Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Do you think there's any chance of planking, the internet phenomenon, becoming an Olympic sport over the next twelve years or so?

Probably not, I guess, which is a bit of a shame. Because I reckon Cam would have a good shot at bringing another gold to these fair isles. Why? Because The Creature is developing something of a physical trait which would be useful in such a pursuit.

Flat Head Syndrome, which makes me imagine people with delusions of being a screwdriver, is what it's called when the back of a baby's head is lacking in curvature. It happens because babies are still a bit squishy when they're born, then tend to spend quite a lot of time laying on their back.

The pressure of lying on the back of their heads leads to the cranium taking the shape of whatever they lie on. Usually, this will be a flat bed/floor/car seat.

It does make me wonder what would have happened if we'd made Cam sleep with his head on a jelly mould.

We knew about Flat Head Syndrome and wanted to guard against it if we could. We bought a "SleepCurve" mattress. It has a cut away section which should relieve the pressure on the back of the baby's head when he's lying down. Nice ruse Tomy. I don't know how much that mattress cost, but I bet it wasn't cheap, and it has done precisely bugger all in providing us with a round headed baby.

It's only a cosmetic thing, there's no evidence suggesting a flat head will cause a baby to have any additional health problems later in his life. Which is good, because it means I don't have to go and punch the inventor of the SleepCurve mattress in the kidney.

There's some concern that people with flat heads may be bullied as a result. I don't think Cam will need to worry about that, people seem to like our current Olympians. Many of them have bodies which are a little bit outside of the norm. Historically significant über-athletes such as Usain Bolt with his "too tall to be a sprinter" body, Michael "Winningest Olympian in History" Phelps with his out of proportion legs and torso, Jessica Ennis with her improbably amazing abs. Add Cam to that list.

If he's not selected to the Olympic Planking Team, or if (heaven forbid) planking isn't considered worthy of a place on the Olympic agenda, I'll teach him to deal with bullies some other way. I may buy him an old nuke to use as a deterrent. I don't know, I've not really thought it through.

Of course, it may be that given a bit of time (and less time on his back, he's pretty good at tummy time these days) the flat spot will gradually cease to be. I don't really mind either way, with a face as beautiful as his no-one will be paying too much attention to the back of his head.

Do you have a child with a flat head? Do YOU have a flat head? Tell me all about it. Or something else. My comment area is open.


  1. If you let him sleep in a jelly mould he would have "phillips head syndrome"

  2. My friend's boy's head is a bit of a strange shape and she's been really worried but now his hair has grown you can't really tell and it seems to be getting better. My son, on the other hand, doesn't. However he wanted to be held & carried around for months so didn't really have the "opportunity" to get flat head... at the expense of my back + many baby carriers...

  3. Ah, their heads sort themselves out. And have you seen this? http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/sep/24/flat-head-syndrome-helmet-cure

    Horrendous things.

  4. My little girl started to develop this and our paediatrician noticed and recommended a pillow, we got it from amazon I think and it was a heart shaped pillow with a cut out. It worked wonders and now has one of the roundest heads known to man :-)

  5. F had a bit of a flat head but it's rounded out now. Or at least, I think it has - her hair sort of covers it. I was more bothered by her uber bendy legs and odd sitting posture to notice her head to be honest! And good on Cam for getting into tummy time. That never went down well in our house!

  6. A friend of a friend tried one of them helmet things on her boy. The poor kid had to wear it night and day for AGES. Think it worked though. Can't really tell, his hair grew and covered it over.

    Cam's head will be more than fine. These things always work themselves out. If you have any doubts, your HV should be able to reassure you.