We are told to put our babies down to sleep on their backs because it is safer for them and reduces the rick of SIDS. Most parents bringing home a newborn follow what they have been told to do in the fear of hurting or messing up their child. Being good parents they follow the rules and put their baby down to sleep on his back. Now that we have reduced the risk of SIDS by placing the baby on his back we have created another problem. Flat spots on the head. It occurs when your baby spends to much time on his back and doesn’t get enough tummy time or re-positioning.
I recently read this article on Kotaku about Plastic Surgery to fix having a flat head. It reminded me of the growing number of babies I have seen wearing a specially designed helmet to fix the very same problem.
The article was an interesting read because it also mentions that this can show a persons class. Babies from orphanages for example may develop a flat head because they just don’t have enough resources to devote the right amount of time to each child. Hence they are laying on their backs longer increasing the chance of developing a flat spot on their head.
I think surgery is a bit extreme to try and correct this problem. It would be better to tell parents early on about repositioning their child and trying to do more tummy time in order to avoid this problem.
This article also reminded me of my son. When he was born he had a terrible cone head from the birthing process. I was honestly a bit terrified that I had doomed him and his head would stay that way. I know plenty of you are thinking it probably happened to you, but I have to say it was a bit extreme in our case. I was worried. Luckily it didn’t last and he was fine. I remember once our doctor talking about developing a flat head so we tried not to let him be on his back all the time. I did not want to have to have him wear one of those helmets that I feel I see all to much now. I wonder if insurance pays for that? Is it considered necessary or cosmetic?
I find all this head talk kind of funny now. I don’t know how many times I have been told our son has a nice head. Not even, “Oh what a cute little baby boy.”, but “Wow, he has a really nice shaped head.” instead. One of our dermatologists for him was very impressed by his head when he first saw him. I suppose it’s a good thing for him as he wont be needing any extreme surgeries to correct a flat spot in his future.
Check out the NBC News article listed above for more information. I hope this helps some new parents out there avoid this problem.