If you recognize that your baby has a flat spot or abnormal head shape, the first thing you should do is talk to your pediatrician. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that pediatricians evaluate the baby’s head at each visit from the top, both sides, the front, and the back. The AAP also recommends that pediatricians discuss repositioning and the importance of “tummy time”. When your baby is awake and supervised, “tummy time” is a good way to take pressure off the flattened areas, build strong neck and trunk muscles, and will help your baby learn to roll, sit, and crawl when the time comes. If there is a neck muscle imbalance or a delay in development, your clinician may refer your baby to a therapist for physical or occupational therapy. The clinician may also recommend that a pediatric neurosurgeon assess your baby’s head shape to ensure that the sutures are all open and to check for any other skull shape disorders.
They will examine your baby, and may order an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to rule out the possibility of craniosynostosis, which is a premature fusion of the sutures in the head and is much less common than deformational Plagiocephaly. Craniosynostosis will cause head shape deformities dissimilar to deformational Plagiocephaly, and may require surgery to remove the suture. After surgery with an open or endoscopic repair, the physician may order a STAR cranial remolding orthosis for protection of the incision site or to acquire additional correction of the shape or proportion.
If your baby is diagnosed with deformational Plagiocephaly, brachycephaly or scaphocephaly and is between the ages of 3 and 18 months, your clinician may prescribe a STARband cranial remolding orthosis. The STARband is an orthotic device designed to gently correct your baby’s head.