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Head flattening (plagiocephaly)

Many parents become concerned about their baby's sleeping position in the cot.  Orthodox cot death (SIDS) prevention advice states that babies within the cot death risk age must always sleep face-up.  However, continuous face-up sleeping poses risk that babies will develop head flattening or head distortion (plagiocephaly).  Also, many babies prefer other sleeping positions to face-up.
A baby sleeping on a BabeSafe mattress or mattress cover (and using the specified bedding) does not need to sleep face-up, because the baby cannot  become exposed to the gas/es which cause cot death.  The baby can sleep in any sleeping position at no risk of cot death.

If a baby is sleeping on a mattress which is not wrapped for cot death prevention, face-up sleeping is essential, because it reduces cot death risk.  The reason is that the gases which cause cot death are more dense than air; they diffuse away from the baby's face, so a baby sleeping face-up is less likely to ingest them.

However, if a baby is sleeping on a BabeSafe mattress or mattress cover, the impermeable cover has the result that even if gas generation is occurring within the baby's mattress, no gases can reach the baby. Furthermore, use of the specified bedding has the result that this gas generation cannot occur on top of the BabeSafe mattress or mattress cover.

On a BabeSafe mattress or mattress cover, side sleeping is strongly recommended (alternating from side to side for consecutive sleeps).
Side sleeping has the following benefits:

(a)    The risk of head flattening or head distortion is eliminated.

(b)    If the baby has reflux, this is likely to be dribbled out onto bedding.  A reflux choking episode is less likely to occur if a baby is sleeping on his/her side than if the baby is sleeping face-up.

To side-sleep your baby, place the baby on the lower cot sheet on his/her side, and extend the lower arm diagonally across the mattress.  Then tuck the baby in using the upper sheet.

To avoid cot death (SIDS) and head flattening (plagiocephaly), sleep your baby on a BabeSafe mattress or mattress cover, and use the side-sleeping position.


Head flattening and distortion in 30% of all babies [where]    ~   26 Aug. 2001  ~


Dr Jim Sprott today released information and figures obtained from a reliable source which stated that 30% of all babies presented at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland had distorted heads, brought about by face-up sleeping.  The NZ Ministry of Health, and other bodies, advocate face-up sleeping as a means of reducing cot death.  Previous statements from Middlemore Hospital describe these deformities as an epidemic.


“This is a ridiculous situation” said Dr Sprott.  Provided some simple, 100% effective cot death prevention methods are adopted, babies can sleep safely on their sides and head distortion will disappear”.


For decades Plunket and others recommended side-sleeping, said Dr Sprott, and no one ever heard of either cot death or head-flattening.  “Morning, noon and night – put your baby on its right” went the old saying.  And it worked.”


In the 1960s paediatricians told mothers to sleep their babies face-down, and cot death soared as a result.  Now they tell parents to sleep them face-up, and distorted heads resulted.  “These paediatricians need to listen to some science, said Dr Sprott.  They’ve made two disastrous mistakes in the space of 30 years, and that’s enough.


Dr Sprott called again for the Ministry of Health to admit their error, and to adopt the proven method of cot death prevention – mattress-wrapping.


“And then distorted heads will be a thing of the past, just as cot death will” he said.



Dr. Jim Sprott (Penguine 1996)

The Cot Death Cover-up?
Read Chaper one! 
click here

NBC News and Dr. Jim Sprott in California


Has The Causes of SIDS (Crib Death) Been Found?
By Jane Sheppard

Parents Denied Crucial Findings  click here to read

The Cot Death Cover-up?
Cot Death "No Medical Cause"
How to prevent SIDS (Cot Death)
Limerick Report
Success of Mattress Wrapping
Mechanism of Cot Death (SIDS)

Results of Bedding Analysis
Information about Sheepskins
Head flattening (plagiocephaly)
Statistics of New Zealand Mattress Wrapping
Information for professional students
Cot Death (SIDS) Cause and Prevention
Cot Death Today

Abnormal Brainstems not a cause of SIDS
Baby Safe Mattress Covers
Orthodox crib death prevention advice: The facts and the Fallacies

...Fact (but only a partial solution):
To reduce the risk of cot death, sleep your baby face up...

click here to read more

Rebuttal to the FSID Statement Regarding the Toxic Gas Hypothesis of Cot Death  click here

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