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May 3rd, 2014

Pediatricians have long urged parents to put newborns to sleep on their backs to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome. While the practice undoubtedly has saved lives, it also has increased the numbers of babies with flattened skulls.

Roughly one baby in five under the age of 6 months develops a skull deformation caused by lying in a supine position. Now a study has found that a common remedy for the problem, an expensive custom-made helmet worn by infants, in most cases produces no more improvement in skull shape than doing nothing at all.

… 

“This is a problem we created,” said Dr. Proctor, of Boston Children’s Hospital. “All parents are told is sleep the child on their back. They aren’t told about flat heads and how to prevent it.”

Some pediatricians and specialists advise parents to try repositioning an infant’s head before considering a helmet.

Repositioning entails alternating to which side the infant’s head turns once they are asleep on the back. That way, pressure isn’t always squarely on the back of the head.

Repositioning isn’t as feasible for infants with tight neck muscles, known as torticollis. They may benefit from physical therapy, said Dr. Chad A. Perlyn, craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeon at Miami Children’s Hospital.

In addition to repositioning, he advises parents to try more tummy time and to limit time spent in car seats. Use a baby carrier, he added, because “when the baby is awake, there’s no deforming force on the skull.”

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Nov 1st, 2011

Wear your baby healthy

Happy cold and flu season!  Want to keep your baby close, safe and warm this winter, wear her in a moby, ergo, ring sling or other carrier.  When baby is close to your heart, she’s less likely to be “lovingly caressed” by strangers in the store.  When baby is up with you she’s out of reach of small children who love babies, and the doting grandparent types are less likely to touch your baby if they have to invade your personal space to do it.  

If you’re in the DC/MD/VA area, check out  http://beltwaybabywearers.blogspot.com/ for more information on wearing your baby or toddler.

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