Deformational plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, can be caused by a number of factors involving the positioning of a baby’s head.
This positioning can relate to:
• Extended time spent in a neonatal unit
• The birth process
• The position in the womb, and most often
• The infant's preferred sleeping position
Normally, any asymmetry in a baby’s head settles in the first few weeks after birth. However, because the baby’s skull is still malleable and can be moulded by external forces, any existing flattening may not necessarily disappear of its own accord.
Worried parents often seek advice about flat head syndrome, and many pursue a line of enquiry which leads them to commercial product solutions. There are several companies which design corrective helmets for the treatment of deformational plagiocephaly. However, this procedure is costly and widely discredited by medical experts. As a non-pathological condition, deformational plagiocephaly is best left alone to correct itself, and craniofacial surgeons advise that non-intervention is the best possible course of action.