Back to Sleep: Prevent SIDS
By Dr. Brown
Since the early 1990's, all major experts in pediatrics have been recommending infants be placed on their back to sleep to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Statistics: SIDS is as common as 1 in 1000 when babies sleep on their belly, 1 in 1250 on their side and 1 in 1500 on their back. These are compelling differences! No one wants to say they knew and did not follow this advice.
Flat heads are coming! If your child only sleeps with the head in one single position, the pressure from gravity will make the bones grow into a flat area that was in contact with the mattress. So the simple, elegant prevention is changing the position of your child’s head when they sleep. Put her down sometimes with the head to the left and sometimes with the head in the center and sometimes to the right. When your child is a bit older, say 6-9 months still try to do this.
Treatment of flat head (Plagiocephaly): If despite your efforts, your baby has a flattened head, it is not too late to have a normally rounded one. Because the head is made of bone that is constantly growing and remolding it will gradually remold to a natural shape as long as you continue to work with your baby's head position.
TUMMY TIME: It is critical that your newborn and older child spend lots of wake time on the tummy, turning the head sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left. Giving your child LOTS of tummy time can help prevent this asymmetry.
Severe flat head treatment: When this first treatment is not working a referral to a specialist may be needed. They may prescribe a plastic helmet that may remind you of a hockey helmet. The difference may be $3500 dollars in price however. Try the first suggestions and if this is not working out in a few months, we can refer you to the specialists in flat heads also know as plagiocephaly.