A flat-backed head is a very frequent occurrence in babies. US statistics assume that every fifth child under the age of six months is affected, even here many babies have a flat or crooked head.
What your child has in the later life is partly determined by his genetic disposition. However, you can influence other factors. Usually, a flat back is the result of a bearing conditioned deformation: Most infants lie almost exclusively on their backs that the still soft skull bones yield and deform.
Nevertheless, the supine position is important and indispensable for children in the first year of life – the risk of sudden childhood death is reduced by about 40 percent. For other children the head is not only flat, but also flat on one side. The causes of this are often a shortened muscle or cervical vertebral blockage – your baby might want to sleep on only one body side. Through physiotherapy or osteopathy , both can be remedied well
The baby’s head can still be shaped long after birth
At the time of birth , the skull bones of a baby are not yet tightly entangled. The so-called Fontanelles – connections between the cranial plates – consisting of membranous connective tissue layers – ensure that the child’s head can pass through the birth canal. The two most important of the six fontanelles are the large fontanelle on the skull and the small fontanelle at the back of the head.
The great Fontanelle concludes End of the second year of life, the small Fontanelle in the first months of life of the baby. The four sides of the fontanelles have finally closed towards the end of the first year of life. The skull bones also remain soft and malleable for a long time. This and the “Fontanelles,” which is still available for shorter or longer periods of time, ensure that the child’s brain has enough space to grow.
Rapid head growth in the first year of life
Especially in the first year of life, the child’s head makes a rapid growth phase. The head circumference of babies at the time of birth on average 36 centimeters, twelve months later it has increased to about 46 centimeters.
If the head of the child always rests in the same place during this period, because of the urgently recommended supine position, usually on the back of the head, the skull bones cannot bend properly due to the permanent pressure. The still open fontanelles also convey a flat posterior head. In boys, a flat tail is somewhat more common than in girls, since their head is usually somewhat heavier.
Muscle shortening or tension can also lead to unilateral lying positions and corresponding head deformations. Your baby may experience pain as a result of the muscle tension and may be more or less violent if you want to change his / her favorite sleeping position.
Tips against a flat back head
Against position-induced head deformations, you can do some things yourself:
- Ensure regular changes of your baby’s position. The supine position as an important preventive measure against Sudden Infant Death is recommended, as at least younger babies cannot turn into the potentially dangerous abdominal position. Store your child in different positions – on the back or the side. If your baby is to sleep on the side, lean his side back at an angle of about 30 degrees against a curled towel. Rolling on the belly is thus excluded, the head automatically turns from this position to one side. After each meal, change the lying position of the baby.
- The belly position is often not particularly popular with babies before the crawling age – but keep your child on the stomach more often during active periods. On the one hand, the back of the head is relieved, on the other hand it supports the development of your child’s perception and movement, which the world and its body now experience from a different perspective. Interesting toys help – hopefully – against the fact that the child does not protest loudly. Important: Do not leave your baby in the prone position without supervision, as sleeping and resting position it is completely unsuitable.
- Their first months of life spend babies almost exclusively – or have to be carried around by mum or dad. Regular wear helps to limit one-sided lying positions and thus contribute to the development of a “nice” head shape. A towel or a baby carrier are ideally suited for walks or even in the home. Also, your baby will enjoy the change and your physical closeness guaranteed.
- Special head cushions also help to avoid head deformations. In the supine position, the child’s head rests in a supported cavity so that the pressure of the mattress does not act directly on the soft hind-head.
Osteopathy relieves tensions and blockages
Manual therapies are used when your baby is suffering from muscle tension or cervical blockage, which cannot turn his head properly and feels good only in certain lying positions. In part, such symptoms are caused by a difficult birth, in other cases, they appear to be completely groundless.
Osteopathy is a particularly gentle method to relieve such tension and blockages gently. It is a gentle, holistic healing process that does not require medication but activates the body’s self-healing powers.
It is based on the idea that all the organs, structures, and tissues of the body form a unity which is in constant motion; ideally, this movement is harmonious. If this interplay is disturbed at some point, this affects the entire organism and can lead to disease symptoms.
Osteopaths are trained to perceive and resolve movement limitations and tissue tension through the hands – a good osteopath can feel the tiniest tensions and correct by massages and other manual techniques.
A flat back is not dangerous for your baby
Do not worry too much about the positional head deformations.
A flat back is not dangerous for your baby. If your child has no health problems – tensions, blockages or pain – this is all about aesthetics.
If a flat occipital is caused by frequent Change of the lying position cannot be corrected anymore, this is also not a drama – until the end of the third year of life it usually disappears by itself and is then well hidden by the growing hair of the child.
- A flat rear head is a bearing-induced head deformation. It is created by a permanent supine position since the baby’s head is still soft and malleable.
- Frequent position changes and possibly special head cushions effectively prevent such deformations.
- Tensions and blockages can cause your child not to turn his head properly and only in a certain position – physiotherapy or osteopathy can be used to solve such problems quickly and effectively.