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Flat Head Syndrome Torticollis

Flat Head Syndrome & Torticollis: Ethan’s Journey Part II

In this blog post I’m going to share with you the rollercoaster ride we’ve been on from discovering Flat Head Syndrome / Plagiocephaly and Torticollis in my son, Ethan, to finally finding the correct answers and the amazing specialists who have helped us through this journey.

*** To read Part I: “A Real Insight Into My Pregnancy & Birth Of Ethan”, CLICK HERE

Our lives officially began as a family of 4 when we arrived home from the Family Birth Centre in Perth, 7 hours after giving birth to Ethan. It was not overwhelming for me; I was very excited and prepared for the important first few days. The lovely allocated midwife who followed me through my pregnancy came to our house every day for 7 days to assess Ethan after birth and to make sure everything had established correctly in terms of feeding, weight gain, sleeping etc. Again, no complications. My body healed very quickly which I am so grateful for and I was coping well with the demands of both a newborn and toddler.

The first two months went really well in terms of Ethan’s health and development until one night I was observing his head, I suddenly had waves of anxiety running through me. There was a noticeable flat spot that alarmed me. It alarmed me because Ivanka had a flat spot but not to the degree I saw with Ethan’s. I took him to a physiotherapist out of desperation and got in the next morning. Although I do believe this lady knew what she was doing in terms of positioning a baby, I didn’t get a real sense that she wanted to help long term and properly assess the situation that was going on. I was disappointed and did not go back to her. The only outcome of this appointment was a referral to a Craniofacial Specialist to eliminate a condition called Craniosynostosis, a condition in which a baby’s skill prematurely fuses, changing the skull’s growth and resulting in a misshapen head.

Flat Head Syndrome Perth – Plagiocephaly – Torticollis

After the specialist assessed Ethan’s head, we were told he was fine. Specifically, Ethan just had something called Deformational Plagiocephaly – Type 1. The better way to describe that is a misshapen or asymmetrical head shape that occurs from too much external pressure on a specific spot of the head. As a baby’s head is thin and flexible it is easy and common for the shape to change easily and flatten. He recommended we purchase a SleepCurve mattress, which is designed to prevent and possibly treat Flat Head Syndrome (Plagiocephaly) in babies. The mattress has a curve where the head lays, which alleviates pressure and provides more room to move in comparison to a regular flat mattress.

The specialist said that this mattress would provide the same results as another form of treatment called a ‘Cranial Remolding Helmet’. This particular treatment requires a baby to wear a hard plastic/foam helmet 23 hours a day to allow the head to reshape by providing free space in the helmet where there are flat spots and targeting protruding areas by putting pressure on them. Combined, the head will essentially go back into shape over a course of a few months. We were not ready to go down that course and if it was something we could avoid that was our aim, so we went with the SleepCurve mattress that we purchased online from their website and it was delivered within 3 days to Australia from the UK. We payed just short of $250AUD for the product and shipping.

A month went by and I honestly thought that I had noticed a difference in Ethan’s head shape. Maybe because I so desperately wanted to or perhaps it was just his mop of hair hiding the severity of it. Next up was a visit to the Child Health Nurse who didn’t waste a minute raising her concern in regards to Ethan’s head. She was very helpful and put me in the direction of a highly reputable physiotherapist, providing us with a course of 8 sessions over a period of time. The physiotherapist blew me away on our first consultation. She did a full assessment of Ethan and from that assessment we both had a clear understanding of what was really going on.

Flat Head Syndrome Perth – Plagiocephaly – Torticollis

The cause of Ethan’s Deformational Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome Perth) is an underlying cause called Torticollis. Ethan’s condition is specifically a tightening and shortness of the muscle on the left side of his neck (the sternocleidomastoid muscle). It results in him tilting his head to the left side and also restricting his movement when he turns his head to the left. It is also the cause of his flat spot, as the muscle is tight and short, he will always turn in favor to his right to sleep or look, as it is more comfortable. His Torticollis is classified as Congenital Torticollis, which means it was present at birth but not discovered until 1-2 months after once they start to gain some head and neck control. Congenital Torticollis is a result of being in a position in utero that restricted neck movement, or from birth trauma.

