Flat Head Syndrome Treatment
Although cases of mild flat head syndrome often correct themselves, severe cases often require a form of flat head syndrome treatment. The treatment that we recommend depends on the infant’s age and the type of deformity that they have. Non-surgical flat head treatment can improve all types of head shape deformity including the more common plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. We also see rare cases of scaphocephaly, which we can treat if there is no synostosis present.
Flat Head Syndrome Treatment for 0-4 Months: Repositioning Techniques
For babies who have developed a mild case of the condition, we usually recommend repositioning techniques to help improve a head shape that is starting to deform. Read our analysis of flat head syndrome severity for a more detailed guide on the different stages of flat head syndrome. The earlier that flat head syndrome is detected, the easier it can be corrected. Using recommended positioning techniques and self-correction methods, this helps to reduce a milder form of flat head syndrome in the initial stages of deformity. Repositioning your baby onto their tummy will help to remove gravitational pressure from their head and prevent your baby’s head from being moulded by the flat surface of a pillow or bed.
Keeping your baby on their tummy during playtime is a great repositioning technique which gives the head an opportunity to return to a more normal shape naturally. Tummy time can be achieved by placing a cushion under the chest and arms of your baby, or by using a specially-designed tummy time mat as you supervise their playtime. Always supervise your baby when they are placed on their tummy and never allow them to sleep in this position. Refer to our latest tummy time blog post to find out how to make repositioning easier for your baby.
Additionally, you should try to limit the use of car seats and you should alternate sides when feeding your baby. At night time, encourage your baby to alternate the end of the cot that they sleep on, place their toys on alternate sides, and move their mobile or baby light every other night.
Approximately 20% of the babies that we see don’t need corrective flat head treatment, with repositioning techniques providing an effective treatment.
Flat Head Syndrome Treatment for 4-14 Months: TiMband Treatment
If your baby is over four months old and their head is not self-correcting, our specialists can help to reduce the severity of the deformity with orthotic flat head syndrome treatment. Between four and seven months is the ideal age for helmet therapy as by then repositioning techniques begin to have limited success. We offer flat head syndrome treatment up to fourteen months of age. Our experience is that you should consider starting treatment as early as possible to achieve the best and quickest results.
Depending on the age, which determines the rate of head growth, treatment for flat head syndrome usually lasts between ten to twenty-six weeks. Our experienced orthotists estimate how much your baby’s head will grow based on your baby’s age. When the baby’s head outgrows their TiMband™ helmet, this signifies the end of treatment.
We are often asked if the baby will require a second helmet and the answer for milder cases is no. If the head shape is very severe and the baby is young enough when they start, we do occasionally recommend a second helmet to continue to improve the head shape towards normality.
How do TiMband Helmets Work?
Each TiMband is custom-made based on a safe photographic scan of your baby’s head. Once the scan and paperwork is complete, we send these to the manufacturer who then quantifies and modifies the head shape using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, to allow growth within exactly defined limits. The TiMband™ doesn’t stop growth, it allows for growth to occur where it needs to so that the head shape reforms towards normality. This modified head shape is then carved and the TiMband is made over this modified shape.
To find out more about the TiMband and what it is made from, visit our plagiocephaly helmet page.
Finding the Right Flat Head Treatment for Your Baby
If you are concerned about your baby’s head shape and think that you require flat head syndrome treatment, our qualified specialists can offer personal and professional advice on the best way to reduce the flat head syndrome. We treat each case individually and only offer flat head treatment based on what will benefit your baby.