require a custom helmet or headband that will apply soft pressure on the skull to encourage regular growth and development. Do not purchase these devices on your own—you should only use them under the direction of a doctor. Correcting the problem this way is easiest if your baby is between four and six months. Once she reaches 10 months, these devices are not very effective.

Plagiocephaly will not affect the development of your child’s brain. And even in severe cases, the flat spots of the skull will eventually round out a bit as your child grows. There may be some asymmetry, but that is not uncommon and is rarely noticeable. Overall, the prognosis for babies with positional plagiocephaly is very positive and encouraging.

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Treatment Methods for Positional Plagiocephaly

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6 comments

  1. LIZ says:

    good information

  2. Linda says:

    can you start breastfeeding once you’ve stopped?

    • Once you have lactated, you’re able to again, but it can be a lot of work. If you’re interested in more information, I suggest searching “relactation” to learn more. It’s not something we cover here on site, but specialty breastfeeding sites have more info – like the La Leche League. Best wishes!

  3. rosveyarni says:

    Ok my baby is 6wks 1day when does my cycle return I breastfeed at first now it strictly bottle! Will I see mother nature soon?

  4. Aiden says:

    My boy is almost 4 weeks just wondering when does all the spots on his head fill out?

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