Now that we had learnt all of this, I had to implement certain stretches and exercises from the physio 2-3 times a day to lengthen his left neck muscle and encourage him to use his left side. It was very overwhelming at the beginning as in some ways I felt like I had failed, I felt like it was my fault he ended up with all of this. But in the end those feelings pushed me further to make things right for my little man.

After a few sessions of physiotherapy and combining the stretches, exercises and positioning at home along with the SleepCurve mattress we had noticed a difference with Ethan not in his head shape but with his Torticollis. He went from 25% left side rotation to almost full left side rotation within just 3 weeks, I felt a sense of accomplishment at this point; as though my hard work had finally paid off. There were other small things like him falling asleep to the center and even to the left sometimes, responding to his left side when sitting or on tummy time, and bearing weight on his legs just to name a few. But just because we had some wins, there is still a lot of perseverance involved on my behalf to make sure Ethan is still going forward and pushing through anything limiting his muscle development.

Flat Head Syndrome Perth – Plagiocephaly – Torticollis

Two weeks went by after this, Ethan was around 4.5 months. I became really concerned about Ethan’s head shape again as it had started flattening even more, I also noticed his head was becoming wider. It had occurred because he had been sleeping more to the center so the back of his head became another flat spot; this is called Brachycephaly. I found myself in another hole, after discovering the Brachycephaly, it was evident that Ethan’s forehead had started bulging out and his ears were also asymmetrical from the Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome).

I was devastated for Ethan, especially as a grown adult. The chances of his Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome) and Brachycephaly correcting itself over the next few months were very thin, almost non-existent – we had gone from Type 1 to now Type 3 Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome). If it developed any further, Ethan would be facing further deformities to his cheeks, face, jaw and even a vertical head/temporal deformity.

This was beyond me. I mean beyond me in terms that the physio wasn’t enough anymore, although still very important for the treatment of his Torticollis. I wasn’t giving up though. I spent the night crying on my husband’s shoulder, just to let it all out. We decided that the Cranial Remolding Helmet, which I mentioned earlier, was going to be our definite next step; there was no other option at this point.

Little did I know these special helmets have a very rare market in Perth. I literally mean I could not find anyone who would make them as most specialists avoid them. They are seen as a cosmetic treatment rather than medical and for this reason they don’t encourage the use of them. I spent a whole week frustrated looking for places, I ended up going to Princess Margaret Hospital only to get the news that there would be a 5 month plus wait to be seen as a patient. By then Ethan’s bones in his head would have hardened and reshaping the head would be almost impossible.

Flat Head Syndrome Perth – Plagiocephaly – Torticollis

I was at our next physio appointment and told her we decided that were going to go ahead with a helmet but we were having huge difficulties finding someone who specializes in making them. My heart skipped a beat when she said she had a contact for a lady who specializes in Cranial Helmets after one of her patients had the same trouble searching for someone. I couldn’t get on that phone quick enough.

The lady is called an Orthotist. We got in within 5 days and had an assessment in which Ethan was a very strong candidate. He had his head measurements and photos taken followed by having his head casted and molded for the making of the helmet we would pick up 1 week later. The cost of the helmet therapy we went through is $750AUD and this includes the initial consultation, the molding, the helmet itself and all follow up appointments. The best part is you can see the Orthotist as often as you want and still have it covered in the one price. Private Health Insurance can assist in covering part of the costs I believe however Medicare does not.

Ethan began his helmet treatment almost 2 weeks ago now. He wears it 23 hours a day and only has it off for a bath and some tummy time. I have to wash the helmet everyday with soap and sterilize it with alcohol; it becomes very sweaty underneath and starts to smell so it’s important to keep it hygienic.

Now I can honestly say after taking a close look of Ethan’s head today when it was off, there is an improvement to his head shape. The flatness has become more rounded and the protruding part of his forehead has settled back a bit. Our next appointment is on Tuesday and I cant wait because the helmet already needs to be adjusted and cut as his ears have moved and the helmet isn’t sitting 100% anymore (which is a good thing).

