Flat-Head Syndrome

Positional Plagiocephaly (Flat-head Syndrome) affects as many as 47% of babies between 7 and 12 weeks.  It is caused by pressure on the soft skull bones, which have not yet fused, and become moulded into a different shape. This can occur when an infant spends excessive periods of time lying or resting in the same position on their backs; in pushchairs, car seats, bouncers and cribs.

In London, we are fortunate to have the only specialist clinic which can diagnose and treat Plagiocephaly. Ahead4Babies is the only UK-based clinic where craniofacial surgeons offer advice and treatment for misshapen baby heads. Plagiocephaly (“skewed-head syndrome”) and brachycephaly (“flat-head syndrome”) can both be treated with a helmet. 

Ahead4Babies is the only UK-based clinic where craniofacial surgeons offer advice and treatment for misshapen baby heads. Located at: 78 Harley St, Marylebone, London W1G 7HJ   to make an appointment or discuss a consultation, 07982 706 454 | info@ahead4babies.com 

   

Causes of Head deformities:

craniosynostosis  - caused by early fusion of the skull, could look similar to positional deformity

positional deformity  - occur due to baby sleeping on a hard flat surface for a prolonged period of time, long hours every day

bracycephaly - when the baby sleeps on the back

plagiocephaly - when that baby prefers sleeping turin the head into left or right position all the time, often the reason is tightness of muscles in the neck (torticollis)

birth related deformities  -  evens out shortly after birth (if pressure causing the deformity occured only for a short period of time during birth rather than caused by the babies position in the womb which is quite common in twins)

How to prevent?

Reposition, tummy time, baby pillow

How to treat?

0 - 6 months repositioning, tummy time

4-6/7 months start helmet treatment (treatment time depends on starting age and severity: 3-12 months)

7-14 months helmet can still help but treatment is a lot longer and outcome might not be perfect

 

What age to start the helmet treatment?

If repositioning does not help, we suggest to book a free no obligation assessment appointment with one of our surgeons early enough.

We see babies often at 3 months of age if there is a severe deformity and advise on repositioning to help parents improve the head shape, then remeasure the head when babies reach 4-5 months of age so parents can see how much the head has improved without the helmet. Often with good repositioning techniques parents manage to avoid the helmet treatment.

However, if all fails, the helmet treatment can result in perfectly shaped heads if treatment is started between 4-7 months of age. The bones get solid in the head by the time babies reach 6-7 months of age so after that age there is no danger of the head shape changing significantly without the helmet (or surgery).

The helmet can still help after this age as it does not push the bones rather guides the growth of the bones gently to the flat areas where there is a gap inside the helmet  and in that way rounds out the head nicely.

Younger babies grow faster hence length of treatment is shorter.

Could it improve by itself?

Some people claim it can. However it's hard to say who would and who wouldn't. Since our surgeons treat adults as well they do see older children and adults with significantly flat head which causes them psychological issues. In adults the only option for slight improvement is surgery.

Ahead4Babies's expert surgeons will thoroughly assess your baby’s condition and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision whether or not to proceed with any treatment, helmets or otherwise.

Our favourite pillow has to this one, created and patented by a french pediatrician to prevent from flat head. The head support was designed with specific inclination which respects the shape of baby's skull and provides a real support without impeding freedom of movement.

The Lovenest+ is available to purchase for £19.99 at babymoov.co.uk and as with all Babymoov products comes with a Lifetime Warranty.