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Understanding Baby’s Head Shape : A Guide From a Chiropractor’s Perspective

13th mAY , 2024.

As a parent, you would always want the best for your baby, and one aspect of their health that you may have questions about is their head shape. In our blog, we will explore everything you need to know about a baby’s head shape, including why it happens, when to seek help, and practical tips for promoting health head development at home.

Why Does Baby’s Head Shape Matter?

Your baby’s head shape can affect their overall development and well-being. While slight variations in head shape are normal, persistent flattening or asymmetry may indicate a condition known as positional plagiocephaly, which can sometimes require intervention.

How Does Head Shaping Happen?

During childbirth and in the early weeks of life, a baby’s skull is soft and malleable, allowing it to pass through the birth canal and accommodate rapid brain growth. However, this also means that external forces, such as (assisted birth using forceps or vacuum) or even pressure from lying in position for too long, can cause the skull to become misshapen.

Signs to Look For:

While it is common for babies to have slightly uneven head spares during their first few weeks of life, it is important to monitor for persistent flattening or asymmetry. Signs that may indicate positional plagiocephaly include a flat spot on one side of the head, uneven ears or eyes, and difficulty turning the head in both directions.

When to Seek Help?

If you notice persistent flattening or asymmetry in your baby’s head, it’s essential to seek guidance from a healthcare professional. They can assess your baby’s head shape and provide personalized recommendations for corrective measures if necessary.

Practical Tips for Promoting Healthy Head Development:

  1. Tummy time : Encourage regular supervised tummy time sessions to help strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles and reduce risk of flat spots.
  2. Change positions frequently : There are many ways parents can do to change positions and prevent pressure on one side of the head. For example ;
    1. Sleeping position - try alternating your baby’s sleeping position by changing the direction they face in the crib
    2. Play time - try facing your baby in different sides during play time to encourage head turning
    3. Feeding (bottle or breast) on different sides
  3. Limit time in Devices : Minimize the use of devices such as car seats, swings or bounces, which can contribute to prolonged pressure on the back of the head

While variations in head shape are common in newborns, it is essential for parents to be proactive about monitoring their baby’s head development and seeking help if needed. By following these practical tips and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, parents can promote health head development and ensure their baby thrives.


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