So now that I finally had a breakthrough with the Plagiocaphaly and Brachycephaly treatment and I am happy with the results thus far, there is still the underlying issue of the Torticollis.

Flat Head Syndrome Perth – Plagiocephaly – Torticollis

I will continue Ethan’s daily stretches and exercises, I just feel that there is only so much it will do (as though we have hit a plateau) and my instinct had me looking further into other options that will help Ethan’s neck movement and spinal development. To my surprise there has been a huge, positive movement with the use of a Chriopractor and the treatment of all the conditions Ethan has.

I went to a local Chiropractor up the road from me as I have heard only good reviews from this place. The Chiro started feeling up Ethans spine all the way to his neck and noticed a huge issue on the vertebrae on his right neck, a huge tightness on the upper half of his spine up to the back his neck and a small issue to the bottom left of his spine. He explained to me how all of this is exactly what is causing the Torticollis and that this was the reason why there was only so much the physio could accomplish for Ethan. He also showed me a few positions, in which a baby should comfortably respond to, but for Ethan he responded by crying and screaming which showed it was painful for him. Another thing was that Ethan is almost 6 months and not rolling over, which we have being pushing for with the physiotherapy – the chiro addressed this by trying to twist Ethans body, being evident that he could not twist it due to a slight spinal restriction.

He used a tool called an Activator, which he puts on the part of Ethan’s neck/spine he is adjusting. It is gentle and with perseverance it will provide us with a great result. We have to have 3 Chiro sessions per week over the next few weeks and see how we go from there depending on how Ethan responds to the treatment. Each session costs $49AUD and is claimable through Private Health Insurance but not Medicare.

Flat Head Syndrome Perth – Plagiocephaly – Torticollis

After a long few months of finding the right help and following my instinct, Ethan is finally in the perfect process of treatment for Torticollis, Plagiocephaly (Flat Head Syndrome Perth) and Brachycephaly. We are where we want to be in terms of medical and I feel at ease knowing we are in great hands of experienced practioners. I don’t have to spend another night worrying or crying, in fact I am so overcome with happiness right now that I wanted to write this blog because it has been a huge journey to get the help we needed and I wanted to share it with you.

If there was one thing I wish I knew when Ethan was just 2 months old, it would be how serious Torticollis can actually be for a developing baby/child. It is definitely something that needs to be treated as soon as you notice it or have been told about it. Left untreated, they are at increased risk for many developmental and physical impairments.

Dacia A.

Flat Head Syndrome / Plagiocephaly / Torticollis Perth

65 thoughts to “Flat Head Syndrome & Torticollis: Ethan’s Journey Part II”

  1. So proud of you babe for staying strong throughout all this! Ethan’s going to get better… I know it 🙂

    Oh – And so proud of you for putting this blog together too!


    1. Thank you for all of your technical help putting my blog together babe, couldn’t have done it without you! Also for all your amazing love and support always <3 xo

      1. Hi there,
        Thanks for writing this.
        I’m in Perth and I have a 9 month old who has flat head syndrome, we thought it was improving but I was looking at his head yesterday and I’m really freaking out because although his hair has grown and covers it, his ears are not in alignment, I’m so scared and feel sick to think it’s too late to fix.
        Can you please send me the name of the specialist you saw so I can get him assessed? Thank you

        1. Hi Kate! Sorry to hear about your son. I know how scary it can be but hopefully you will be able to get something sorted out for him and help put your mind at ease. I’ll send you an email with the Orthotists details now.

          Just know you are not alone and so many parents are going through the same issues. Let me know how you get on.

          All the best!


  2. Such an awesome write-up dacia. I cannot beleive you guys went through all this in the last few months. So glad that you found a solution for this and also educating others on the same. Wishing ethan a speedy recovery. God bless you guys!

