Flat Head Syndrome is a condition commonly found with babies whereby a flattening of the soft skull bones has occurred.

There are two types of flattening that may occur:

  • Plagiocephaly is a flattening of the back of the head to one side, behind the ear. The head will look a different shape whilst looking from above the baby’s head.
  • Brachycephaly is a flattening of the back of the head in the middle making the head look short from front to back whilst looking from the side.

Both Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly can be easily prevented through some simple precautions. They can also be treated if caught early enough, normally under 9-12 months, through the elimination of any flat surfaces that may come into contact with your baby’s head.

The condition is actually very common, affecting nearly half of the babies born in the UK.

There are varying degrees of the condition and reported incidence varies widely, depending on whether all degrees of the condition, including mild flattening, are classified. The condition is generally quite mild with most babies, although in some cases it can be quite severe.

It is caused mainly due to your baby lying on a flat mattress or against flat surfaces for prolonged periods of time. The weight of the head pushes the skull down on a flat surface, thereby flattening the soft bones of the baby’s skull and thus resulting in a flat spot on the head.

Current guidance for parents and carers states babies should be placed on a firm, flat mattress, however this is resulting in a significant increase in deformation of baby head shape, leading to increased incidents of Plagiocephaly or Brachycephaly.

Flat Head Syndrome Prevention & Treatment

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