Why Does My Baby Cry During Tummy Time?


October 29, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Early Head Start, FYI's for New Parents, Gross Motor Milestones. Leave a comment.

Get to Know Dr. Yvette Flores: Head & Neck Specialist for Infants, Children & Adults

September 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Invitations, Newsletter Spotlights, Welcome New Parents!. Leave a comment.

An alternate sleep positioner to improve or prevent head flattening

We are always finding ways to help families seeking our help to improve their baby’s misshapen head.  In the past 10 years, I have learned various techniques and tips that have proved to work for many.  Whether it’s the use of rice bags to block sleeping on a flat spot, or the use of special pillows in the car seat/stroller to block laying on a flat spot, I am constantly researching safe ways to help families improve head shape and avoid the helmet.

NOTE: In order to guarantee safety using any sleep positioner or head device, it is mandatory to get instructed and cleared by a pediatric physical therapist who is a head & neck specialist.  Do not attempt to use any suggestions or recommendations found online without first getting instructed and cleared.

CASE STUDY:  4 month old baby boy with ‘moderate to severe’ right head flattening

I am excited to share a case study of a 4 month old baby boy who was referred to me by his Pediatrician for flattening of the back of the head.  After his PT evaluation, I rated the severity of flattening to be ‘moderate-severe right plagiocephaly’.  I immediately instructed his Mom on repositioning techniques off the flat spot, to start allowing it to re-round and re-shape.

Our protocol in addressing cases of head flattening is three-fold: 1.  Identify and address the root cause of the flat spot, which is typically a tight neck muscle or larger than average head size.  2.  Immediately instruct parents on safe repositioning techniques off the flat spot in the crib, car seat and stroller.  3.  Implement a physical therapy program of stretches, massage techniques and strengthening techniques to correct the underlying cause and improve the head shape.

Regarding this case, my goal was to help this baby’s parents successfully prevent further flattening and improve head shape to a mild to moderate category within 2 to 3 months, which is a typical expectation.  Within the first two to three weeks of initiating physical therapy, we were seeing clear range of motion improvements with his head turning and clear strength gains lifting and turning his head during tummy time.  However, Mom was having a difficult time blocking him from sleeping on the flat spot.  Even with the techniques I suggested, her son kept finding his way back to laying on the flat spot.

Mom discovered that the only time she can successfully block him from laying on the flat spot is when he fell asleep in his swing.  She started opting to nap him in this device and sent me photos to make sure this was OK.  

After viewing the device and looking at how she positions him in it, I told her I felt comfortable having her nap him in it.  So long as she was in the room with him, she even had him sleep in it during the night.

The head shape improvements over the next  month was astounding.  I just worked with him yesterday and rated his head shape to be ‘mild’ right plagiocephaly.  He is no longer a possible candidate for helmet therapy.  I am happy to see that after just a month of successfully sleeping him off of the flat spot, using this swing, he went from moderate-severe flatness to mild flatness.  Why is this a big deal, you might ask?  It is the fastest correction I’ve ever seen without the use of a helmet in a baby with a strong rotational favoring during sleep.

I recommend looking into this device as an alternate method of napping with success off the flat spot.  Mom took some of my instructed techniques and applied them with the use of this swing cradle and was 100% successful.

If your baby favors looking to the same side when sleeping or has a developing flat spot, you may want to find out what options are available and get instructed and cleared by a specialist as soon as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about this device as an option, I encourage you to schedule a physical therapy evaluation with me  so that I can assess the severity of your baby’s condition and we can discuss if this could be a good option of correcting or protecting your baby’s head shape.  For more information about our clinic and evaluation services, go to http://www.babytherapysolutions.com or call us 800 507 2634.

March 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . FYI's for New Parents, Newsletter Spotlights. 3 comments.