Head shape in newborns

Head shape in newborns

Many newborns have a slightly deformed head on one side. Sometimes, this is because even before birth, the child's head is shaped unevenly. In other cases, the shape of the head is affected by its positioning on one side, especially when sleeping. Although the shape of your child's head will most likely shape itself, it is good to vary the positions in which he sleeps.

How the position of the head affects the position

You will notice in the crest of the baby's head two more sensitive areas where the skull bones have not yet joined. They exist to allow the baby's head to come out at birth. They are also favorable for rapid brain development in the first 12, up to 18 months of life.
Skull flexibility is a biological advantage meant to help children survive and develop. But because of this flexibility of the head, too much time spent in one position can lead to a not exactly regular shape of the head in time.
This is most often noticeable when you look at your child's head from top to bottom. From this angle, the back of the head may appear flattened on one side than on the other.
The jaw may be more prominent in the flattened part of the head, and the ear may look slightly out.

What can you do

The deformity of the head due to the position is found especially in the children who lie in the crib facing up, in the seats for the car or in the special seats for children.
Although this is the safest position for sleep, there are many options you can use to avoid incorrect modeling of the baby's head.

  • Let him continue to sleep with his face up, but alternate the direction in which he has his head. If you sleep in the crib, you can sit it one day with the head resting on the right side of the crib and another on the head resting on the left. Even in the car seat, place it in different positions or use more seat models.
  • Keep it in your arms for as long as you are not sleeping, so you will avoid pressure on the head from the moment when the baby is in bed or in the baby chair.
  • Under your close supervision, place your baby face down. Make sure beforehand that the surface you place is stronger and does not leave it unattended.
  • If the baby has grown accustomed and likes to sit in one position, you can place him so that he has to turn his head to look at you or to watch the noises in the room. For this you can even move the crib from time to time or, easier, move the toys that attract it.
  • Breastfeeding encourages baby to sit on both sides, which is an important factor in shaping the head. The same can be done if the baby is fed with the bottle. Try to alternate the arm you hold each time.

Headgear and head shape

Changing the position of the head is usually sufficient to prevent and treat incorrect skull deformation.
If the shape of your baby's head does not reach normal within a few months, the doctor may prescribe a special strap or a helmet to help shape the head. They work by exerting a slight pressure on the skull.
Between 4 and 12 months, benthites and hats are the most efficient devices, the skull still malleable. During treatment, they should be worn permanently, with breaks only to clean the head and skin of the head.

More serious causes of cranial deformation

Rarely, it happens that two or more of the bones that make up the skull join together before long. Therefore, when the brain develops, it pushes into other parts of the head that are still malleable, causing deformation.
This condition, called craniosynostosis, is usually treated by surgery in childhood. To allow the brain to develop, the two cranial bones need to be separated. A similar condition is one that affects the bones in the front of the head. The best solution is again the operation during childhood. But surely the little doctor will notice if he is having such a condition and he will tell you what to do.
Whatever your baby's head, it's best not to overdo it with worry. After all, no one is perfect, and when the hair grows, the shapes that you may now find very easy to see, will never be seen.