The position to lay your baby to sleep

Experts recommend that babies are always placed on their backs to sleep because this reduces the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS, also called crib death, is when a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly, for no apparent reason.

Some babies, however, develop flat spots on their heads as a result of always lying on their backs. This occurs because the weakness in their neck muscles can cause them to turn their head to the same side over and over again, and this puts pressure on their soft skulls.

Head flattening does not affect brain development, but in some cases it can be permanent. There are some things you can do to prevent flat head. For example, when putting your child to bed, you can alternate putting a mobile to the left and to the right of your baby, so he turns his head a different way every night. It’s also important to make sure your child spends some time during the day lying on his tummy (learn more about tummy time), when you are there to watch him. In addition to helping you prevent flat head, spending time on their tummy is also important for babies’ development.

For more detailed information on SIDS and flat head and other practical suggestions on how to prevent them, visit Caring for Kids (from the Canadian Paediatric Society) If you continue to be concerned about your child’s flat head, however, talk to your doctor.