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Flat spot on head at 3 months


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#1 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 09 August 2019 - 02:35 PM

DS always sleeps with his head to one side  :(

Despite my best efforts of propping him the other way when he's in the pram and holding him tummy down as much as I possibly can its still quite noticeable :(

The nurse has checked him out and says she cant see any muscular issues with him.

Anyone else had a baby with a noticeable flat spot at this age and did your little one grow out of it?

#2 marple

Posted 09 August 2019 - 02:43 PM

Yes. My youngest did. We used a special small rounded pillow suggested by the paed. Can't remember the name but speak to a doctor as I know pillows are not normally recommended for babies.. He went from having a huge flat spot on one side to perfectly round in about 6 months. HTH but definitely ask a doctor.

#3 Daffy2016

Posted 09 August 2019 - 04:44 PM

Yup the back of DD’s head has almost totally flat. She slept hard and deep flat on her back, unfortunately.

We saw a paed and a physio who gave us some exercises to help with tummy time, which she hated. Once she was sitting and crawling it sorted itself out.

She’s nearly two now and I still think it’s a bit flat, but the paed did say it can take until preschool to totally grow out.

I’d recommend seeing a paed for some advice - I think they do more wait and see than they used to, but it’s best to get on it ASAP.

#4 teaspoon

Posted 09 August 2019 - 04:53 PM

yep, DS had a flat spot

We got a wedge shaped pillow from Clarke Rubber cut the width of the cot and put in under the fitted sheet (so no suffocation danger etc). It forced him to sleep on the non-preferred side when in his cot.

We also moved the cot around the room so he didn't lie with his head facing the direction of the door.

#5 Soontobegran

Posted 09 August 2019 - 06:23 PM

Those shaped pillows should not be used to sleep on according to SIDS recommendations. Only to be used under supervision...meaning when the baby is within your range of vision.
Babies can roll into the foam.

Plagiocephaly is extremely common now babies lie on their backs and is of no concern generally as it will usually right itself as the baby is more vigorous in their cot.

It is always good to check that there are no neck muscle issues but just changing positions, tummy time etc will be enough in most children to normalise their skulls.

Two of my grandchildren had plagiocephaly, one saw a physio, the other needed nothing. One was quite severe with uneven ears etc.
Both have completely normal skulls now.

Congenital problems are a different issue.

Edited by Soontobegran, 09 August 2019 - 06:24 PM.


#6 blackcat20

Posted 09 August 2019 - 07:34 PM

Our four month old has a slight flat spot on the back of her head. She tends to turn her head both ways during th night so I figure it’ll go in it’s own time.

#7 400

Posted 09 August 2019 - 09:27 PM

My son had torticollis when he was born so he always gravitated to one side. We worked very very hard with an amazing osteopath who made an amazing difference, but by then the damage had already started.

We worked our asses off to keep him off that flat spot. I know STBG that the consensus is that plagiocephaly/brachycephaly causes no cognitive deficits, but newer research and long term data is starting to suggest that that may not be completely true. Regardless, damage done early on, even if only cosmetic, may be permanent if it’s bad enough. We decided that we would do anything it took to keep him off that flat spot.

So.. we decided to deviate from sids recommendations and used a mimos pillow. Even though under sids recommendations nothing at all should be placed into the cot, we decided to take the risk on this one because even if I pressed it over my mouth and nose with all my might, it is so porous that I could still breathe. It came with a cover which was not breathable, so we didn’t use that.

The mimos bought us enough time to keep him off the flat spot until he learned to roll and decided that he preferred to be on his tummy anyway, and the pressure was off the back of his head. As soon as we started using the mimos the flat spot didn’t get any worse, and I honestly believe it prevented long term serious asymmetry.

He now has enough hair to cover it and it has popped out so well that it’s almost non-existent.

Obviously this is a choice that one has to make for themselves as the sids recommendations are pretty serious and rigid; I just wanted to share my experience. We always had a monitor on when we weren’t in the room and I know that’s not flawless but it helped.

#8 Hands Up

Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:21 PM

DS1 has a slight flat spot. He preferred one side while on his back and it didn’t matter if we moved the cot or flipped him to the other end. The midwives freaked out about it and got me quite upset but the paed wasn’t bothered. Lots of tummy time, he rolled early and sat early and now at age five he has a very slight flat spot but he’d have to be bald to see it.

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 09 August 2019 - 10:47 PM

View Post400, on 09 August 2019 - 09:27 PM, said:

My son had torticollis when he was born so he always gravitated to one side. We worked very very hard with an amazing osteopath who made an amazing difference, but by then the damage had already started.

We worked our asses off to keep him off that flat spot. I know STBG that the consensus is that plagiocephaly/brachycephaly causes no cognitive deficits, but newer research and long term data is starting to suggest that that may not be completely true. Regardless, damage done early on, even if only cosmetic, may be permanent if it’s bad enough. We decided that we would do anything it took to keep him off that flat spot.

So.. we decided to deviate from sids recommendations and used a mimos pillow. Even though under sids recommendations nothing at all should be placed into the cot, we decided to take the risk on this one because even if I pressed it over my mouth and nose with all my might, it is so porous that I could still breathe. It came with a cover which was not breathable, so we didn’t use that.

The mimos bought us enough time to keep him off the flat spot until he learned to roll and decided that he preferred to be on his tummy anyway, and the pressure was off the back of his head. As soon as we started using the mimos the flat spot didn’t get any worse, and I honestly believe it prevented long term serious asymmetry.

He now has enough hair to cover it and it has popped out so well that it’s almost non-existent.

