For many new parents, the shape of their newborn baby’s head is an important issue. It ranks right up there with which diaper bag to buy or which color the room should be painted. One reason many parents place a lot of emphasis on the shape of their baby’s head is they have heard many rumors about why the head could be misshapen. Sometimes when the vacuum or forceps has to be used, it can squeeze the babies head into a deformed shaped. It also happens quite often when the baby drops during labor, but doesn’t come out for a while.
Even though you may be worried that your sweet baby will have to live with it forever, in virtually all cases it will eventually go back to normal! So worrying usually doesn’t help, and your focus could be on other things like picking out that crib, or finding a great bag! I’ll help out a little bit, and recommend the best big bags for kids as it is a proven favorite among many moms!
Learning more about how to shape the head of a newborn baby can help you feel less panic and fear when your baby is born with an odd shaped head.
Normal Odd Shapes
Babies born head first commonly have an oblong shaped head due to being squeezed through the birth canal. However, parents should keep in mind that the bones and plates in a newborn’s skull are soft and versatile, designed to allow the growth of the brain and for fitting through a narrow birth canal as well. In some cases, the skull bones have been known to overlap during birth. This is a temporary issue and generally goes away after a few days.
In The Days After Vaginal Delivery
Another common issue that occurs in newborns is called caput succedaneum, a condition that presents as fluid collects beneath the scalp. This condition generally stems from a hard delivery. When a delivery takes a long time, the amniotic sac is usually compromised and is no longer available for providing cushioning to the baby’s head. In some deliveries, a vacuum instrument is used for helping the baby out, being the greatest cause of caput succedaneum. In other cases, this condition can present before birth due to membranes rupturing or if the presence of amniotic fluid is low. As frightening as this condition may seem, it usually goes away after a few days.
Medical Problems That Can Cause An Odd Shaped Head
Some medical problems can cause a baby’s head to be deformed upon birth, some conditions requiring surgical intervention. Craniosynostosis is a birth defect that causes the bone plates in a newborn’s skull to fuse together too soon, causing serious issues for healthy brain growth. However, in many cases, this condition can be closely monitored while a baby grows, allowing medical professionals to watch brain development to help avoid surgery. No one is sure what causes this birth defect, but many options are available to parents for treatment.
The Truth About Some Rumors
One of the biggest rumors associated with newborns and head shaping is about leaving a baby in the crib too long on his or her back. However, it can happen from a baby’s normal sleeping hours, not because parents are bad and leave their baby in a crib for too long. Two types of flat head conditions include:
- Brachycephaly – This causes the back of the head to flatten out and can also cause the forehead to protrude more so than normal. Encouraging your baby to lie on his or her tummy during the day can help the head resume normal shape. However, your baby sleeping on his or her back at night is best to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Plagiocephaly – This is the most common flattening of the head, causing the misalignment of the ears in most cases. This flattening issue can be resolved easily by physiotherapy. In other words keep your baby moving during the day.
The best way to learn more about how to shape the head of a newborn is by visiting your baby’s primary health care provider. Learning more about all the aspects of providing the best care for your little one is extremely important for giving the best and healthiest start in life.