As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines

Dr William Sutherland


Plagiocephaly – Flattening to one side of back of head
Florence was brought in by her mum who was concerned that there was some flattening to one side of the back of her head

Since the introduction of the back to sleep initiative in 1994 all parents are advised to place children on their backs to sleep, this has seen a great reduction in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and is undoubtedly excellent advice. However as babies have soft malleable skulls this can cause a flattening to one side of the back of their head if they consistently lie on the same side Whilst the flattening is usually mealy cosmetic it’s the underlying cause that is of greater interest. A baby may favour one side for a number of reasons including the side mum and dad are to them in the room and other stimuli, but it may be due to a sore neck or tight muscles in the neck. As the baby is born it has to rotate through the pelvis and this can cause an issue. Treatment involved aiding the child’s ability to comfortably move the neck fully in both directions uses gentle techniques to release a tight muscle and giving advice to the parents about turning the cot around so she is encouraged to turn her head towards them during the night (her reluctant side).