If you’re wondering, “what causes your baby’s conehead?” don’t worry – it’s a common disorder that doesn’t threaten a newborn’s intellectual development or function.
You probably already know newborns have soft places in their heads called fontanels, but did you realize that your infant’s skull plates are flexible? These bones move during birth to facilitate a baby’s passage via the relatively narrow birth canal and cervical opening.
All of the pressure on the skull can give it a tapered or “conehead” shape, which will leave your new infant looking like an alien from a movie starring Dan Aykroyd. There is no reason to worry, however, as this sickness is harmless and will normally disappear within a week or two at the very most.
Continue reading to learn more about coneheads in newborns, including when you should be concerned and what you should do if your child has a head shape similar to a cone.
If you have a conehead, should you be worried?
Nicole Glynn, M.D., a pediatrician who works at GetzWell Pediatrics in San Francisco, is saying, “Heads aren’t flawless. We have many asymmetrical features, such as lumps and bumps, but once hair has grown, these characteristics are hidden from view. A baby’s development or cognitive function will not be negatively affected by having a cone-shaped head.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a newborn’s head that is in the shape of a cone can be the consequence of squeezing into the vaginal canal during birth or before labor, if the fetus “drops” early and makes head-first contact with the parent’s pelvic.
In addition, if you had protracted labor or any interventions during delivery, such as vacuum extraction or forceps, the likelihood of your baby having a cone-shaped head is increased. If your child was born with a conehead shape, you might be able to run your hand over their head and feel the ridges generated by the overlapping of their skull plates as you run your hand over their head.
Deformities of the skull can also arise in babies, albeit this is different from the conehead that might occur during delivery. These are typically the result of spending excessive time in a single position, such as simply resting on their backs. This can lead to abnormally shaped heads that are more concave in the rear.
Is It Possible to “Fix” a Conehead?
Parents have the ability to speed up the process of their child’s skull rounding out, even though this is a natural process that takes place over the first few weeks of life.
According to the advice of Dr. Glynn, it is important to maintain the routine of tummy time that is recommended by the AAP for all babies. Plagiocephaly, often known as flat areas on the back of the skull, is a disorder that can develop in infants who spend an excessive amount of time lying on their backs.
“In general, I advocate performing tummy time two to three times a day for up to a few minutes beginning as soon as parents get home from the hospital,” says Dr. Glynn. “Starting as soon as parents get home from the hospital is the best time to start. Or even doing skin-to-skin with baby laying on your chest while you’re reclined can serve the same goal as stomach time, giving them time off the back of their head. Or even doing tummy time with baby laying on your chest while you’re reclining.”
Both falling asleep on a couch or recliner while holding your newborn and placing them to sleep on their stomach might put your baby at risk for sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS. Be careful not to fall asleep on a couch or recliner while holding your newborn.
Take steps to lessen the time they spend confined to a car seat.
Consider how much time your baby spends in positions that keep their head squashed in the same way, in addition to the amount of time they spend actively playing on their tummies. For instance, car seats, baby swings, and bouncy seats are all helpful gadgets; nevertheless, if your child spends excessive time in any of these, it may cause the back of their skull to develop abnormalities.
Alternating which arm you hold your baby in will have a similar effect, helping to distribute the weight of your baby’s head across his or her skull.
It is not required to seek medical treatment.
Remember that, according to the AAP, helmet therapy is normally reserved for positional plagiocephaly, often known as “flat head syndrome.” If you find yourself inclined to ask your pediatrician for a “baby conehead helmet,” just keep in mind that this is the case.
Similarly, more extensive cases of head flattening are treated with further medical measures such as physical therapy and surgery. Most people born with a “conehead” shape will grow out of it without any treatment.
Meaningful articles you might like: Birth to 36 Months Baby Growth Charts, Identifying and Treating Auditory Processing Disorder in Children, Is a SIDS Monitor Necessary For Your Baby?