Putting Babies On Their Backs And Flat Head Syndrome

37 Replies
A - May 28

Whilst I know it's best to put babies to sleep on their backs, there has been an increase in babies with flat heads because of this and it looks kind of ugly. I'm worried about putting my baby to sleep on it's side incase it rolls on to it's tummy. My question is, if a baby develops flat head, does it evetually go back to it's normal shape, or are they stuck with it for life?


A - May 28

That should say eventually. Why don't they give us the option to edit our own questions?


Maleficent - May 28

just sleeping on the back won't cause a flat head. it's the babies who are neglected and left in cribs and bouncy seats all day that suffer. hold your baby, don't just set it down like a peice of furniture, and baby will be fine. also, they have sleep positioners that hold baby in place on their sides. i used one with my son cause he spit up alot. worked fine.


Jenn... - May 28

I purchased a sleep positioner from Target for my baby. It is made not to keep them on their sides, but on their back. It also says on the box it reduces flat head syndrome. The cushion for the head is made of memory foam (so soft!) so there is not much pressure on baby's head. My niece got a flat spot on the back of her head from sleeping in a pack n play for her first 3 months. She is now 4 months and the flat spot is pretty much gone.


Happy - May 28

My little nephew developed a severe flat head. It showed up at two months. It started because he was a twin, and while in the womb he was smooshed by his brother and one of his neck muscles developed shorter than the other one. So when he was born he could only turn his head one way. He wore a specially fitted helmet for four months and most his flat head went away. The tips we were given from the craniofacial surgeon was to hold him in different positions so his head wasn't always turned one certain way to look at you while you were holding him. Also, to lay him on his tummy while he was awake. It was pretty cute because he learned to pick his head up a lot sooner than his brother. My sister also had him sleep on his tummy when he could take naps in front of her on a blanket - so she could watch him. All of this was for a severe case, so I recommed to just make sure your baby isn't in the same seat or the same position day in and day out. Hope this helps!


Concerned - May 28

My first child developped a flat. I was so scared of SIDS that he ONLY slept on his back. Otherwise he was always in our arms. His head became quite flat and he had to be fitted for a special helmut which he wore from 5 mo to one year constantly. This was horrible! Make sure you change your baby's positions often. Side sleeping with support is safe as well. Being a new mom for the first time, I followed the peds advice too well. Lots of tummy play is terrific when your little one is awake. My son is 5 yrs now and has a full head of thick hair. You can't really tell his head was mishaped, but if you look closely, his ears don't line up equally on both sides. The helmut helped tremendously. Good Luck!!!


E - May 28

I use a Baby Boppy, to prevent flat head syndrome. Potterybarnkids.com has them for $29. It is so soft and my baby loves it. I place it in his stroller, and in his crib when he is having quiet time.


ouch - May 29

when my best friend had her first born, you could tell that he ALWAYS slept on his back.. hit head was SUPER FLAT!!! i mean, if you think about it, they're sleeping on a firm, flat mattress.. and the bone in the back of their heads is still soft, then yeah, it's going to lead to flat-head syndrome. her son is now 6, but his head is still flat!


Sonya-edd 10/12/05 - May 30

My son would not sleep on his back no matter what we tried. We bought a sleep monitor that monitors movement (breathing patterns). If the monitor (went under mattress) did not sense movement in a certain number of seconds it set off an alarm. This helped us relax while our son slept on his tummy. It is funny now because he only sleeps on his back or side now. All that stress and worrying and now we couldn't get him to sleep on his stomach. GL...


E - May 30

Sonya, what is the name of the monitor that you have? We are interested in something like that.


Mary Kate - May 30

This will be my 4th child and up until today I have never heard of flat head syndrome. My other three children all slept on their backs and I never notice the back of their heads being flat (but maybe it was the mop of hair they all had that I didn't notice). I will place this baby on it's back because it's better to be safe than sorry.


Jessica - June 17

I am absolutly affended by the person that said its the babies that are neglected ike a piece of furniture that suffer. I have a 5 month old that has a semi flat head and I hold her as much as I can. I have a 4 year old and 2 year that keep me pretty busy. Who are you to say that. Are you mother of the year? Do you hold your baby constantly and still manage to get housework and other duties and other kids done in a day? I am a good mother and do not neglect my child. So, if you do then GOOD!


val - June 17

I have seen several babies develope the flat head from being on their backs for too much of the day...I have a friend that believes baby's shouldn't be held too much as they will get spoiled(load of rubbish) and she hardly ever holds her kids, they are always in their cribs or laying on the floor or in a swing, and both of them developed a flat head. Her oldest is 4, and STILL has the flat head....as a baby he looked really scary, it was so flat, and now as a little boy you just feel sorry for him...Her 2 year old also has the flat head. My SIL and BIL just had a baby a few months ago, and they think that you shouldn't hold him while he is sleeping, so he has already developed a flat head. None of my other nephews or my niece(on my side of the family) have ever developed flat heads, as they are held and cuddled almost constantly(and NONE of them are spoiled by the way)....My friend also just had her second, and she doesn't believe you can spoil by holding either, and her first had a perfect round head, and her second does also so far. To Jessica: get a snuggly, they are great. You can have your baby strapped to you all day, while doing chores and everything and your baby will have that closeness they crave...all of the babies on my side of the family have been very content, only cry when they are hungry, because they are held so often.


Lissi - June 17

Totally agree with you Val. How can you spoil a baby?! They need all those cuddles.


Jessica - June 17

Ijust called my daughters ped. and he said to mold her head (rub it up down side like a ball and it will go back by doing this before the problem is really bad. Right now it is just starting.


2 A - June 17

My Nana, "dads mom" had him sleep on his back when he was a baby, never rolled him. Im not even exagerating, but the back of my dads head is completely flat. Its actually pretty funny!


Misty - June 17

For my first son I wanted to make sure he slept on his back because I was so scared of SIDS. I bought a positioner and it kept him on his back and also had a wedge shaped thing you would put under his head that would make their head turn either one way or the other. You could flip it back and forth so they would lay on either side of their head and you could attach it to the positioner to make sure it didn't move. i really liked it and I never had a problem with my son having a flat head.



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