Pregnancy

There May Be A Cheaper Way To Fix Your Baby’s Flat Head That Has Nothing To Do With Baby Helmets

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flat baby headConcerned parents who look upon that flat baby head need not necessarily shell out thousands of dollars for a baby helmet. At least, no longer. Those of you who are uninsured or simply don’t want your infant wearing a helmet 24 hours a day can now look to stretching exercises and “special sleep pillows”! Better pencil in that PT now!

Reuters reports that a German research team determined that infant head deformities were improved with said methods. Sort of:

The German team followed 50 babies five months old and younger with moderate to severe head deformities that posed none of those serious physical or neurological risks. Among the 43 babies the researchers could examine after six weeks, about 18 percent of the stretched babies and 19 percent of the babies using pillows saw improvements in their deformities.

While “laudable,” the study did not include a group of infants that had neither pillows nor the stretching exercises, so it’s difficult to say exactly how effective the strategies are, said Dr. Michael Cunningham, who treats head deformities at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

 Dr. Jan-Falco Wilbrand of the University of Giessen describes sleep pillows and physiotherapy as “probably easier options for some parents.” Exercises can be done at home and the only amount you’re throwing down for these “special sleep pillows” is reportedly $25.

And apparently many of us are going to need to invest in these exercises and contraptions thanks to an uptick in baby head deformity:

The number of deformities increased from 5 percent during the 1990s to between 20 percent and 30 percent in 2008, according to two recent studies. That increase, researchers believe, was partly triggered by efforts starting in the mid-1990s to curb Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by placing sleeping babies on their backs.

Damn, SIDS. Way to be annoying.

(photo: Michael Macsuga / Shutterstock)