Does Your Baby’s Head Have a Flat Area?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Baby Stories |

Discovering what is needed for each baby’s development:    

I visited Jules, Frank and their 3-month old son, Ethan.  They were concerned because an area of his head was flat.  This is called Plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. A recent study from Calgary-Alberta-based Mount Royal University quoted in Pediatrics (found that of 440 healthy infants sampled, 47 percent of babies ages 7 to 12 weeks had some form of Flathead Syndrome evident to the naked eye.

Ethan lay on his back, looking toward the window to his right.  The back of his skull on the right was quite flat.  Even when mother talked to him from his left, he did not turn to look at her.  He kept his head to the front or turned to the right and stayed there.  He was stuck in one position, with a limited range of turning his head.  I thought about how turning happens through the whole spine and triggers the whole system (eyes, pelvis, etc) to do their part.  What will happen if he experiences elements of the function of turning throughout his body?  As I touched his legs, ribs, spine and shoulder, I was sensing how he might liked to move – what was easily available for him.  I moved his leg across him, directing him to lie on his side and he followed – coming onto his side.  I pressed him, for him to feel the floor on his side.  He could now see his mother and I waited until he brought himself back onto his back.  I repeated guiding him to experience being on his side.  I gently led him to be on his front.  He brought himself onto this elbow and onto his hands.  He spontaneously used his arms to help bear his weight and experience a new vantage point from which to experience the world.  He made sounds of pleasure.  I hadn’t yet seen him this actively engaged. I gently supported him to his side and back and we explored together turning to the other side, the side he hadn’t been turning toward.  I talked with him throughout, responding to him.  He rested on his back.  Rest gives the nervous system time to absorb deep neuromuscular learning.  As we talked they were surprised and delighted to see Ethan spontaneously turn onto his side on his own.  He had never done this before.  I was heartened to see him move from his well-known position into a new position on his own.  My intention was not to rush his development.  Instead, it was for him to experience another position in which to relate to the world.  I waited to see if he would choose, on his own, a varying position.  And, he did.  Babies are very motivated to learn.

As plagiocephaly is on the rise in our culture, it is advised for babies to experience varying positions throughout the day. While being receptive to our baby’s preferences, we can help them enjoy new situations and positions.  The techniques taught in Child’Space Method cultivate a baby’s kinesthetic awareness – the ability to feel themselves.