DD is developing a serious flat head at two months. advise hugely appreciated.

(92 Posts)
bbface Sun 19-May-13 18:51:12

My beautiful girl has a very noticeable flat head. I have to confess I find it utterly adorable, but my dh is very concerned and I do worry for the future.

Any advise pls, perhaps recommendations for pillows?

Many thanks

Chislemum Mon 20-May-13 16:29:56

See an Osteopath now...

We had same issue and my little one, who is now 9months old, is back within normal range and he really was not. He had torticollis. Rule out torticollis and if HV and GP are ignorant, still go an see an Osteopath.

Also,get the Lilla Kudis or the Clevamoma foam pillow, make the little one lie on tummy, sit as much as possible.

I can warmly recommend Stephen Sandler, who is excellent. http://www.chingfordosteopathy.com/The-Staff/dr-stephen-sandler-phd-do.html . He is also at the Portland in London and will recommend an osteopath nearer to home if your little one needs treatment. Dr Sandler charged £75 for a consultation, money so well spent.v If you are near Bromley then I can also recommend Simon Turgoose.

jitterbug85 Mon 20-May-13 16:40:52

Girliefriend... Plagiocephaly and brachecephaly are similar conditions that is mostly caused by environmental courses ie positioning or tortillas (tightening of neck muscles making it hard to turn head one side to another). There are other craniofacial conditions that can affect skull shape which may be what the girl had in the hospital. The biggest tell between positional and a condition is that positional does not affect other features on the face or positioning of the ears. Anybody with any questions about plagiocephaly should really check out the headlines charity website and look at the factsheet. They do some fab work and work alongside the 4 leading craniofacial departments in the UK. My ds had metopic synostosis and it really was the best resource I found in my many hours of googling!

redexpat Mon 20-May-13 17:19:13

My wonderful HV noticed and told me to put him to sleep on his side for a while, just until it evened out again.

It was only 4 months or so later that those pillows everyone is talking about hit the market where I am!

MousyMouse Mon 20-May-13 17:26:09

dc had a very flat/wonky head. gp said not to worry they will outgrow it by 18m.
gp was right, even though it took longer dc was more like 24m. now you wouldn't know.
we did a lot of 'tummy time' and tried to put baby down for naps on their side instead of their back.

ELBE Mon 20-May-13 18:53:37

I used to look after identical twins that had it. I did alot of tummy time and when they were in their rocker chair I would roll their muslim up and tuck behind them so they were looking to the side and do the same for the other side, alternating. If you know what I mean. You can't do it when they start to grab though as they could cover their face. It did help and the parents did it too.

florencebabyjo Mon 20-May-13 20:06:34

This sounds like plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. My son had it and it is common in babies put to sleep on their backs. This does not right itself and needs remoulding or your child will have a flat head for life. We contacted an orthotics clinic(look this up) in Kingston SW London who scanned my babys head at 5 months and made a helmet to exactly fir the head. The inside was made of a dense foam material which put slight pressure on the protruding part and allowed free growth on the part that was very flat. My sons head was like a 45 degree angle at the back! Each visit they shave a bit more off the inside of the helmet so his head grew to an even shape. After 6 months they rescanned his head and it is now completely normal. These helmets really are fantastic but you have to wear them for 22 hours a day, only taking off for washing which you need to do twice a day with alcohol solution. The NHS take a dim view of this in our area and would not fund it so we went to a charity and got a grant for 2000 which covered the cost of it. Apparently Bristol NHS will cover this so you will have to check in your area. We went to 2 consultants who said it was just cosmetic, which it was, but this was turning into a significant deformity and would be there for life. You need to catch this while the bones are still very soft, ideally before 6 months. The baby will not be bothered and the worse thing was only being able to kiss the top of his head! Get it sorted now! x

ELBE Mon 20-May-13 20:07:48

just reread my last post sorry spelling mistake muslin. You must think what is she talking about!!!!

ProjectGainsborough Mon 20-May-13 20:28:27

Just everything foxbasealpha said. Our HV was very dismissive. Re positioning/tummy time as first port of call. Push for physio from your GP. For DS, none of this worked, so we went down the helmet route at 8 months, having given it loads of time to see if it would right normally. Worked brilliantly.

I noticed it slightly with my daughter and did the same with repositioning etc and no need for a helmet. I guess it depends on the severity of the torticullis.

FWIW, I felt horribly guilty too, but looking back, i realise that you just don't know about any of this as a new parent. You've got loads of time to try different things x

Nordicmom Mon 20-May-13 20:37:13

If u r very concerned and it doesn't improve and gets worse despite all the above advice ,pillows ( tried one with DD ) etc then there are special helmets to correct the problem in more sevear cases. They have to be used when the babies are young though as far as I know .

amazingmumof6 Mon 20-May-13 20:37:50

OP if you live near Kigston-upon-Thames I'm happy to give you the details of my wonderful osteopath.

Nordicmom Mon 20-May-13 20:39:47

Xpost ...

