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Activities to help prevent flat spots

Did you know that about 1 in 5 babies will develop a flat spot on their head? This is called Positional Plagiocephaly or simply, flat head syndrome. A newborn’s skull is very soft to allow for it to pass through the birth canal but when babies spend a lot of time in the same position, too much pressure might reshape their head.  

Luckily, it’s really easy to prevent and fix if caught early enough.Here are our 6 favourite activities to prevent flat spots on your baby’s head:

Tummy time

Not only does tummy time get the pressure and weight off of your baby’s head, but it also has so many benefits for strengthening their neck and arms muscles - ready to get them started on crawling.

Minimize time in baby gear

You are not a bad mom if you leave your baby in a bouncer seat a few minutes longer while you take a shower, but spending too much time in car seats, bouncers and swings might contribute to your baby developing a flat spot.

Laying on his side

Roll up a towel or place a soft pillow behind your baby as he lays on his side. Most babies love this position, so make extra fun by adding a mirror or high contrast cards for him to look at. If your baby is already developing a flat spot, make sure to place him on the opposite side as well as take pressure off the back of his head. Never leave your baby unattended in this position.

Hold your baby

While your baby is awake and alert, take him on a tour of the house while holding him. Show him the family pets, the guest bedroom and even the laundry room. Not only will he benefit from being in an upright position, but he will love hearing your voice.

Use a carrier

As much as we love holding our babies, we still need to get stuff done. Using a baby carrier is ideal to get all the benefits from holding your baby while getting to eat something. Once your baby has better head control, you can try different positions in the carrier too, like forward-facing or placed on your hip.

Prop them on your knee

A great way to interact with your baby is to have them face you as they lean back on your bent legs. This is a great position to read them a book, talk to them or sing a nursery rhyme with some movements. 

If you are concerned that your baby is developing a flat spot, talk to your paediatrician. Some babies might have tight neck muscles (torticollis) keeping them from comfortably turning their head. Some easy stretches with the guidance of a therapist might help.

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