Best advice for baby
Bedtime is an important moment for both babies and parents. While good-quality bedding and a healthy nursery environment will help your little one sleep peacefully, it is vital that baby is in a safe position every time they go to sleep.
It’s recommended to lie baby exclusively on their back, for better breathing and temperature regulation. Unfortunately, this safe position can lead to plagiocephaly, or “flat head” syndrome. In the first months of baby’s life, their bones are still relatively soft, so when baby spends long periods of time in the same position, the pressure on part of the head can cause the skull to flatten slightly.
Some cases of flat head can require long physiotherapy sessions to resolve, and in the most extreme cases, therapy with a helmet can be needed. However, there are several preventative solutions that can be used during the first few months of baby’s life to help avoid flat head occurring.
Paediatrician Meike Göhler recommends using specific baby cushions and supportive pillows to avoid flat head, such as the Lovenest Pillow. Lovenest was developed and patented by paediatrician Dr Maidenberg (read this interview with Dr Maidenberg to find out more about the Lovenest’s unique design here).
When baby is awake, it’s strongly recommended to encourage baby to change position often, to reduce pressure on a single point of their head. Some tips include: “tummy time” - playing with baby where you’re both lying on your front; moving your baby between flat surfaces, slings, and sloping chairs so there isn’t constant pressure on a single point; and alternating the sides you hold baby when carrying and feeding. For more tips, check out our blog How to Fix a Flat Head.
During sleep, you can support baby’s back position using sleeping aids like the Cosydream. With a built-in head support, memory foam padding and an adjustable leg roll, Cosydream promotes a healthy sleeping position on the back and helps prevent plagiocephaly. The leg roll elevates baby’s legs to reduce uncomfortable stretching of the stomach muscles. Cosydream is recommended from birth up to 4-6 months or until baby is capable of turning over on their own.
Meike Göhler is a physiotherapist-paediatrician and a physiology coach for parents.