Does my child have a problem?
Parents often notice mild deformities in their babies' skulls and naturally begin to worry. Is this normal? Is this a problem? What do we do about it? Will this go away on its own? It is perfectly normal for your newborn baby to have an abnormal head shape. Abnormal head shapes caused by the birth process should begin to resolve over time, within a few weeks.
However, if any flat spots or abnormal shaping are still apparent, some intervention may be required to correct the problem. To be absolutely sure of the normalcy of your baby's head shape, please consult your physician.
A Simple Test
Look down upon your baby's head from above and compare what you see to the diagrams below.
Presents as an asymmetrical (uneven) head shape. The back of one side of the head will be flattened, often pushing the forehead and ear on the same side forward.
Presents as an abnormally wide head shape resulting from a central flattening of the back of the head. You may notice a bulging forehead and increased height of the back of the head in the side view. This shape can also be asymmetrical.
Presents as a long, narrow head shape from the top view. You may notice the forehead and back of the head bulging (bossing) in the side view.
Your baby's head shape will likely approximate one of the shapes in our diagram. If your child presents with an abnormal head shape, discuss your concerns with your Doctor. Also, consider bringing your child to a STARscanner™ location for an in-depth evaluation, if only to assure yourself that all is normal. It is recommended that you bring your child in for a scan as early as 2 months of age for a baseline scan. This will allow your Orthotist to determine the effectiveness of conservative repositioning efforts in order to make the proper clinical recommendation by 4-6 months of age.
Please be assured that a visit to have your baby evaluated will not result an automatic decision to have your baby fitted for a head shape correctional device. Unlike some providers, Orthotists for STARband® often determine that no intervention is necessary and that simple re-positioning and "tummy time" will be all that is required. (Flat spots — Plagiocephaly — are often the result of babies spending excessive time on their backs, either in their crib or car carrier.)
Pictures For Reference
Examples of various instances of abnormal head shapes. All were correctable using STARband. Compare your baby to these photos to see if you think your child might have a problem.