Infant Series: Flat Heads, Curved Legs & Feet
Since the guidelines for putting babies to sleep on their backs have come out, an increasing number of infants have presented with a condition known as positional plagiocehpaly (where the back of the head becomes flat and distorted). The best way to treat this condition is to prevent it. As long as you are aware of this problem and rotate your baby’s head to different positions, this probably will not become an issue.
Babies who often get this condition are ones who seem to prefer to always look in one direction. This can result from a neck muscle strain often suffered in utero from small bleeding into the anterior neck muscle (known as the sternocleidomastoid muscle) with resultant scar tissue which contracts the muscle. Often a small knot can be felt in the muscle. As it tightens, it turns the head to the opposite side. We call this condition torticollis. The treatment involves massaging the neck muscle opposite the side the head is turned, hanging things on your car seat or mobile to stimulate them to turn to the other side and laying them to sleep on the opposite side of the head. This condition usually resolves by 2-3 months.
Curved legs and feet
Most babies normally have feet that are intoed at birth and shin bones which have a bowed shape inward. This is from uterine positioning and will gradually resolve as your baby grows.