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What is the cause of flat head syndrome in babies?

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Flat head syndrome occurs when a baby's head meets resistance when trying to expand either in the womb or after birth, according to Boston's Children's Hospital. It also occurs when a baby spends too much time in a particular position and the pressure on that part of the head causes it to become flat, states Baby Center.

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Full Answer

One of the most common causes of flat head syndrome in babies is their sleep position, according to KidsHealth. Babies who lie on their backs for long periods of time may develop a flat spot at the back of their heads. Babies who are born premature are more likely to develop flat head syndrome because their skulls are softer. Furthermore, they spend most of the time lying on their backs and are not picked up as often as other babies due to their fragility.

Flat head syndrome may develop in the womb when a baby grows rapidly and meets resistance, reports Boston Children's Hospital. This could be because of pressure from the pelvis or if the mother is pregnant with twins, according to KidsHealth. Children who are cramped in the womb may also develop torticollis, which is a condition that causes tightening of the neck muscles. This makes it harder for babies to turn their heads, and they often remain in the same position for long periods of time, resulting in flat head syndrome. Breech babies may also develop flat head syndrome because their head is jammed under their mother's rib, reports BabyCenter.

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