January 2014 Moms
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Flat Head Fear

I don't usually start posts...basically I just lurk or comment occasionally. I am hoping that this topic is not a repeat as I did search before posting. I am a FTM looking for advice. My DH's cousin had a baby girl who is almost 1 and she has a really noticeable flat head from constantly being on her back. This has me wondering if there is anything that can be done to prevent flat head besides tummy time? Also, what will your LO will be sleeping in, how soon will LO be in a crib and any tips for preventing a flat head? Thank you!

 

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Re: Flat Head Fear

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    Heads are very soft and if left in one position too long then a flat head will occur. So tummy time, and resting the baby's head on the left side or the right side will all help. Just not staying in any one position for prolonged periods of time. Our LO will be sleeping in a crib, in their room, and sometimes in the Rock and Play sleeper.

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    I'm a FTM but in my parenting class they said it shouldn't be a concern unless your baby is always sitting in a carrier/swing.  A neighbor of mine did this, always had the baby in the rocker- never being held, never on the floor, etc... 

    If it is a concern, I have seen this product but do wonder if there would be room between the crib and the mattress (which would be unsafe...) - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004H1TECI/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2LUO1J5O21URU&coliid=I2D9KDB0Z56ATH

    A friend recommended a baby carrier to help carry LO around without exhausting my arms if it becomes too much.  

    If the pediatrician notices it becoming a problem they can use a special helmet too.  



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    I was talking to my mom because I don't want DS to have flat head or a weird bald spot. She told me that when she used to put my sisters and I down the position would vary from stomach, side and back. I know with SIDS everyone is freaking out about that, but she would keep a watchful eye on us to make sure we were okay.
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    My cousin's son's head was flat bc he slept in his rock n play for over 6 months. This was for naps and bedtime. She didn't enforce tummy time bc he didn't like it. I'm so the opposite. I'm not a pushover!
    I would put DS down to sleep facing different ways each night in his co sleeper or crib so he would face me or his nightlight, which would mean he wasn't lying with the back of his head flat on his bed.

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    BwhittenBwhitten member
    edited November 2013
    I would put my babies on their tummy for naps in the pack n play and kept an eye on them. It was actually something the nurses told me to do because it strenghtens their back muscles.

    They also slept in the rock n play until like 4 months theb they went to the crib because they were sleeping through most of the night.
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    I'm a FTM so I don't have first hand experience on the topic, however I did some research and the Moov Love Nest pillow received great reviews online so I invested in one...
    It cost about $20CDN and is supposed to help prevent flat head.


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    Over the years in my moms daycare we have seen our share of flat headed kids. We have one right now. This kid is a distant relative so we know that he spent the majority of his little life in either his high chair or a pack and play. The flat head is the least of his problems right now. But tummy time and spending time holding baby and playing with baby are very important for many reasons, including preventing a flat head.


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    I'm a FTM, so can't speak on experience. However, when asked this exact question the pediatrition said to never leave the baby in the swing, car seat, RNP or bouncer for more than 2 hours at a time. Also start tummy time as soon as their born (for boys after their circumcision heals if you choose to have one) to prevent flat head.

    Jaclyn D'Ausilio Jackie D'Ausilio

     Married 6.22.12

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    Yeah my DD loved her RnP and we never had any trouble with a flat head...but when I was home with her I held her a lot for naps for the first like 6 months of her life (they're so fun to cuddle!) She hated tummy time but when I held her she'd spend a decent amount of time upright or on my chest especially during nap time. She slept at night in her crib after 6 weeks but she usually sleeps with her head turned to the side. Idk, like I said it was never really an issue with her, but just not leaving them in one position in a bouncer or RnP for too long of a time and holding them/wearing them more frequently will help!




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    My nephew has a flat head (5mos) because he will only look to the left. His mom was concerned because even if she tried to turn his head to look the other way he would spring it back. Apparently some babies have a bone or something in their neck that can cause it to only go in one direction, but my nephew does not have that... Just likes looking 'to the left, to the left'!

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    Thanks everyone! I probably wouldn't be as worried but my MIL watches DH's cousin's baby girl with the flat head and she will also be watching our LO. I have invested in a carrier so that I can hold LO while I work around the house and we plan to hold LO often and have tummy time. I'm thinking LO will be sleeping between the RNP and crib with a movement monitor. We will definitely rotate what side of LO's head s/he sleeps on.

