Like adults, teenagers, and adolescents and all in between, the body should always be moving and the same goes for your baby. While awake, your baby should often be repositioned to prevent their heads from constantly pushing against cribs, playpens and other surfaces. When a baby’s soft head lies against a hard flat surface for the majority of the day, their skulls can start to flatten. This flattening or misshaping of the skull is called plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. Torticollis is another serious issue that results from lack of variety in a baby’s head position.
While you should always position your baby on their back to sleep, repositioning them while awake help them strengthen their neck muscles and generate less pressure on their favored side to rest thus preventing the potential head issues outlined above. Side lying your baby and tummy time are 2 optimal positions, especially tummy time as it allows your baby full use of their arms, legs and necks. Side lying your baby helps relieve the constant pressure a soft skull puts on hard surfaces when they are on their backs.
TIP: Babies should spend limited amounts of times in car seats, swings or other mechanisms that do not allow for head repositioning. These devices put your baby in positions where the vast majority of the time it rests flat against a hard surface.
Please watch our intro video to Side lying your baby. We also have a more in-depth side lying your baby video at the Carolina Kinder Development store.