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Flat head despite sleeping in Amby

(38 Posts)
bluemousemummy Tue 14-Jul-09 21:45:01

Anyone have any experience of this? Ds2 has slept in his amby natures nest from birth but has developed a very flat head at the back and looks all pointy from the side, almost conical! shock He is 4 months old now. He sleeps well in it so is obviously comfortable. Has anyone else had this? Any suggestions?? Am considering putting him in a cot instead, not sure if that would make it any better but am concerned about it getting worse....

sambo303 Wed 15-Jul-09 10:00:47

hi - this happened to my ds, his head was quite flat at the back. It's sorted itself out now (he went into a cot at 6M and is 10M now)

If I were you Id be thankful he sleeps well and not rock the boat. My ds woke every 2-3 hours despite the amby between 3 and 6 months, it was horrendous.

TomThumbMum Wed 15-Jul-09 10:38:57

DS saw a cranial osteopath and also uses a goi goi pillow in pram and throughout day whilst lying down. Cranial osteopath helped him with tension headaches and head shape due to ventouse delivery, we also have an amby and I was told ds now had perfect head shape at wk10 check. The CO recommended moving amby so baby not always lying on same part of head. Its not cheap to see one but I can't recommend it enough.

DUSTIN Wed 15-Jul-09 10:45:17

My DD also has a flat area on the side of her head. I also use an amby and have just bought a goi goi pillow a week ago. I am considering going to a CO as she had a very traumatic forceps delivery.

bluemousemummy Wed 15-Jul-09 20:19:59

Thanks guys. Not heard of goi goi pillows before but just had a look on their website. Can you use those in an amby? They look quite wide and the amby is pretty narrow, is there not a risk of smothering?

I wondered about cranial osteopath as it worked wonders with ds1, might try that too if I can find one around here.

Thanks smile

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 15-Jul-09 20:21:01

You need to get the heqd assymetry measured to check for plagiocephaly.

RedHairedGirlie Wed 15-Jul-09 21:05:09

Just spotted this thread by chance. DD is 3.5 months and I have noticed that the favourite right side of her head does looks slightly flattened - she wsa forceps delivery too. Had the same response from the HV that its nothing to worry about. I have tried turning her onto her other side but she just turns back ( I guess we all have a fave side so sleep on!)

Just ordered a goi goi pillow for the cot - very interesting to read the postings from professionals on the website.. small price to pay if it helps smile

funnypeculiar Wed 15-Jul-09 21:11:20

A thought for you both - it's worth checking that your los don't have any issues with torticollis. Basically, this is when the neck muscle on one side is weaker than the other. The therefore tend to lie always to one side, but will also tend to look that way when alert - keep an eye on their general neck movement/how easily they are turning. It is reasonably easy to sort out with a bit of physio, but it will affect the flat-head stuff smile

Another thing to try is changing the position of their cot/amby (sorry don't know much about Ambys smile - babies often turn to look at the light before going to sleep, and that can lead them to lie on one side too.


FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 15-Jul-09 21:24:34

HV's will say it is nothing to worry about but ime it needs checking out and that means getting the neck muscles checked and the head assymetry taken, (not circumference.)

muffle Wed 15-Jul-09 21:29:07

Yes our DS slept in an amby and developed a flat head at the back, so that his head looked really wide from the front. It just sorted itself out - he moved into a cotbed at 8months and by about 18mo looked normal.

So many babies get a funny head shape and it usually resolves itself - but GP will be able to tell you if it does need any treatment.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 15-Jul-09 21:30:14

It doesn't ALWAYS resolve itself and by the time you find that out it is too late, usually, to do anything about it.

TomThumbMum Thu 16-Jul-09 10:03:53

I don't use the goi goi pillow in the amby, just in pram and when lying down during day ie only when you can keep an eye on baby.

Gleno Thu 16-Jul-09 17:15:45

Hi, I have quite alot of experience with flat head as my son has it and is currently wearing a cranial helmet.

My LO is 7 months old and was born 6+ weeks premature. I didn't actually notice his head going flat at first, it was only when my Mum mentioned it going flat I realised there was a problem. Within a space of 2 weeks it was completely flat at the back.

I done alot of research into flat head and the more I read, the more I became concerned. I spent alot of money on a CO and I have to say it made no difference at all, although some people swear by it so I would never rule anything out! I tried the pillows, aggressive repositioning but it was too late and made no difference. Repositioning is great if they are only a couple of months old. After 5 months it seems it's unlikely to make much of a difference.

I took him to LOC clinic and he was then diagnosed with extremely severe brachycephaly and is at the high end of the severe bracket. I've had so many tears and nights of worry about considering the helmet but all I can say is it is the best thing I have ever done. My LO had a growth spurt in the first week of wearing it and his head is amazing in the 5 weeks it's been on. We have a long way to go yet but I know his head will be ok. What helps is that he isn't bothered by it in the slightest - it was me that had the problem.

I still have a very content, happy little boy who will now have a 'normal' shaped head at the end of treatment. I worried not only for the shape and him perhaps being bullied at school for it but also the development issues that come with flat head as there is a big question mark over this (eyesight, hearing, jaw problems and not to mention ADHD etc). To me it was a no brainer.

