Every parent takes pride in a cute and healthy baby. The only problem is that their young heads can lose shape so quickly. Not to worry though, you can always keep him or her cute by shaping the head.
Wondering how you can shape your baby’s head, well read on to discover how exactly to do it and more, including:
- What causes baby head shape changes.
- Can sleep position affects baby head shape?
- How to prevent your baby from flat head.
- The benefits of using a baby pillow.
Table of Contents
What Causes Baby Head Shape Changes?
First things first, understanding the cause of baby head shape changes is the secret to stopping these changes. Here are some of the causes of baby head shape changes.
Many people assume that a human head is a huge rounded bone. However, the truth is that the skull in children and adults consists of multiple flat bones joined together.
Some of these bones are loosely joint, while others are not joined at all. You might have noticed that your baby has soft spots on the top of their head and near the back. These weak spots are known as fontanelles.
These soft spots are susceptible to changes during birth. For instance, the spots can get stuck during delivery and look squished during vaginal birth.
On the contrary, your child is likely to have a rounded head if you had a C-section. Babies delivered through a C-section have a perfect shape because they are not squeezed during delivery. However, some babies might have irregular shapes due to their position.
Other causes of baby head shape change during birth include multiple births, conehead, bumps, lumps, forceps, and vacuum births.
2. The Sleeping Posture
Different sleeping postures can also cause head shape changes. Even though most parents assume that back sleeping does not cause head shape changes, the reality is that it can also cause head shape change, known as plagiocephaly.
Babies can also get a flat head after lying in a stroller, car seat, and a rocker for too long. Stiff neck muscles can also cause head shape changes.
3. Defects During Birth
Babies have weak skulls that only start to strengthen after two years. A loose skull promotes brain growth and development. However, bones can join too early, causing head shape changes.
This condition is known as craniosynostosis. The good news is that this condition is rare. The head might be flattened or grow longer if a child has this condition. It might also grow wider and short or become flat at the back.
Can Sleep Position Affect Baby Head Shape?
Due to the delicate nature of their skulls, babies have more complicated sleeping positions than adults. Adults can sleep in any position they wish. On the contrary, babies must sleep in safe positions.
It is advisable to place babies on their backs while they are sleeping. Doing so prevents the risk of sudden infant death.
Moreover, it reduces the risk of a stuffy nose and increased body temperature. Babies who sleep on their back are also less likely to get ear infections. This means that most babies sleep on their backs in most cases.
Some babies can have a misshapen head after sleeping on their back for some time. The good news is that they can regain perfect head shapes with time.
Babies are also likely to roll over while sleeping. When this happens, they will pressure one area of their heads and cause a head shape change. The secret to dealing with head shape change due to sleeping positions is to deal with it early.
In some cases, changing your baby’s sleeping position is enough. However, you might have to use a collective helmet if the issue gets out of hand. Since prevention is better than cure, using a baby pillow from the onset is the best way of preventing head shape changes.
How to Prevent Your Baby from Flat Head?
To avoid sudden infant death, it is advised to always lay your child on their backside. When you lay your child in the same position for a long time, they may develop a flat spot on the back of their head or the side.
This is known as Flat head syndrome. It mainly occurs because the infants head is soft and they have weak neck muscles. However, it would help if you did not worry since flat head syndrome can be prevented.
Here are some of the ways you can prevent your child from getting flat head syndrome.
1. Gentle Neck Massage
Although gentle neck massage can sometimes be uncomfortable to the child, it is vital to prevent the flat head syndrome. Gentle massage will help the child to relax and move the neck muscles. Hence, this will prevent your baby’s neck from being tight.
2. Supervised Tummy Time
Tummy time can help your baby to improve their motor development. This is because it allows the child to control their neck and shoulders. Therefore, it is advisable to always ensure that your child has around 30 to 60 minutes of tummy time each day.
3. Avoid Road Trips
Another simple yet effective way of reducing head shape changes is to avoid road trips altogether. During a road trip, your baby will have to keep his or her neck in the same position due to the infant car seat.
This might lead to a misshapen head. What is more, your kid might sleep on one side during the trip. That is why you should wait for your kid’s skull to get stronger before introducing him or her to road trips.
4. Play With Your Kid
The other way of stopping head shape changes is to play with your kid. You can use his or her favorite toy and move it around. Better yet, you can draw her attention when you move around the room.
Your kid’s eyes will follow you the whole time. This means that the head will not be in the same position for long.
5. Keep Changing Your Baby’s Head Position
It is advisable to change your baby’s head position from left to right and right to left as he or she sleeps on the back. Changing the head position reduces pressure on the head, and consequently, head shape changes.
Since your child will likely move during the night, remember to keep the flat side of the head facing up while the rounded side should touch the mattress. Eliminate any device that might restrict movement.
6. Use Baby Pillows
Baby pillows can help prevent the flat head syndrome. They are safe to use and will also help your child to sleep soundly. Baby pillows prevent head shape changes by offering even support to the head while the child sleeps.
Moreover, it maintains the ideal temperatures at all times. In addition, baby pillows will come in handy when you are breastfeeding your child. You can also use it to prevent back problems.
What’s the Benefit of Using a Baby Pillow?
Baby pillows have been growing in popularity in the last couple of years for all the right reasons. Although they were not common in the past, they have become a must-have tool for any parent who wants to prevent flat head syndrome in their kids.
Let us look at the top benefits of baby pillows below.
Helps Prevent Flat Head Syndrome
One of the reasons you should turn to baby pillows is that they will help you prevent head shape changes in your kids. Kids sleep on their backs most of the time.
This places them at risk of having flattened heads. Using a baby pillow prevents flat head syndrome by offering support to your child. The pillow distributes weight evenly to prevent head shape changes.
Moreover, baby pillows have soft fabrics that act as a cushion against the hard mattress.
Your Child Will Sleep More Comfortably
Worries that your child is not comfortable? Getting a baby pillow might be the best thing to do if you want your baby to have a good night’s sleep.
Baby pillows provide warmth and even support to keep your kid comfortable whenever he or she sleeps. What is more, they give a sense of safety for your kid.
Baby Pillows are Versatile
As a child grows old, the sleeping position will keep changing. Using baby pillows is the best way of keeping your child comfortable, depending on his or her sleeping patterns.
Baby pillows are available for all sleeping positions. You only have to determine if your kid is a side sleeper, stomach sleeper, or back sleeper.
Eliminate the Chances of Your Child Becoming Bald
As mentioned earlier, children usually sleep on their backs most of the time. This sleeping position encourages grinding, which can make your child bald.
Introducing baby pillows is the best solution if you want to eliminate your child’s chances of becoming bald by reducing grinding. Baby pillows have soft fabrics than typical pillows and mattresses.
Although flat head syndrome is prevalent in many children, you can make sure that your child has the perfect baby head shape by preventing baby head shape change.
Massaging your child’s head and using a baby pillow are some of the ways of avoiding baby head shape changes. You can also play with your child and move around so that your kid does not hold the head in one position for a long time.