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    @tootscott -- now I just want to watch Zoolander because of your comment.
    and for the record I have nothing extra to add -- FTM and just plan to hold baby and use the baby k'tan more often than the stroller/car seat when possible. Of course that plan can get thrown out the window, but that's the one at the moment.
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    @tootscott There are stretches your sister/ brother can do on the baby on to help with that. We had to do them on E when she came home from the NICU. The PT gave them to us. Just gently draw the baby's head to his shoulder and hold for a few secs. Repeat on both sides, throughout the day. It stretches out the ligaments so that even if baby has a perferred side, they won't develop torticollis.
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    Thanks @Deblondie1, ill look into that! He's gotten better at switching sides lately, but his head is already flat.

    One of my friend's daughters had a flat head, but she has very thick curly hair and you can't tell anymore. SHE was always in a bouncer.
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    When mini man came home Friday, we put him in a crib and he's done great. I also kind of change his sleeping positions so it's not so much in the same spot every time. Since he's so small, I do tummy time with him kangaroo style on my chest. It doesn't make him so mad and he can nap like that.
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    My kids only slept on their tummies. Too bad, so sad to everyone who says otherwise. On their backs, they only slept about 30 minutes at a time. Not so good for anyone involved.
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    I also want to point out that wearing your baby or, like aessery is doing, kangaroo holding is also considered tummy time. So if your baby hates being on their tummy on the floor, plop them in your carrier and go for a walk. Instant 25 minutes of tummy time! If they don't like either the floor or the carrier, get creative!

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    Started our exploration into the world of international adoption June 2012.  We have no idea what this is going to look like but we are excited to find out!

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    I rotated between tummy time, propping up on the Boppy, and holding. She started crawling around 6 months so it wasn't a concern after that!
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    I read the majority of the comments. But I second what @Deblondie1 said. DS ended up with a flat spot on the back right side of his head and needed a helmet. We held him a lot, did a ton of tummy time. He slept in his swing for about 6 wks max and slept in his crib after that. He just always liked his head to the right. There was nothing wrong with his muscles or anything else. It's just what he liked, and no matter how much I tried to turn his head to the left, it always ended up on the right. We had a good carrier for him too. So yes, you can take all the precautions and I'm sure it will help minimize the probability of it happening. But we did and DS still needed a helmet.
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    How old should a baby be before you start doing tummy time? Is it something you start from birth or should you wait a couple weeks? ?


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    pinkyxboo said:

    How old should a baby be before you start doing tummy time? Is it something you start from birth or should you wait a couple weeks? ?

    We did it from day 1 or 2 in the hospital. He hated it and would cry, but he developed strong neck muscles early on.


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    Has anyone used Tortle before to prevent flat head syndrome?
    https://www.tortle.com/

    Just curious. I got info about it when I registered at Buy Buy Baby and have only just started researching it.
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    pinkyxboo said:
    How old should a baby be before you start doing tummy time? Is it something you start from birth or should you wait a couple weeks? ?
    Right out of the gate. As LO gets older then the amount of time will increase, but LO should spend a little bit of time every day on their tummy.

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    Agree that tummy time & sleep location are important

    I have had a niece & a cousin (both on DH's side) with this where they had to wear a helmet as infants.  I'm not sure of our cousin's, but our niece had issues with favoring looking to one side.  So it is important to rotate toys as well to get LO to look in the opposite direction.  Also - both my BIL & his girlfriend tended to hold her the same way, in the same arm every time she got a bottle.  Mixing that up is important too.

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    I just kept switching his positions during the day and he loved to lay on my chest and snuggle he was off his back a lot. 

     

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    DS has a slightly flat head. He was very stubborn and no matter how I put his head to sleep (alternating right and left sides), he always ended up flat on the back of his head! I did lots of tummy time, and I held him a lot to avoid it getting worse.

    It's not noticeable, especially with his hair now, but I was always paranoid about it!

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    DD still had flat head even though I held her a lot and did tummy time. I had some mommy shame for a bit, but once she started sitting up her head went right back to beautifully round! So even though you may "do everything right" LO can still have flat head, but their heads are soft for a while and so can reshape later!
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