Obviously this is a choice that one has to make for themselves as the sids recommendations are pretty serious and rigid; I just wanted to share my experience. We always had a monitor on when we weren’t in the room and I know that’s not flawless but it helped.


I’d be most interested to see this new research that does not say that in most cases plagiocephaly will not result in long term deficits. Do you have the links? Of course there are some cases.....
I agree that it is up to the parent to weigh up the risks but I feel it is dangerous territory to recommend a pillow that has been deemed unsafe on a parenting site.

#10 lucky 2

Posted 09 August 2019 - 11:50 PM

Afaik a pillow like the minos can be used when baby is lying on the back but it is used when baby is awake, not  when asleep.

#11 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 10 August 2019 - 08:27 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 09 August 2019 - 06:23 PM, said:


Two of my grandchildren had plagiocephaly, one saw a physio, the other needed nothing. One was quite severe with uneven ears etc.
Both have completely normal skulls now.

That's reassuring thank you.  Im doing as much tummy time as I possibly can while still looking after my other kids ;)

#12 AliasMater

Posted 10 August 2019 - 08:37 AM

We used a peanut pillow in the pram and during floor time as he did strongly favour one side. My baby's head was an odd shape, and still is at 9 months old due to prematurity or 'prem head' as I've heard it called.

We were told by just about everyone that it is not an issue unless facial features become distorted due to the flat spots or asymmetrical shape.

#13 Jamelex

Posted 10 August 2019 - 08:55 AM

My ex prem DD has moderate plagiocephaly including ear asymmetry. We also did lots of tummy time, exercises to encourage her to look the other way, placed her at the other end of the cradle so she had to look left instead of right to see the rest of the room. She’s 3 now and it’s been a while since even I could notice anything so seems fine now.

#14 mm1981

Posted 10 August 2019 - 09:21 AM

All of my kids have had flat spots.  My second had a flat spot so severe that his ears were crooked.

We did nothing at all (other than just normal tummy time). All 5 of them have regular shaped heads now

#15 400

Posted 10 August 2019 - 06:02 PM

View PostSoontobegran, on 09 August 2019 - 10:47 PM, said:

I’d be most interested to see this new research that does not say that in most cases plagiocephaly will not result in long term deficits. Do you have the links? Of course there are some cases.....
I agree that it is up to the parent to weigh up the risks but I feel it is dangerous territory to recommend a pillow that has been deemed unsafe on a parenting site.

I feel that you have twisted my words a little

a) I said that we were lead to believe there were no complications of plagiocephaly whereas this is emerging to be not completely true. I did a mass of research a long time ago and while I don’t have time to repeat it, a quick search has lead me to a systematic review that “suggests that plagiocephaly is a marker for elevated risk for developmental delays” which is in line with what I was mentioning.

https://www.ncbi.nlm...ubmed/28009719/

and b) I was sharing my experience and not by any means “recommending” a pillow be used- as you said, it’s up to the parent to weigh up the risks which is what we did. We identified that it was getting bad quickly and I was very concerned that it was more that a small flat spot. So rather than wait and see if it got bad enough to need a helmet, we weighed up the risks and made a decision that we were comfortable with.

#16 Beanette

Posted 10 August 2019 - 07:21 PM

View Post400, on 10 August 2019 - 06:02 PM, said:

I feel that you have twisted my words a little

a) I said that we were lead to believe there were no complications of plagiocephaly whereas this is emerging to be not completely true. I did a mass of research a long time ago and while I don’t have time to repeat it, a quick search has lead me to a systematic review that “suggests that plagiocephaly is a marker for elevated risk for developmental delays” which is in line with what I was mentioning.

https://www.ncbi.nlm...ubmed/28009719/

and b) I was sharing my experience and not by any means “recommending” a pillow be used- as you said, it’s up to the parent to weigh up the risks which is what we did. We identified that it was getting bad quickly and I was very concerned that it was more that a small flat spot. So rather than wait and see if it got bad enough to need a helmet, we weighed up the risks and made a decision that we were comfortable with.

This is misleading. From your article:
"A preexisting developmental pathology can also cause reduced head movement leading to skull deformity. In addition, a pre-existing skull deformity affecting brain shape and there-fore producing brain changes has also been suggested to cause developmental delay"
I.E In some cases it is a developmental disorder causing the flat spot, not the flat spot causing the developmental delay.
Copying an abstract does not convey the intention or result of the research, you need to actually read the article before making such blanket statements.

OP, I would consult a GP if you're concerned. FWIW my DS had a flat spot on the back of his head as a baby and his head has now evened out and is round again as a two year old, without any intervention from me apart from regular tummy time.

#17 400

Posted 10 August 2019 - 09:51 PM

View PostBeanette, on 10 August 2019 - 07:21 PM, said:

This is misleading. From your article:
"A preexisting developmental pathology can also cause reduced head movement leading to skull deformity. In addition, a pre-existing skull deformity affecting brain shape and there-fore producing brain changes has also been suggested to cause developmental delay"
I.E In some cases it is a developmental disorder causing the flat spot, not the flat spot causing the developmental delay.
Copying an abstract does not convey the intention or result of the research, you need to actually read the article before making such blanket statements.

I agree with you- there is a lot more to it than can be made by blanket statements. There are different causes of flat spots. There are also confounding elements that contribute to cognitive delay. I’m not drawing any direct conclusions here.

What I personally said was that saying “plagiocephaly has no negative long term effects” may not be completely true. I was asked to provide a link to support that there may be some emerging evidence that disputes that statement, and as I mentioned this was the first link I found on my current quick search.

I never said any blanket statements such as “a flat head from lying on that spot causes developmental problems”.




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