Many newborns have slightly uneven heads. But is it cause for worry? 🤔🤔🤔 Keep in mind that if you spend too much time worrying about your baby’s head shape, you might miss some of the fun of being a new parent 🤷♀️🤷♀️.
Is an uneven head shape cause for worry? 🤔
Normally, the head is about 1/3 longer than it is wide and rounded at the back. Below are some examples of a normal head shape at three months, six months and nine months old:
Positional molding is generally considered a cosmetic issue. Flat spots related to pressure on the back of the head don’t cause brain damage or interfere with a baby’s development 😉😉.
What causes a baby’s head shape to appear uneven? 🤔
Sometimes a baby’s head is molded unevenly while passing through the birth canal. You’ll notice two soft areas at the top of your baby’s head where the skull bones haven’t yet grown together. These spots, called fontanels, allow a baby’s relatively large head to move through the narrow birth canal.
In other cases, head shape changes after birth as a result of pressure on the back of the head when the baby lies on his or her back. Because your baby’s skull is malleable, a tendency to rest the head in the same position can result in an uneven head shape.
How is an uneven head shape treated? 🤔
Changes in the way you position your baby can minimize unevenness:
- Try tummy time. With close supervision, frequently place your baby on his or her tummy to play. Make sure the surface is firm;
- Change direction. Continue to place your baby on his or her back to sleep, but alternate the direction your baby’s head faces when you place him or her in the crib. Or place your baby’s head near the foot of the crib one day, the head of the crib the next. You might also hold your baby with alternate arms at each feeding;
- Hold your baby. Holding your baby when he or she is awake will help relieve pressure on your baby’s head from swings, carriers and infant seats.
When your baby needs a helmet? 🤔
If unevenness doesn’t improve with the help of repositioning by age 6 months or your baby is older than 8 months and has a severe 𝔡𝔢𝔣𝔬𝔯𝔪𝔦𝔱𝔶, your baby’s doctor might prescribe a molded helmet to help shape your baby’s head. Since 47% of infants have some sort of flat spot, and one in 10 needing treatment, you’re not alone. Don’t much worry! 😉 Your pediatrician may recommend a helmet for your baby to wear to help gently mold their skull back into a round shape.
🆘 Some notes:
Sometimes an underlying muscular issue — such as 𝔱𝔬𝔯𝔱𝔦𝔠𝔬𝔩𝔩𝔦𝔰 — causes a baby to hold his or her head tilted to one side.
Rarely, two or more of the bony plates in a baby’s head fuse prematurely. This condition, known as 𝔠𝔯𝔞𝔫𝔦𝔬𝔰𝔶𝔫𝔬𝔰𝔱𝔬𝔰𝔦𝔰, is typically treated during infancy.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s head shape, check with your baby’s doctor 😉😉😉.