But there has been one small problem in always placing baby on his or her back to sleep -- a funny-looking head. This is because the skull bones have not hardened. The continual pressure on the back of head can wind up making the head look a little flattened out.
There have been very expensive and time-consuming "cures" for getting the head to look normal again. This often involves buying the baby a $2000 helmet, which has to be worn 23 hours a day and re-adjusted every two weeks. Good luck trying to get health insurance companies to pay for that, America.
I could not find any proof that babies with funny looking heads are any less healthy or intelligent than babies with more socially acceptably shaped heads. Ask your pediatrician or doctor just to be sure that the flattening is from sleeping position and not from anything else.
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommend many inexpensive things parents can do to avoid both SIDS and a funny looking head:
- Alternate where the "pillow" is on the baby's mattress. This means that the baby will have to move his or her head differently in order to see caretakers.
- Does your baby have a mobile? See if you can rehang it at different places so the baby needs to change head position in order to see it.
- Move baby toys about the crib or room so the baby need to change head position to see them.
- When baby is awake and can be closely supervised, place baby on stomach.
- When the baby can keep his or her head up, consider getting those strap-in bouncy toys that keeps baby amused and the head from getting mushed on one side.