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don't moan to me your baby has a misshaped head, as YOU lay him back into his carseat for THE DAY

(48 Posts)
anonanonanon Fri 16-Feb-07 13:55:10

sorry in advance for going anon -
but i feel like SCREAMING this at my 'friend' with DC2. Both of her children where born with beautifully shaped heads can i add. Her DC1 developed a very flat head (was in carseat all the time) and even back then (is now 4yo) he has a flat head, but fortunately his thick curlyish hair hides it a bit. But now, her 3 month old DC2, has the most unsightly head you can ever imagine. Its not just FLAT, its now becoming Inverted at the back, coning at the top, and I believe its starting to affect his face. With BOTH children i have said countless times the pressure of him sitting in his car seat (or that far too upright bloody mechanical swing) is whats mis-shaping his HEAD (not to mention added pressure on his spine and breathing when he was a newborn).
HEAD AND BRICK WALL, its infuriating and I could get almost tearful over this. I have even mentioned about helmets to help them correct his head. Was there for 8 hours on sat, and he was only taken out of his mechanical swing to feed Gosh the harsh reality of this is terrible now i have just read it back All i get is, isnt it funny how some kids have funny heads coz your DC doesnt.
Thats because my lo was only in a car seat TO TRAVEL, in a proper pram LAYING FLAT when we were out, and on the floor being able to wriggle freely when at home.
argh. sorry for that rant

Ladymuck Fri 16-Feb-07 13:59:00

Why do you think that baby seats cause this? Wouldn't there also be pressure if the baby was flat?

BuffysMum Fri 16-Feb-07 14:01:58

Ah bless some people just don't have the IQ to put 2+2=4 do they. The poor dc, wonder if it gives them headaches.

I'm fortunate my dc have all head beautiful round heads and they have stayed that way!

BuffysMum Fri 16-Feb-07 14:02:51

Ladymuck it is really not good for babies to be sat upright in car seat or similar for long periods of time.

justaphase Fri 16-Feb-07 14:03:03

my ds was also "only in a car seat TO TRAVEL, in a proper pram LAYING FLAT when we were out, and on the floor being able to wriggle freely when at home"

yet he still developed a very flat head when he was about 3 months old

I tried positioning therapy as in moving his cot so that he would turn his head the other way etc. but it did not help

The consultant that we saw actually told us that this was unlikely to help and while it is not quite clear what causes flat head he believes it is most likely the birth trauma (ds got stuck)

He told us it would fix itself

Either he was right or the cranial ostheopathy worked wonders but ds's head is now normal shape at 16 months

In any case I think you are being unfair to your friend

ledodgy Fri 16-Feb-07 14:04:41

Well my babies spent alot of time in their carseats and babyswing because of reflux and if I lay them flat they would be sick and their heads are fine.

justaphase Fri 16-Feb-07 14:06:49

honestly this is like saying to somebody whose child has persistent ear infections "oh, I am so glad my child is beutiful and healthy"

sitting upright for long periods is bad but does not cause a flat head any more than lying flat

paulmorelsmum Fri 16-Feb-07 14:08:13

I thought it was the advice to put them to sleep on backs that had caused the increase in flat heads, not car seats.
TBH I don't see how it is car seats that cause this (car seats are said to cause a completely different problem, curvature of the spine, though I have no idea if there is anything in it) given that there is LESS pressure on their heads when they're more upright.
I think you're getting a bit muddled up, Anon.

anonanonanon Fri 16-Feb-07 14:31:24

honestly this is like saying to somebody whose child has persistent ear infections "oh, I am so glad my child is beutiful and healthy"
its totally not like that justaphase.

in the particular car seat they own there heads are very crammed in with no room to move....thus, in this case, yes it is definatley the car seat. the indentation on the back of the head resembles the indentation where her 3mo's head goes. I dont believe any child should be in a car seat all day, wonky head or not. and therefore I also disagree i am being harsh in this case.

nogoes Fri 16-Feb-07 14:42:06

I was told at my ante natal classes that babies should not be left in the car seat for more than 2 hours as it can cause flat head and problems with the spine.

I remember also reading very recently that leaving a baby in a car seat/travel system has been linked to cot death.

Muminfife Fri 16-Feb-07 14:42:42

Message withdrawn

staceym11 Fri 16-Feb-07 14:54:52

my ds had quite a bad flat head recently but he is hardly ever in a car seat as idont drive (alothough is in a buggy quite a lot0 using a sling and position therapy has helped a lot. but there are many more reasons that can cause this, not just car seats.

although in your friends case it sound like the car seat is probably to blame, i cant stand kids being left in car seats, travel systems do my head in!!!! thats why i had a lie flat pram with dd and have a double that lies flat with ds, although a lot of the time he goes in the carrier now!

cheekymonk Fri 16-Feb-07 15:13:40

I read a leaflet at my local toddler group that went on about not leaving babies in car seats for prolonged periods which I agree is wrong.
I personally didn't leave ds in carseat whilst in cafes etc but I remember enjoying the odd 5 mins or so without baby being on me. In these instances though I put him flat on a mat from what I remember...

lulumama Fri 16-Feb-07 15:19:07

sounds like her DC have a problem that might have been excacerbated, not caused by the car seat issue, as 3 months is very early to see such a change in head shape

i think that the important point is that it is not healthy for babies to spend prolonged periods in car seats, but it is unfair to infer that all children with less than perfect heads have had that caused by something their parents did \ didn't do

if it disturbs you that much, say something to your friend

8 hours in a swing is time you go round, why not pick up the baby to cuddle him/her

maybe she had PND and is not comfortable picking up and soothing the baby?

