Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

MNHQ have commented on this thread


To be judgey about parents with babies with REALLY flat heads

324 replies

BigGingerCat · 08/04/2011 10:20

Second AIBU thread I've started today - I must be mad.

First off - my DS has a bit of a flat patch, very mild. I know it happens because we all lay babies on their backs to sleep now, and it is apparently just cosmetic. Not talking about mild or moderate cases as these I understand can fix themselves when the baby gets older. I also accept that there is only so much you can do. But I go to a lot of baby groups and I would say that about 1 in 20 babies I've seen have heads which are entirely flat at the back, i.e from the neck up it's just a straight line. Literally it shocks me and I'm not easily shockable. And these same parents put their babies straight down on their backs for the whole of the baby group. Mine can't sit but I hold him on my lap, put him on his tummy, turn his head etc.... all things which I would have thought were basic common sense things to do.

I am not judging women who have PND and who are too exhausted and miserable to function, and where this may be a factor. I have it too. But there is no excuse for letting your baby get like this - surely skulls can't always pop back to normal if they're that far gone out of shape? Feel really sorry for the kids concerned, especially boys as their hair won't cover it. Am I the only person who notices this sort of thing and gets....well a bit judgey quite frankly?

OP posts:

nethunsreject · 08/04/2011 10:21

Good for you being such a fabulous parent.


nethunsreject · 08/04/2011 10:22

(that was sarcasm, btw)


Honeybee79 · 08/04/2011 10:22

I have no clue about this. Even if the head does become pretty flat surely it does go back to normal though? Confused

Like you say, there's only so much you can do if they sleep on their backs.


WassaAxolotl · 08/04/2011 10:23

Someone started a thread on a similar subject a few months back.

It really kicked off. Be prepared for this one to, as well.


BoobopTallullah · 08/04/2011 10:26

Have you ever seen an adult with a completely flat head? No? Think you might be a bit u then.


missmaypole · 08/04/2011 10:27

Mothers expecting twins should really pull themselves together and think about this very thing before going ahead with the pregnancy.

Two babies = squashed more in the womb, inevitably spend longer not being held up = far more likely to have flat head.

Be aware: you will be responsible for offending thick parents at baby group.


Prunnhilda · 08/04/2011 10:28

I think you might be overthinking this a bit


Olifin · 08/04/2011 10:28

I would try not to judge about it. My DS had a very flat head on one side for about the first 6 months. He favoured lying with his head on a particular side and no matter how often I gently moved his head to face the other way, he'd just move it back again. Eventually, I consulted a chiropractor who was going to work with him but it began to resolve itself after that anyway so no treatment was needed. However, I also know a mum who spend thousands on a corrective helmet for her son. I'm not sure whether it was strictly necessary as she was advised by paediatricians that it would sort itself out eventually.

I suppose the point I'm making is that, yes, it happens a lot because we lie babies on their backs but it almost always resolves itself once they get more mobile.


Psammead · 08/04/2011 10:29

But heads are all different shapes and sizes Confused

My head is quite round at the back and so is DD's despite having spent a LOT of time on her back as a baby. Dh's is just flat. I think it's just naturally like that.


slowshow · 08/04/2011 10:29

"She said that although flattened head is merely cosmetic and harmless to the baby, it can cause parents anxiety and distress.

"Obviously, it is important to check that it's just a flat head and not something else that can be more detrimental to a growing child.

"Usually parents notice it when their baby is between five and seven months old.

"Parents start to panic and Google flat head syndrome and come up with places that provide them helmets to treat it.

"But the experts we speak to say it doesn't really need this.

"If you wait for a few months the head will round itself out naturally anyway."


TandB · 08/04/2011 10:29

Did you start another thread about this a while ago under a different name? Remarkably similar content and judginess - including being "shocked" at this issue.

