Can flat head syndrome in babies be avoided?
DUBAI: Warnings about the risk of sudden infant death syndrome have increased, which has added to mothers’ concern and made them more likely to lay their babies down to sleep on their backs, in keeping with medical advice.
But do you worry, like many mothers, that the back of your infant’s head will be flattened as a result of always sleeping on their back?
There are many statistics that speak of the sudden drop in infant mortality since scientists began stressing the importance of putting babies to sleep on their backs.
However, there are also many cases of cranial flattening that result. Are there measures to help prevent this transformation in the shape of your newborn’s head?
Once your baby is three months old and can hold their head up safely, try to put them on their stomach from time to time during the day and talk to them and amuse them, which will prompt them to look around. Only do this if the process is taking place under your watchful eye or that of another adult.
Your infant may not like lying on their stomach once they get used to sleeping on their back at night and will start crying in protest, but repeated attempts gradually throughout the day will encourage them and help reduce cranial flattening.
At markets, there are long, soft pillows that can be used to keep your newborn on their side while they rest during the day (with your eyes on them). They extend from behind the back to underneath the belly and keep them steady for the length of a nap or game.
It’s inadmissible in any case to use these pillows while your baby sleeps at night; it’s preferable for them to sleep on their backs, unless recommended otherwise by their doctor for medical reasons.
Try to change your nursing position every few minutes to keep your child from always resting on one side of their head. It’s enough, during breastfeeding, to move them from right to left.
Flat head syndrome in babies usually goes away by itself when babies begin to sit up, supported by a few cushions, and move their head from side to side. At this point, the bones of the baby’s skull begin to shift more towards alignment.
Finally, know that the shape of the flattened head does not affect the baby’s brain or its functions in any way, and is nothing more than a temporary aesthetic issue that can be avoided, with some care, in infancy.