Positional Plagiocephaly- a common uneven head shape in babies

Positional plagiocephaly is a medical term to describe an uneven head shape with a flat spot on one side of the occiput (back of the head) due to positional issues. Sometimes, there may be changes involved other parts of the head such as forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks or ears. Positional plagiocephaly is usually developed over time. Nearly 1 in 3 young babies have a noticeable plagiocephaly between the age of 2 to 3 months. Dr Amy’s research is studying different factors that contribute to the development of positional plagiocephaly. By understanding the risk factors, we can target on implementing prevention strategies that can help babies to develop a symmetrical head shape. These strategies are also helpful when the baby already has positional plagiocephaly.

3 Questions to ask:

  1. Does my baby prefer to turn their head to one side more than 3/4 of the time?
  2. Does my baby spend more than 15 hours per day on their back?
  3. Does my baby sleep more than 5 hours on their back in one sleep?

If you have 2 yes from the 3 questions, please check your baby’s head shape.

How to check whether my baby has plagiocephaly?

By looking

Usually we look at babies from the front. A flat spot on the occiput is much easier to see when you look from the top of the head (bird’s eye view). In some babies, you may see a bulging part at the other side of the occiput.

By measuring

Dr Amy has developed a method to measure plagiocephaly. It is simple and accurate. If you are unsure whether your baby has a flat spot, book an appointment to see Dr Amy to have it checked out. Dr Amy will also provide helpful strategies to prevent your baby from developing plagiocephaly or advice on the management if the plagiocephaly is significant.

What to do if my baby has plagiocephaly?

Talk to your doctor in the first place to rule out whether the cause of the flat spot is not from early closure of cranial sutures (craniosynostosis). The cranial suture is the gap between 2 skull bones which should be opened for a length of time to allow brain growth. If there is early closure, this will affect the head shape and brain growth.

Implement strategies that you may already learn to avoid too much pressure on the flat spot. Some strategies may work, some others may not. If you are in doubt, book an appointment to see Dr Amy. She has seen hundreds of babies with plagiocephaly. Her research studies provide contemporary and important information in this area. Dr Amy is striving to help you and your baby.

What to do if my baby does not have a flat spot?

With the 2 yes in the above 3 questions, your baby may be at risk of developing a positional plagiocephaly.

Implement strategies that you may already learn to avoid too much pressure on the occiput. Some strategies may work, some others may not. If you are in doubt, book an appointment to see Dr Amy. She has seen hundreds of babies with plagiocephaly. Her research studies provide contemporary and important information in this area. Dr Amy is striving to help you and your baby.