Newborn babies quite often develop flat spots on their heads. In most cases this will correct itself and there is usually no long term harm. Flat spots are known as 'PLAGIOCEPHALY'.
During birth the skull bones are soft so they can mould down the birth canal. Premature babies are more prone to develop plagiocephaly. To reduce the chance of developing plagiocephaly, there are certain things that you can do to vary their head position:-
Alternate the sleeping position from placing their head side to side each time you lay them down.
Encourage baby to look at different toys/mobiles at sleep time
HOLDING OR CARRYING
Vary the position you hold/carry your baby. You can use a sling/hold upright/carry over your arm on their tummy
Playtime is an excellent way to alternate the newborns head position.
Tummy time is a great way of relieving time off the head. You can start tummy time by laying your baby across your tummy. Place the baby across a soft pillow to relieve pressure on their stomach ensure they lift their heads up.
Otherwise you can use a playmat on the floor, some mats have a gel pad to help lift their heads.
Use toys or a mirror/colourful pictures/books on alternate sides to encourage your baby to not lie flat on the mat.
Use music/make noises or sing to your baby as you lie next to them on the floor.
Tummy time is a great way to strengthen their abdomen muscles in readiness for sitting up/rolling and crawling. It also strengthens their neck muscles in preparation for feeding.
If you're concerned your baby is developing a 'flat head', consult with your GP/Paeditrician or you may get a review from a physiotherapist.
If you have any more questions for our Baby Nurse Laura, She is available for free appointments in selected stores, or is also available via email.
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