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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly, or flat head syndrome, is a common condition that causes a flat spot to develop on your baby's head. Plagiocephaly is not painful, and it does not harm your baby's brain.

What causes plagiocephaly?

What increases my baby's risk for plagiocephaly?

Your baby's risk is higher if he or she was born prematurely or with a large head. The risk is also higher if your baby sleeps for long periods at an early age.

What are the signs of plagiocephaly?

How is plagiocephaly diagnosed?

Your baby's pediatrician will examine your baby's head. He or she will check for a similar condition called craniosynostosis. This means the skull bones join together too early and create an abnormal head shape. Craniosynostosis may look like plagiocephaly but needs surgery to be fixed.

How is plagiocephaly managed?

Flat spots usually go away between ages 3 to 6 months. Your baby will start to develop more head control. This means he or she can move his or her head independently. Then your baby will start to sit up and crawl. He or she will spend less time lying down. This may take longer if your baby was born prematurely or is delayed. Talk to your baby's pediatrician if you notice a flat spot. He or she may refer you to a specialist if necessary. Treatment depends on your baby's age and how severe the flat spot is:

When should I call my baby's pediatrician?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.