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Baby with flat head - how to let him sleep?

(12 Posts)
bicyclebuiltforfour Thu 25-Apr-13 00:15:42

DS is 9wks and has a flat patch on one side of his head.

His doctor recommended putting him to sleep on the one side, swaddled and propped up with a rolled-up blanket. I said that this would surely increase the risk of SIDS and she assured me it wouldn't.

I'm in the US so maybe practices are different but I'm not hugely comfortable doing this... He's a big 9wks, breastfed, in our room etc, so no other 'risk' factors, but still.

If we don't prop him up though I don't know how to ensure he stays on one side.

Any advice?

amazingmumof6 Thu 25-Apr-13 02:52:42

mine used to prefer sleeping exactly like that until the learned to roll - only to sleep on their tums!
I used to bf in bed so that was the best position for night time feeds anyway - and when very little it would allow the to "curl up" more then on their back! (it's called the fetal position for a reason, isn't it?)

regarding the flat patch - the cranial plates are not fused at this age and can be gently manipulated at this age - have you considered seeing and osteopath /chiropractor?
Cranial manipulation will do wonders to the shape of his head, and will have a bigger impact then how he sleeps.

he is old enough for a treatment, I always took mine at 3 weeks old for their first check up after birth since my eldest was a forceps delivery.

can I ask if he has lots of hiccups? also how is his feeding, weight gain and general mood?
does he cry a lot after his needs such as feed, change, cuddle, sleep, winded, not too hot or cold etc are met?

NandH Thu 25-Apr-13 02:56:35

my 11week old ds has had this since 8weeks, I brought a "lovenest" baby pillow from amazon, it's brilliant and is specially designed for baby's with flat head, have a look smile

blackcurrants Thu 25-Apr-13 03:00:08

DS 1 slept exactly like that (& only like that) until he'd learned to roll, and then slept on his tummy, and still does now. He was always within arms reach in a sidecar cot so I decided that, as I had mitigated for other factors, I was okay with it.

It's a tricky one. Mum says we were all put down on our sides, it was recommended in the seventies. Not that that means it's ok to do risky things, butt it it's ok to assess the level if risk that feels right for you.

babySophieRose Thu 25-Apr-13 09:05:01

We used a soft baby pillow under the cot sheet and turning the head when baby asleep.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Thu 25-Apr-13 09:11:55

As far as I'm
Aware there should be nothing in the cot aside from baby and either a frontage or cellular blanket no higher up than waist.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Thu 25-Apr-13 09:12:30

Frontage? Grobag- iPhone fail

hazbaz Thu 25-Apr-13 09:12:58

I second the cranial oesteopath suggestion. My DS2 had a flat patch on one side from about 4/5 weeks old. He just would only sleep with his head to one side (it was a long labour & this can happen if they get a bit stuck with head to one side, sort of pull their muscles from what I understood)

Anyway after the first visit he started to sleep facing the other way. He's 2 now, full head of hair & completely normal head but even by 6 months it was pretty much back to normal.

I'd also suggest a sling instead of a buggy for some of the time, less pressure on the back of their heads.

missismac Thu 25-Apr-13 09:14:54

Baby should sleep on his back, side sleeping does increase the risk of SIDS by something like 10-15% (can't recall exact figure - will have to go look it up). His head bones will continue to grow & remould over the next year or so. You can turn baby's head when he's asleep - or not, it won't make that much difference really. You can buy a special pillow if you want to spend money to make you feel better - or not, it won't make that much difference (except to the special pillow manufacturers grin ). In a couple of months he'll begin to roll himself over and then as he becomes more mobile the flatter side of his head will begin to reshape naturally becasue he'll spend less time lying on it. 9 weeks is really too early to be concerned over flat head syndrome. If you still have concerns at 7-8 months then you should see a doctor (or Pead if you're in the US) for a specialist referral.


missismac Thu 25-Apr-13 09:15:58

I would second the Sling & Cranial Osteopath advice too.

bicyclebuiltforfour Thu 25-Apr-13 10:25:52

Thank you all. I was already thinking of the cranial osteopath route (a friend when I had #1 used someone so I know they can be good), and I have a lovely sling which I'll start using some more rather than the stroller.

My mum immediately told me too that we were all put on our sides to sleep Blackcurrants but I was surprised the pediatrician recommended it now.

Will look into the pillows too: am definitely feeling mummy guilt right now so they might be good for reducing that if nothing else!

bicyclebuiltforfour Thu 25-Apr-13 11:43:05

amazingmumof6 - he does all those things. Hiccups, crying, lots of posseting (sp?!): it's gotten worse over the last week. He's becoming inconsolable in the evenings. His weight gain is pretty good though, although it's slowed down. He was 8lb5oz at birth and is now 12lb4oz (9wks) so the doctor was happy with that.

Does that mean anything?

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