Early Prevention

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Tummy time and repositioning are methods to prevent and/or correct flat head syndrome.

Tummy Time

When? Start tummy time soon after birth!

Why? It promotes muscle development in your baby’s neck, shoulder and upper body. It builds the muscles that your baby needs to roll, sit and crawl. It helps prevent tight neck muscles and the development of flat areas on the back of your baby’s head as excessive time is spent with being left on the back, leading to head shape abnormalities.

It’s never too early to start and it’s never enough!

Bonding time

Lie on your back or in a reclined position, place baby on your chest (facing you). This will encourage your baby to lift the head to look at you. Tummy time is a great time to bond with your baby.

Start slow

Have your baby lie on their tummy (on playmat, cot or mattress), with weight on their forearms. Start slow: start tummy time for 1-2 minutes, 2-3 times a day.

Use props

Place a cushion or pillow under baby’s chest to help your baby to lift his/her head. Increase tummy time to 5 minutes or more, on every awake moment.

Find a buddy

Tummy time is like an exercise, it gets easier with a buddy. It doesn’t need to be another baby, be on tummy time with your baby, face your baby and keep encouraging them. When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Build up gradually

Your baby will gain strength from tummy time and will be able to build up to 10-15 minutes per interval (or more) by the time they are 3 months old. Babies should ideally be on tummy on every awake moment once they acquire the confidence.

Supervise at all times

Always supervise; never leave your baby alone when on tummy time.

Take a break when needed!

ps: this is not a positive demonstration of tummy time position


What? Alternating the position of your baby’s head

Why? Allows even distribution of weight of your baby’s head. Repositioning helps prevent preferred sleeping position on one side that often result in flat head syndrome.

How? Alternate carrying positions when feeding; alternate the head position of baby when sleeping.

When baby is asleep

While baby is asleep (on his back), diligently alternate your baby’s head position left and right.

When baby is awake

When baby is awake, avoid leaving baby laying on the back at all times. More tummy time will take pressure off baby’s head. These activities should be under close supervision, at all times, for baby’s safety.

During feeding time

During baby’s feeding time, alternate the arm used when holding your baby (alternate left and ride position) to avoid adding further pressure to the flattened side of head.

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