Caligula Fri 16-Feb-07 15:21:17

I think you should say soemthing to her, it's obviously winding you up.

Are there any leaflets you could pick up and give her about this? Ask your HV?

ledodgy Fri 16-Feb-07 17:07:13

The next time you see her if she mentions it again just tell her what you think nicely. Tbh I think you're getting quite worked up over this. I agree eight hours is excessive but she has another child to occupy her time as well so may be finding it hard dividing time equally between the two. What you saw may not have been a typical day. I agree it sounds like a problem her children would have had despite the carseat and I would ask her how she's feeling as she may have /be starting PND and has attachment issues with the child. Why not offer to take the older child out for a bit to give her a break instead of making rather harsh judgements imo.

HandbagAddiction Tue 20-Feb-07 15:46:19

My dd2 doesn't have a flat head but she does have mild plageocephaly (Sp?) which is where one side of her head at the back is a bit flat and as a result of that one side of her skull at the front is slightly further forward than the other if you see what I mean.

I agree with you about not having babies in car seats but there are lots of reasons for this NOT just to protect against mis-shapen heads.

My dd2 has always slept on her back - head moving freely either side, has frequently been repositioned so that she is not constantly looking in a single direction, plus I have a lie-flat pushchair and yet despite all of this, she still has a slightly mis-shapen head. I think maybe some babies are predisposed to it irrespective of what you try and do to prevent it.

Some severe cases will need treatment in the form of helmuts and some may just resolve themselves as the child grows.

tubismybub Tue 20-Feb-07 16:05:10

Cars seats and swing chairs exacerbate (sp?) flat head syndrome as the position the baby is in does not allow them to move their head freely as they would be able to do lying completetly flat and given that we also lay babies on their backs to sleep at night this constant pressure on their soft skull can cause flattening and mishaping.

Obviously there are many babies with flat heads who don't spend hours in car seats but still have flat heads, this can be caused by birth trauma or a tightening of the neck muscles that does not allow the baby to move their neck freely.

There is so much mixed advice from health proffessionals about it and HV's are very uneducated about this problem so it's no surprise that people don't understand the causes.

Limbodancer Tue 20-Feb-07 16:17:34

My dd's dance teacher says she is noticing more and more curved spines in 3 year olds starting dance lessons which she reckons is down to travel systems/car seats. She says she didn't see much of this problem before they were introduced and she has been a dance teacher for over 30 years.

SlightlyMadScientist Tue 20-Feb-07 16:32:01

Leaving your newborn baby in a carseat for prolonged periods can also increase the risk of cot death as it can restrict their breathing. I am not going to say any more about it here as the debate I had last week genuinely tired me out. If you want to discourage your friend from using her car seat so much perhaps you could forward her this article .

funnypeculiar Tue 20-Feb-07 16:54:21

DD has a flat head (plagiocephaly), so I am taking your rant a bit personally. Whilst I can fully understand your frustration about how your friend's baby, you might like to know a bit more about plagio.

The incidence has increased since the back-to-sleep campaign started, and yes, is probably associated with prolongued back lying. However, this is not the only factor. DD hardly ever went in a car seat (hated it!), was carried in a sling until 3 mths (I didn't have a pram for her), but yes, slept on her back. She however, had mild torticollis (stiff neck muscle), so whenever she was on her back, tended to turn her head one way. Latest estimates are that 7/10 babies with moderate to severe plagio have torticollis to some extent.
Indeed, I recently read research (from NZ, I think) has pipointed a correlation between preferential gaze (ie a tendancy to turn your head to one side) most stongly with babies who develop plagio/flat head - this was measured from 10 days/2 weeks - ie those children who were prone to the condition could be pinpointed at that age. Birth trauma (both slow & quick labours) have also been implicated, I believe. Obviously, what you are describing will exaserbate the problem.

I have just about stopped beating myself up that dd doesn't have the perfect round head that her brother has, because I listened to the h/v who told me it was normal/there was nothing I could do, whereas actually, she needed physio.

I really hope none of my 'friends' judge me as you are doing your friend.

I didn't really notice dd's head shape getting worse - I saw her everyday, and I think she's beautiful & perfect. Luckily, a KIND friend talked to me gently about it. I cried non-stop for weeks, but she did the right thing, and I have been able to take action to help dd, and her head shape is now almost back to perfect. Perhaps you could take a deep breath, and think how you would like to be told something like this.

Sorry, long post, but I suspect for obvious reasons.

FioFio Tue 20-Feb-07 16:55:31

Message withdrawn

Pruni Tue 20-Feb-07 17:01:07

Message withdrawn

pinkchampagne Tue 20-Feb-07 17:28:36

Feeling absolutely awful reading this thread, as I was one of those awful mothers who left their baby in a baby seat for longer than I should have done.
I suffered from bad depression during my pregnancy & following DS2's birth, and took a long time to bond with him.
For the first couple of months of his life he did not get as many cuddles as DS1 did. I was not functioning like I normally would & I would give anything to be able to turn back the clock & take care of him as I should have.
I was a proper mum to him after a few months, but at the start he did spend more time in his carrycot or baby chair than he should have & the guilt I feel for this will never leave me.
He is nearly 4 now & very much adored, but he does have an odd shaped head, and I feel awful that it may be because he spent too much time in his baby chair.

LIZS Tue 20-Feb-07 17:33:05

There was an article in the Mail on Sunday this week - show it to her if it bothers you that much but suspect it would have happened regardless of how she laid her baby down.

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