Hello and welcome to part two of my little baby talk!
In my last blog, I discussed baby physiotherapy and torticollis. Today, I'm going to give parents a few tips on how to prevent plagiocephaly (flat head) in your newborn baby. Plagiocephaly occurs when babies tend to favour one side more than the other. This and torticollis can slow the development of your baby’s motor skills on the non-preferred side. Here are five easy tips that can help to prevent these issues.
Tip 1: Change your baby's sleeping head position
Take advantage of the amount of time that your baby spends sleeping. When they sleep they tend to lay with their head to one side or the other. Continuous pressure on the same side can develop a flat spot. You always want to make sure you are following safety guidelines by placing a baby on their back. But in doing so, pay attention to which side they turn their head and for the next time they nap, turn their head to the other side.
Tip 2: When the baby is awake, reduce the time on their back
Try to keep baby in a more upright position when they are awake. For example, place them in a baby carrier, a bouncer or a supportive chair. Stimulate them with their head to the non-dominant side.
Tip 3: Make small changes in the nursery
If you notice that your baby tends to look in one direction, place them in the opposite way in their crib, or place certain eye-catching toys strategically around the room that will encourage them to turn the other way. This may include turning the position of the crib so that they must turn their head to that non-dominant side in order to see you coming into their room.
Tip 4: Encourage tummy time during awake hours
Tummy time is important for baby’s development of gross motor abilities. It also reduces the time baby spends on their back. Tummy time stimulates the postural muscles that control the neck and back which will strengthen their ability to change their head position.
Tip 5: When in doubt, always visit a healthcare professional
If you ever have a concern about your baby’s health, it is important you contact your health care provider. They can advise you to visit a physiotherapist if required and provide you with further resources if necessary.
One of the aspects of my work that brings me the most joy is my work with babies. I love to work with them and they always put a smile on my face. If you have a question about your baby, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call WIN Health Solutions to arrange a time to meet and I would be happy to help.