Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Our baby has a flat head

It's true. I followed all the rules and guidelines. I read the books. We did tummy time. I even learned about flat head at the hospital before we were discharged when Cohen was born. But at his 6 week checkup, Cohen was diagnosed with minor flat head. So now he goes to physiotherapy every few weeks. They take it pretty seriously around here. He will be in physio until his first birthday.

(our little sweetie with his PT)

At physio, she measures Cohen's head, and checks for improvements in the shape of his head. Then she massages his little neck muscles a bit. Then she does exercises with him to make sure his motor skills are developing appropriately, and to strengthen his muscles.

I have to admit, at first I was a little skeptical about the whole physio thing. So I read the studies (OK, just the abstracts and the conclusions), and from what I gather, almost half of all Canadian babies have flat head. It is likely due to the strict rules about putting your baby to sleep on his back to avoid SIDs. And the methods don't seem really great in these studies, but they find that babies with flat head score a few points lower on intelligence tests than their round-headed friends.

Needless to say, I am not worried one little bit. We are doing all Cohen's "homework" from the PT, but I am certain that our little man's head is perfect. If you are interested in what Cohen has to do for homework, see after the jump. Also, I am so curious if babies who live outside Canada are being diagnosed with flat head too.

Flat head homework:

- No bouncy chairs, swings, strollers. Obviously we break this rule to take Cohen on a daily walk. I think being outside is more important.

- At least 30 minutes tummy time every day. We are doing at least 2 hours a day now. Cohen is almost always on his tummy when we are just hanging out at home

- Don't let him nap in his carseat. This is the toughest for me. Whenever we go anywhere during the day, Cohen always falls asleep on the drive home. When we get home, it is so tempting to just leave him in his carseat on the kitchen floor until he wakes up.

- Massage his neck. Jon does this usually.

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