If your baby suffers from plagiocephaly, you are probably trying everything you can to help correct this problem. You may already be participating in therapy and working with your baby at home, and it’s likely that you make every attempt to keep your baby from remaining in one position too long. But, what about car seats? They’re such a necessity in our busy world but can be a catalyst for plagiocephaly and torticollis when used too much or incorrectly. You want to avoid or amend flat head syndrome, but what can you do when you’re trying to keep your baby safe in the car? We’ve got some helpful suggestions for keeping your little one safely tucked into the car seat while keeping plagiocephaly at bay.
There’s no doubt that a car seat is the safest place for a baby in a vehicle. Follow manufacturers’ directions to make sure yours is correctly installed. If you have additional questions, take advantage of free programs that will check your installation for you, typically at your local fire station. Keep your infant rear facing and in the backseat. Make sure the harness is adjusted correctly and hits directly at or slightly below your baby’s shoulders. One thing to note: car seats are for cars, not homes. As tempting as it might be to carry your sleeping baby inside and leave him or her in the car seat, this is an unsafe practice and can lead not only to conditions like plagiocephaly, but, in rare cases, death by asphyxiation.
How do you keep a baby from developing plagiocephaly or torticollis when he or she has to be in the car for long stretches? First, prop the head into a comfortable position, using rolled up receiving blankets. Next, attract your baby’s attention to the side of the seat facing away from the window by hanging dangling toys in bright colors, to entice him or her to look to the other side. Plus, as often as you can, take breaks and get your baby out of the car seat. If your stroller can lie flat, this is a good option rather than using car seat and the stroller together. The goal is to use the car seat only in the car!
Using a car seat is one of the best things you can do to keep your baby safe during travel, and the manufacturer’s manual will have helpful tips for making car trips as safe as possible. Be sure to follow our car seat tips to also keep your baby’s head round. If your baby is already showing signs of a flat head, don’t worry! Baby Begin has the tools and resources to help your baby grow and thrive, free from stiff neck muscles and plagiocephaly. For more information, please visit our website, or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.