FOURBOYSUNDER6 Mon 20-May-13 21:19:41

Two of mine had helmets for this and now have much improved shape ! I tried chiropractor and repositioning and special pillows and sleep curve mattresses and sling wearing ..... It helped a little but still needed helmets. They were not in car seats long or asleep on back in day.... That can cause or contribute but mine were born like that so must have been in funny position in womb.
Gp s not always on the ball with this so do some research .... My helmets were funded but some make you pay ..... You may not need to go down that route with sling wearing and repositioning fingers crossed ...! Ps breast feeding still fine with helmets in case wondering if issue .....good luck

pointythings Mon 20-May-13 21:21:18

DD2 has a slight flat head. It's the same flat head her grandfather (my Dad) has on one side, not noticeable unless you know it's there but does affect hairdos a little.

It's a bit more noticeable in my Dad because he has a bald head.

I'd get it checked out because if it is very severe it may need intervention, but at the same time I would not worry too much - most of us don't have perfectly curved skulls.

nametakenagain Mon 20-May-13 21:31:49

Mine developed a flat head from sleeping on her back, angled to one side. I didn't like it, but fixed it by putting her at the other end of her cot to sleep, where she angled the other way.

Her very obvious flat head disappeared in few weeks and she now has a beautifully rounded head.

Vakant Mon 20-May-13 21:34:18

Lots of people have flat heads, it can be genetic. Of course get it checked in case it is anything more serious but unless it is causing any other problems and is purely cosmetic then I personally wouldn't worry about it.

qwertymclate Mon 20-May-13 22:32:52

www.theraline.co.uk/babypillow.htm These are great. Used to out it in the pushchair, cot, playmat, bouncer. It's small enough that it works anywhere and it really is breathable, you can smoosh your face right into it and still breathe perfectly. That and lots of tummy time sorted DS;s flat head out in no time.

qwertymclate Mon 20-May-13 22:40:22

Sorry for typos.
Just to add, I used the pillows above because the SIDS risk terrified me and the lila kuddis ones didn't seem breathable with the theraline ones that's not an issue.

JoyMachine Mon 20-May-13 22:54:22

Both my children had plagio, and were treated in different ways. With my DS we used repositioning, as he was a good, still sleeper, and it was easy to ensure he used all parts of his head, coupled with being in a sling most of the time.
DD had helmet therapy, as she never slept for more than 30 minutes (reflux) and didn't keep still. She also had a sling, but she sat quite early, so played sitting up, which made a big difference.

I used a goigoi pillow (swedish I think) when they were in the pram, as I'd be able to observe them all the time. Never used it when they were in the cot as I couldn't be sure there's be no risks- that said all babies in Sweden have pillows, so I suppose it's a cultural thing, I believe their rates of cot death are very low.

You do need to have it checked- as others have said, she may have torticollis which is why she prefers one side. We had physio exercises to do, and we just did them every nappy change, and it really improved.
There is another condition (that I cannot recall the name of, I'm sorry) where the plates of the skull fuse too early, so you do need to get your GP to look her over/refer to Paed, but it's very, very rare.

funnyperson Tue 21-May-13 00:18:34

Put toys in the cot/buggy/ and breast feed on the side which she/he doesn't favour- will right itself after a while.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 00:58:00

My DS has plagiocephaly and torticollis. A flat head may correct itself, but if your child has torticollis - it wont. You will need to get them into OT and the sooner the better.

CheerfulYank Tue 21-May-13 03:39:01

Here in the US babies have helmets frequently.

Lastofthepodpeople Tue 21-May-13 05:59:14

DS had this but I was told it would go away on its own and it did. I think if you'e concerned, see your GP but it seems very common in babies and I don't know of any adults with flat heads so most must round out on their own.

Einsty Tue 21-May-13 08:26:46

Interesting that the NHS is so dismissive too. Here in Aus we got a lot of 'it will probably right itself' which made me so mad because they had no plan for what would happen if it didn't. If we took the chance we would have lost the opportunity to correct it fairly easily and Inexpensively. As it happened, it was torticollis, which HV and GP hadn't even spotted.

Fwiw, I had excellent osteo care in London for DC1 at the Children's Osteo Centre in Clerkenwell. But here I found osteo no good for the torticollis/flat head. And it was only the second paediatric physio we saw who was experienced enough to help. To be fair, though, the osteo abd first physio were both pretty freshly trained. The brilliant physio we found had 20 years experience and very obviously knew her stuff and was very supportive of us wanting to take action and not wait.

redhappy Tue 21-May-13 09:33:39

I think I must be really missing the point here. Assuming it's not caused by anything harmful to health, can someone tell me what it is everyone's so worried about?

Einsty Tue 21-May-13 11:14:05

Because it is often an accidental deformity caused by or made worse by the way we handle babies these days (ie play gyms, back sleeping). It is not always just a flat spot - in the case of DS, his ears had become misaligned (difficulty with glasses in future) and one side of his forehead bulged because of the flat spot. That would likely have become permanent after about 1. Because it can often be simply corrected, it is very discouraging that parents are not being informed - for instance I don't recall any info on being careful how your baby lies and the importance of tummy time for avoiding a distorted head shape

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