Flat Head (Plagiocephaly)

Often when your baby is born they have a conical shaped head, which settles in the first few days of life.  Some babies have persistent “flat spots” which are evident from birth and are thought to be due to restrictive intra-uterine environment.

The majority of babies who develop asymmetry do so after birth, becoming apparent to the parent at about 4-8 weeks of age.  This is usually caused by constant pressure on one part of the head.  It gives us a clue the baby may be suffering from neck restriction, leading to the inability to turn their head properly to both sides, resulting in a preference for one position.  This preference has more of an impact in the early weeks of life as the baby spends most of their time on their back, whether it is sleeping or floor play, hence, constant pressure on the one spot.  Other clues your baby may have a neck restriction is sudden crying when you reposition their head and/or a preference to feed on one side.

Treatment is usually directed at massaging tight neck musculature and gentle articulation of restricted joints in the upper back and neck.

At home management involves reducing pressure on the affected via repositioning and increased “tummy time”.  In persistent cases the use of a remoulding orthosis (baby helmet) may be required.


To make and appointment with our most experienced Osteopaths in Maternal Health , Dr. Caroline Teh or Dr. Patrick Lee, contact Wantirna Osteopathy on 9800 0388 or Book Online.


Flat Head (Plagiocephaly)