Pediatricians say there are ways to minimize the risk of plagiocephaly. Here are some tips:
Remember "tummy time" -- supervised play while the baby is on his stomach. Tummy time strengthens the neck muscles as the baby looks up.
Limit time in car seats.
Avoid extended periods in bouncy seats and infant swings.
Limit the time your child spends his back.
Try placing your infant on her side while she sleeps. Be careful to watch that she doesn't roll over onto her stomach unsupervised.
Reposition your baby in the crib. Infants positioned the same way will turn their heads the same way every time, usually toward the direction of noises; then, they end up falling asleep on the same side of their heads. Position the baby's head at alternating ends of the crib.
Devices you can buy -- or make:
Baby stores sell wedge-shaped foam pillows -- they look like little Jersey walls -- to prop up against your baby's head. A Harvard plastic surgeon, Gary Rogers, has patented a carved-foam pillow -- not yet on the market -- that he says helps prevent plagiocephaly.
We learned from our baby's physical therapist that Indian moms typically place the backs of their babies' heads into towels rolled into a doughnut to mold their heads as they grow. (We used a stuffed sock.)