If not, no you are not the only one who notices and judges this - there is one other person. Maybe you could start a campaign.


theborrower · 08/04/2011 10:30

You are being a bit judgey. My DD has a bit of a flat spot near the top - sometimes at certain angles I think "Oh my god, I've given my baby a flat head, I'm awful". Especially when my friend's babies have perfect round heads. I know that she got it from spending probably a bit too much time on her playmat, even though I always held her on my lap etc. But she also sleeps on her back, sometimes I don't think you can help it much, and she used to wear a pavlick harness, so she was on her back a lot at the start (when I had pnd).

But it's evening out now, thank goodness.


jeckadeck · 08/04/2011 10:33

YABU. And exceptionally sanctimonious, IMHO, given that its not even a real health issue, its purely cosmetic. And in your apparently innocent suggestion that its ok if you have PND you make it worse, by implying that you basically have to be clinically depressed to justify your baby having a flat head. God knows new mothers have enough to worry about without adding yet another topic to the list of things that other mothers are allowed to judge them for.


Prunnhilda · 08/04/2011 10:34

How can a chiropractor fix a flat head? Confused

Heads come in quite a variety of shapes and sleeping on their backs can have no effect or some effect or a big effect.
It's a waste of energy trying to tease out from that whether or not you should judge someone (and for what), on the basis that they put their baby on the floor at a baby group. Why don't you use that anger for something useful?


BigGingerCat · 08/04/2011 10:34

Nope, honestly wasn't me. Should have checked before posting I guess.

I am an ok parent, won't win any awards any time soon. I don't think these people are bad parents, in every other respect they may well be better than me by a country mile.

Oh, I should have mentioned, I don't mind getting judged myself. I know people were looking at my DS the other week when he scratched himself badly and they were bloody right to, I was lax and hadn't cut his fingernails properly so they were still sharp. Felt awful, have pulled myself up on it and make much more of an effort to get it right now.

OP posts:

worraliberty · 08/04/2011 10:35

You have no idea what these parents do at home with their babies and you're certainly not going to get an idea from a couple of hours spent in a bloody baby group.


CrapBag · 08/04/2011 10:35


Bully for you sitting your DC on your lap and not just laying them on the floor at toddler group. You must feel very proud for being such a fabulous mother and putting the rest of us who simply lay our babies down to shame.

My DS has a funny shape head. He hated tummy time and no matter what I tried, he would not turn his head any other way when he was laying down.


virginiasmonalogue · 08/04/2011 10:36

You're jusging other parents, yet your child has a flat patch. WTF!


BigGingerCat · 08/04/2011 10:36

No jeckadeck, because I am one of those mothers with PND and I know how sometimes you feel so shit that it is an effort to do anything with your baby at all, even basic baby care.

OP posts:

virginiasmonalogue · 08/04/2011 10:36



CrapBag · 08/04/2011 10:39

PND has got fuck all to do with this, I have had it before and I have it again. DS has a flat head still at 3.2. DD won't have a flat head because she always sleeps with it in different positions.

You are being totally ridiculous if this is what you judge.


RitaMorgan · 08/04/2011 10:40

I think a lot of it is down to luck/genes more than anything.

Flat heads don't always round out by themselves though, or even with helmets. I do know an older child who still has a noticeably flat head despite wearing a helmet.

You also don't see many adults with flat heads as the "Back to Sleep" campaign didn't start til 1992 iirc, so most adults won't have spent so much time on their backs as babies.


DancingThroughLife · 08/04/2011 10:41

I posted on your other thread too.

This time YABU

BUT. When you're a new mum and being bombarded with lots of 'should do this' and 'shouldn't do that', it can get hard to filter out the stuff that really doesn't matter. I would imagine even more so when you have PND and everything feels like a personal criticism.

The shape other other people's babies heads REALLY doesn't matter. Let it go.


Prunnhilda · 08/04/2011 10:41

BGC sorry about the PND, it sounds shit.
I really don't think that anyone normal and pleasant would look at a baby who'd scratched himself with sharp fingernails and be actively judgemental about it. It's one of those things that happens. Babies have sharp fingernails and they all scratch themselves at one time or another.
Did you really worry about that? I think that's more to do with the PND tbh. (Unless you just know some really ignorant people?)


DancingThroughLife · 08/04/2011 10:41

The shape of Blush

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?