Flat head syndrome


Feb 11, 2007
I didn't read the article but will share my experience with plagiocephaly.

From birth my dd would only ever turn her head to the right...we did everything we could to encourage her to turn her head to the left (switch direction in crib, place toys on left side etc). She was a challenging baby that slept horribly, had colic, hated tummy time so she did spend alot (too much time) sleeping in her bouncy chair, stroller etc. We were just so happy when she did sleep and wasn't crying. These things combined to result in her plagiocephaly, she had an assymetry of 12mm on the right side. To us it looked very bad and we felt horrible but our pedi assured us that it would round out on its own but at that point she physically could not turn her head to the left as it was so flat on the right. We insisted on a referral and pushed for the helmet early (in canada they usually don't helmet until 8 months and we got hers around 5.5-6 months). She wore it for along time as her fontanel was still quite large and got down to about 1mm assymetry. The orthotist had never seen such improvement and was very pleased. We couldn't be more happy with the results and know that our dd will never be ashamed or teased because of her misshapen head!

If you are concerned about your boys right now I say keep an eye on it and keep up what you are doing. We knew at 3 months that something would need to be done but everyone kept saying it will fix itself - well what if it doesn't and then it's too late and there was something that we could have tried? My dh and I weren't willing to risk it. The time in the helmet went by fast, she looked extra adorable, she tolerated it very well and we got amazing results so it was well worth it! Trust your mommy instincts ;)

Eta: there is a great plagiocephaly support forum on babycenter.com you might want to check out (of course they are mostly pro helmet though)
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Love is Love is Love
Apr 19, 2007
In the moment
I can't share any personal experience but a friend of mine just got a helmet for her DD about a month ago. I will follow her progress and let you know how it's going for them!



29 countries...
Oct 30, 2006
Our baby boy sleeps on his tummy when he could turn his head. As when he was a newborn, we turned him after every feed on his left and right, supported by a pillow on his back. I was initially concerned about SIDS but his paediatrician assured us not to be concerned about SIDS over here, tropical country, as we don't wrap them up so much as in colder countries.


May 23, 2012
Near Chicago
My dd is starting to get "flat head syndrome" but I'm not too concerned. Pediatricians say the problem works itself out with time and position changes for the baby. I'm actually more concerned with dd's bald spot from sleeping on her back. She has a good amount of hair except for that spot in the middle of the back of her head. I don't want her to be a baldy when she's older. Lol.


Dec 3, 2007
There is no doubt in my mind that helmets can certainly help the problem, but as the recent study discussed in the NY Times found, they are no more effective for moderate cases of flat head syndrome than repositioning and tummy time. Based on that, the cost of helmets, and the advice that I received from my pedi, I'm not inclined to get a helmet yet. I think I will, however, reevaluate at 6 months. My understanding is that the plates in a baby's head dont solidify until 12 months.


Feb 11, 2007
I should also mention that my dd was slightly delayed with her motor skills so it took along time for her to be able to sit up, sit up unassisted, crawl and walk etc. so she did spend more time on her back. Also my dh's head is fairly flat at the back so perhaps there is some type of genetic predisposition? My dd's asymetry was classified as moderate so there was no doubt that we were going to go the helmet route (our other repositioning methods didn't give us any results).