A Canadian study released Monday said nearly half of 2- to 3-month-old babies develop some form of plagiocephaly, which is the flattening of an infant's skull caused by constant pressure against a surface. While most cases are mild, temporary and harmless, Yahoo News asked parents of young children to share their stories of plagiocephaly and how it affected their parenting choices. Here's one.
FIRST PERSON | As a mother of four, ages 17 months to 7 years, I have had my share of experiences in the baby department.
With the birth of our first child, my husband and I made the decision I would stay home. It is a sacrifice I have never regretted. When our daughters Krisalyn, 7, and Keira, 5, were born, I had nothing but time on my hands. They rarely left my arms but for minutes at a time. "Tummy Time" and "Back to Sleep" became a part of our vocabulary. We followed the advice of the pediatrician and parenting magazines to the letter. We live in southern Mississippi now, but at the time we lived near family and never lacked for help.
Our son Cathan, now 3, arrived when life was a whirl of activities. The hustle and bustle of a busy household meant less time to simply sit with a baby in my arms. He spent lots of time in a bouncy seat or lying in a portable bassinet. By his fourth month, I noticed a flat bald spot at the back of his head. The hair loss was not new to me. The girls had both lost hair in places where their heads had rubbed against the car seat and sleep wedge.
But the distortion of the scalp was definitely a first for this mother. I had seen this before in other babies. My mom would always say it was because they laid on their backs too much. I wasn't overly worried, but I did want my concerns addressed at our next well baby check-up. I consulted our pediatrician who assured me that this was normal and no cause for alarm. Following his advice -- more time on spent on the tummy -- it didn't take long for Cathan's skull to round back out. By his ninth month, his hair had filled back out and he was as cute as ever. I haven't noticed any cause for worry since.
My son Corban, now 17 months, was never at risk for plagiocephaly (the asymmetrical flattening of the skull). As the caboose of our family, I knew he was my last chance at mothering a baby. That boy didn't know what it meant to be put down. At no point in time have I ever made a conscience decision to hold my children to prevent flat spots on their heads. It was just part of my nature to want to have them in my arms.
I became a baby-wearing mom. Corban mopped with me, made sandwiches, shopped, applied makeup, and did about anything else you can accomplish while having a baby tied to your body. I've always believed that you only have your babies for a short time. I rocked my babies to sleep for naps and bedtime. I nursed all of my children, forcing me to hold them as they ate. Staying at home allowed them to be held more often than if they were in childcare, where they would have spent most of their time on their backs.
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