Are Flat Head Pillows Safe for Babies? [Know the Dangers]

Are Flat Head Pillows Safe for Babies [Know the Dangers] (2)

Are Flat Head Pillows Safe for Babies? [Know the Dangers]

Flat head pillows for babies have become increasingly popular in recent years.  They’re often seen as a way to help prevent plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome.

Many parents are turning to these specialized head-shaping pillows for their babies.  But are these pillows for flat head syndrome safe?

Parents need to understand the potential risks associated with using these pillows.  Do you know the potential dangers?  

Keep reading to learn more about the risks and use of infant head-shaping pillows so you can make the best choice as your infant grows.

What is Flat Head Syndrome (Positional Plagiocephaly)?

Flat Head Syndrome (Positional Plagiocephaly) is a condition that can occur in newborns and young infants.  With this condition, the infant’s head shape appears flat on one side.  This asymmetry or unusual head shape can occur on the back of an infant’s head.  Or, the flat spot might be elsewhere – the head may appear flattened on one side.

This is caused by external pressure on the soft bones of the skull.  How does this happen?  It can be caused by tight swaddling or spending too much time in the same position.

Flat head syndrome is occasionally caused when the skull bones join together too early.  This condition is called craniosynostosis.

Flat Head Syndrome does not necessarily cause any medical issues.  But it can make the baby look asymmetrical and may require special measures to reshape their head.

To prevent this condition, parents should make sure their infant has plenty of tummy time while they are awake.  You should also let your baby move freely while sleeping.  (Make sure they sleep on their back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.)

Treatments such as wearing a helmet or physical therapy may be recommended if an infant develops Flat Head Syndrome.

Are Flat Head Pillows Safe for Babies [Know the Dangers] (2)

FDA Recommendations on Infant Head-Shaping Pillows

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend using flat-head pillows to treat the flat-head syndrome.

The FDA warns parents not to use these pillows because these pillows can create an unsafe sleep environment for infants.   The pillows have not been tested or approved by any medical professionals.  Also, they do not provide adequate support for an infant’s head or neck. 

Using these pillows can also cause a misalignment of the baby’s skull.  This misalignment can lead to long-term deformities in skull bones if used for extended periods.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not endorse any soft bedding product for infants.  This includes infant head-shaping pillows made from foam or other materials.  These materials may contribute to the risk of suffocation or SIDS.

Therefore, avoiding using these products to keep your baby safe and healthy is best.

Are Baby Pillows Safe?: Risks Associated with Flat Head Pillows

Are baby pillows safe?  There are risks associated with head shaping pillows.  Namely, the FDA advises they could increase the risk of infant suffocation and death.

These head-shaping pillows can create unintentional risks.  For example, when an infant is placed on the pillow, there is a potential for them to slide down due to the angle of the pillow.  Babies could then become trapped.

Furthermore, breathing can also be difficult due to the flat shape of the pillow. It is essential to read all safety warnings and instructions before using any baby pillow and ensure that it suits your child’s age and size.

Additionally, always ensure that your baby’s face is not covered by blankets or clothing while sleeping on a flat-head pillow or any other type of sleeping support.

Are Flat Head Pillows Safe for Babies [Know the Dangers] (2)

Safe Sleeping Practices for Infants

Safe sleeping practices for infants are essential to ensure their well-being. Infants must sleep on a firm, flat surface to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep on their backs.  This has been proven to reduce the risk of suffocation and death related to SIDS, causing sudden unexpected infant death. 

While head pillows can help correct flat infant head syndrome, they should not be used while your infant sleeps. 

Other safe sleeping practices for infants include ensuring no blankets or toys in the crib and avoiding overheating. Following these simple tips can help keep your baby safe when sleeping.

Now that we’ve discussed whether head shaping pillows are safe for babies, let’s jump into some common questions parents ask.

What is an infant head-shaping pillow?  How do you use infant head shaping pillows?