Sorry to go on, I just wanted to share my story of a little boy who has flat head. All I can say is how important it is to reposition them, tummy time as much as possible - atleast 2 hours a day apparently. This doesn't mean being on a floor on a mat all the time but put LO on your tummy aswell and superman around the house! Everything you can to use their neck muscles. The pillows are great if they are young enough and also the sleepcurve mattress. I just wish someone would have talked to me about flat head earlier to save such alot of heartache and money.


bluemousemummy Thu 16-Jul-09 21:06:26

Thanks for your replies and Gleno thanks for sharing your story. How long will he have to wear the helmet for? I hope he is better soon. What sort of clinic did you take him to to get a diagnosis? Who can measure asymmetry? I asked the HV and she didn't seem concerned but I'd like a second opinion to set my mind at rest.

castlesintheair Thu 16-Jul-09 21:14:08

A GP/HV will nearly always tell you it will rectify itself naturally. To get a proper assessment you have to take them to a cranio specialist and then you have to bear in mind that they want your money by selling you a helmet/band.

Unless it is bad, I would do some radical repositioning (do a search and you might find some stuff on here) and see a cranial osteopath.

DUSTIN Thu 16-Jul-09 21:16:28

After reading this I am going to take DD to GP to see if she has torticollis as I think this may be a possibility. Hopefully I will get a referal to a physio. Thanks x

Gleno Thu 16-Jul-09 21:23:23

Well because it's so severe, they have said up to 8 months but now we're in treatment, we really think it will be 5-6 months max. They are delighted with how round his head has become and so are we in the 5 weeks he's been wearing it.

Thing is, he's completely symmetric - 0mm...started at 2mm asymmetric but the helmet resolved that in the first week.

The one thing I will say, every child is different. Flat head will always improve with every child, it's just how much it will improve and if you would be happy with it staying as it is. It's a wait and see game and if you are prepared to wait and take the risk you have to be prepared that things will not change. The one person that actually suggested the helmet was my HV who was fantastic. The doctors and other health professionals have all said 'hair will cover it' and 'it will round out'. Well, for the hair, if he's like his dad he will be bald in his twenties and for the rounding out, tell that to those who regret not treating their children from hearing the same. My LO's was so bad (love saying 'was' and not 'is' now!) I didn't want him asking me in years to come why I didn't do anything about when I could have resolved it.

For further info, this is a great website that I'm on alot you will find alot of info on repositioning and clinics. I went to the LOC clinic in Kingston and they give a diagnosis, measure baby's head and can also tell you how much it will improve on it's own.

Let me know if you need anything else or information, as I've spent so much time on the subject if I can't help I can probably point you in the right direction!

All the best X

Gleno Thu 16-Jul-09 21:27:43

oh and I forgot to say, they do not at anytime pressurise you into having a helmet. They give you facts, pure and simple. They will be honest about how much your baby's head will improve and they will try the repositioning with you first. Infact, they spent over an hour with me talking about repositioning and tummy time. If your baby isn't bad enough to have a helmet, they will tell you to go away...nicely of course!

The appointment is free and you do not have to go ahead with treatment at all. I believe this is the case with all the clinics that deal with flat head.

pushkar Thu 16-Jul-09 21:47:38

hi you need to turn his position from side to side to eleviate the plageophaly [flat head]
I did this with my son and it soon grew out every two or three hours and on tummy if hes over 3 months to streneghen neck muscles as well

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 17-Jul-09 06:52:09

Gleno - you are just so wrong.

It will not always improve with every child and you really shouldn't say things like that.

Gleno Fri 17-Jul-09 08:29:41

Fabbakergirlisback, I think you've misunderstood me and not read the full post. When I say there will always be an improvement, there would be once the baby is moving, albeit MINIMAL. I am only telling you what the specialists have told me and that is although there may be improvement you may not see it but there will always be a change of some kind.

Please remember I have put my child in a helmet so I am completely aware that the change to his head would not make any difference to the eye without it. As I've said, it's a risk you take you either wait and see if the head shape changes but you take the risk as it doesn't always happen at all.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 17-Jul-09 09:46:58

I still disagree and I have read all your post. I know there was NO improvement with my DDs assymetry until she wore a helmet.

I am aware you have used a helmet and I also know in our case the difference was obvious to the naked eye. Obviously it depends on the starting measurement.

Gleno Fri 17-Jul-09 10:29:59

your daughter had plagiocephaly rather than brachy? i can only go by what the 'experts' have told me and I'd like to think they know what they're talking about! Also if your daughter had a helmet, it must have been under 18 months of you would have known if it would have changed even slightly but please don't get me wrong, I wasn't prepared to find out! Even if it did get slightly better on it's own, it still would have been very severe. He started at 106%. That's the problem, it wouldn't go back on it's own, like many other mums have experienced without helmet therapy.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Fri 17-Jul-09 10:37:14

Well, I have no idea what the % number means as that isn't how it was measured on Harley Street.

Sometimes Mums know what they are talking about too.

For the last time - in 8 months it hadn't changed at all.

Gleno Fri 17-Jul-09 10:51:48

brachy measured by %, plagio measured in mm..

And yes you're right, Mum's do know best.... Lets leave it at that.

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