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Parents of new babies will testify that the newborn season of life is filled with many wonderful moments, but it can also be filled with worry that the slightest problem will affect your baby’s wellbeing.  One such worry could be the shape of your new baby’s head.  Because of the softness of an infant’s skull, a baby’s head shape can change depending on different circumstances.  For instance, babies born vaginally will often have an egg-shaped head at first, a direct result of the skull shape changing when passing through the birth canal.  While a baby’s head shape is meant to change to allow for a healthy and safe birth, it is important to monitor baby’s head shape after birth as well, as the skull is still very malleable, which could lead to problems later on.

Causes of a Changing Head Shape

Brand new babies are not yet able to roll, sit, or move around much at all.  They lack the head control to even lift up or move their heads much.  Because of this, infants may have a tendency to lay in one spot for a very long time and on one side of their head.  However, this could be the cause of a changing head shape.  In fact, babies who prefer to lay on their backs for long periods of time often develop a flat spot on the back of their head, which if it gets too severe is known at Plagiocephaly, or Flat Head Syndrome.  Additionally, some infants might prefer to lay or nurse with their head turned to the right side or left side, which can cause a flat spot to appear on one side. It is a good idea to talk to a doctor if you do notice a flat spot developing on your baby’s head because other health concerns, such as ear infections, visual problems, or learning delays, can be associated with Flat Head Syndrome.  At the same time, if you begin to notice a flat spot developing, don’t be discouraged!  There are several safe and natural ways to correct this problem, including a visit to a Franklin chiropractor.

Methods for Correcting Baby’s Head Shape

One obvious way to alleviate a flat spot on the head is to shift baby’s head position often so that he or she gets used to laying many different ways. This is called counter positioning. Turn the head to the right side after they have had it on the left side for a while. Hold them in your left arm if they have become accustomed to your right arm.  It is also a good idea to start tummy time, even from a very young age, so that they can strengthen head and neck muscles and also get used to different positions.  Even just a few minutes of tummy time each day for young babies is beneficial, not only for their head shape, but also for their overall development.  In addition to adding tummy time into your daily routine and using counter positioning to get your infant used to many positions, a visit to a Franklin chiropractor can also aid in correcting baby’s head shape.

Chiropractic Care for Flat Head Syndrome

Franklin chiropractor, Dr. Devan Arman, will perform careful and gentle adjustments on an infant’s spine in order to release pressure in the spinal column, thus allowing the baby to have full range of motion in the neck to allow for proper development of the cranial bones.  A Unity Chiropractic pediatric chiropractor can also work with parents to correct head shape in a safe and natural way.  In fact, case studies have shown that chiropractic can greatly improve head shape in babies.  In one case study, an 8-month-old infant with delayed milestones and Plagiocephaly was able to reach all developmental milestones for his age and improve head shape with chiropractic care.  If you notice your baby developing a flat spot on his or her head, don’t panic!  Contact Dr. Devan Arman of Unity Chiropractic to learn more about how gentle adjustments can improve your baby’s head shape.

 

Sources

Hash, J. “Deformational Plagiocephaly and Chiropractic Care: A Narrative Review and Case Report.” Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, 2014 Mar; 14(2): 1131-1138. http://www.jccponline.com/plagiocephaly.html.

Quezada, D. “Chiropractic Care of an Infant with Plagiocephaly.” Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, 2004; 6(1): 342-8. http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/chiropractic-care-of-an-infant-with-plagiocephaly.html.