An infant head-shaping pillow is a specially designed pillow for infants.  Many people believed using head shaping pillows would help keep babies’ heads in the correct position as they sleep.

The pillow is made from soft, breathable fabric.  They also have a contoured shape with a hole in the center.  The pillow securely fits the baby’s head, making them comfortable sleeping.

Previously, parents used head shaping pillows for the flat head syndrome.  However, the FDA said to discourage the use of infant head-shaping pillows due to the risk of sudden unexpected infant suffocation or death.

When can babies use flathead pillows?

Babies should not use flathead pillows.

The use of infant head shaping pillows (also called flathead pillows, or orthopedic or positional pillows) are not recommended by the FDA. They are not proven to help prevent the flat head syndrome.

It is essential to talk to your doctor if you think your baby might need a pillow for support or comfort.

Your doctor can decide what is best for your child’s development and discuss the use of head shaping pillows with you.

If a pillow is needed, many safe options provide the necessary support while allowing a baby’s head to move freely.  This includes rolled-up towels, foam wedges, and supportive mats designed for infants.  Be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor about the best option.

Are Flat Head Pillows Safe for Babies [Know the Dangers] (2)

Can you fix a baby’s flat head without a helmet?

It is possible to fix a baby’s flat head without a helmet.

However, it is essential to note that this kind of treatment requires regular and consistent effort from parents and caregivers.

The most crucial step is to ensure that the baby is sometimes lying in the same position for too long.  This can contribute to the development of the flat head syndrome.

When putting the baby down for sleep, parents should alternate their positioning.  This way, babies lie on different sides of the head each time.

Parents should also engage in frequent tummy time with their babies.  This will allow your baby to practice lifting and turning their heads while strengthening neck muscles.

If these methods are consistently employed, they may help reduce or prevent further flattening of a baby’s head.

How quickly can a baby get a flat head?

A baby’s head is very malleable, meaning it can easily be molded into different shapes.

This is why a baby’s head may appear flat in certain areas.  This will happen, especially if they sleep on the same side of their head for too long.

So how do you prevent flat head syndrome? Pay attention to how your baby is sleeping. Ensure that you reposition them regularly. This will help prevent a flat head from forming too quickly.

Babies should also have plenty of tummy time throughout the day.  This way, their heads don’t remain in one position for too long.

Paying attention to your little one’s sleeping and playtime habits can help minimize the chances of them getting a flat head quickly.

How long does fixing a flat head shape without a helmet take? 

Baby flat head syndrome, also known as positional plagiocephaly, is a condition in which the head is abnormal.

It can be caused by spending too much time lying in one position on the back of the head.  Or it may be due to tight muscles in the neck. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may take up to 18 months to resolve without any intervention.

How do you treat flat head syndrome?

You must talk to your doctor first to fix a flat head without a helmet.   They can assess your baby’s condition and provide you with recommendations.

The doctor may suggest that you change your baby’s sleeping position occasionally.  Your doctor may also encourage tummy time when possible.

Physical therapy techniques such as cranial sacral massage may help relieve muscle tension.  This can reduce the risk of further flattening of the head.

With this combined approach, your baby’s head should show signs of improvement within weeks or months.

Baby Safety Tips: The Ultimate Guide for New Parents

When it comes to keeping your baby safe, this comprehensive guide is a valuable resource for baby safety tips for both new and experienced parents.

Exploring various aspects of baby safety, the article provides important tips and guidelines to create a secure environment for your little one.

Discover many safety measures, from baby-proofing your home to safe sleeping practices and beyond.

Let’s Wrap Up

In conclusion, it is important to remember that safe sleeping practices are essential for the health and well-being of infants.

While flat-head pillows may comfort infants, the FDA recommends that parents avoid using them due to potential risks.

Parents should consult with their healthcare professionals for further questions or concerns.

Ensuring an infant’s sleep environment is always safe and conducive to healthy growth and development is essential.