    1. Thank you for your thoughts! Im glad to hear you liked it. I really enjoyed writing this as it is close to my heart at the moment and I hope it will reach other parents on similar journeys!

  3. Hi
    Thanks for all the information.
    I’ve been seeing doctors about my son’s flat head as well but none of them seem to help.

    1. Hi there, you are welcome! Im glad I could help. Doctors are dead ends when it comes to getting the right help so an orthotist is the best option if you are considering a helmet. What state are you in?

      Thanks 🙂


  4. Im in Melbourne and experiencing similar difficulties. Doctors and nurses keep telling me my sons flat spot will sort itself out, but at almost 5 months i am seriously doubting that now.
    I do believe torticollis is present too, since birth. Midwives kept telling me it wasnt an issue. Gosh i wish i had listened to my gut.
    I am booked in see a pediatric physio to see what they say.
    Thanks alot for sharing you blog!

    1. Hi ColeyFlower thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear you are on a similar journey, I can totally relate to how you must be feeling. Best piece of advice is follow your gut! I have been told the same, that it wasn’t an issue and that it would correct itself…WRONG! The longer time went by it got worse. If Torticollis is present I believe you should go straight to a Chiropractor and use in combination with Physiotherapy. I did months of Physiotherapy, it helped but after a while there is only so much it could do. So that’s when I sourced a chiro – which I wished I had done from the start as we have a long Chiro journey ahead. Anyway all the best for your appointment and always follow your instincts 🙂


  5. Thank you for sharing your story.

    My DD has torticollis and I feel your frustration in getting the correct help we needed. Luckily, we avoided any plagiocephaly as Natalie found ways to compensate for her lack of rotation and thus any flat spot she has is very minor.

    Her head tilt was first noticed at her 4 month check with the child health nurse however as her range of motion wasn’t too bad the nurse just brushed it off as an idiosyncracy and I wasn’t given any referrals or advice. Once it was pointed out to me it was all I could see (I’d previously thought it was just because she didn’t have enough head strength). I got so worried and really annoyed at the health nurse for not giving me advice on how to correct it so booked in with our GP to discuss.

    The GP wasn’t really much help (by this time I’d googled it and figured it must be torticollis) and just told me to encourage her to look and play to her left side and how best to pick her up. I wasn’t happy with this response as she didn’t seem to have any issues with looking to either side and was really good on tummy time. After crying to my mother about it she suggested I go see her chiropractor who was pediatric trained to see if she had any advice.

    In our first appointment with the chiropractor she walked out and straight away noticed how bad Natalie’s head tilt was. The chiropractor completed a full assessment of Natalie and showed me stretches to help. We were told that we were extremely lucky that there was no flat spots as torticollis as bad as Natalies generally results in this.

    I was also told that it was due to a traumatic birth. Natalie got stuck on the way out with her head facing up and had to be vaccumed out. We both seemed to recover quickly so I didn’t think there were any issues but clearly I was wrong.

    2 months later (Natalie is now 6 months) and a visit every second week to the chiropractor and I finally feel that it’s starting to get better. We do her exercises 4times a day and she now has full rotation with just the tilt still needing work.

    Like you, I feel this has had a few developmental delays. She didn’t roll until 5.5months and still always rolls to her left (can’t seem to roll to the right so that’s what I’m working on encouraging now). She has just started to sit and I think this is having a huge help as well as now being able to roll to sleep on her tummy.

    Reading your story brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me so clearly so my struggles to get it address. I just hope we’re on the right track now and it won’t cause her any problems later in life.

    PS – Ethan in gorgeous and I love his mop of hair

    1. Hi there, you are welcome! Thanks for sharing your story too, I have had a lot of Plagio mums reach out to me but you are the first Torticollis mum 🙂

      Very similar to my journey but also amazing for your LO that she has no severe flat head as a result! Sounds like you are just as driven as me in finding the right help and not settling for anything less you didn’t feel was right.

      I am so glad to hear a Chiro has helped. We have only just started Chiro in the past week and he is almost 6 months old! Its great that you are so persisant with her stretches too. I know how overwhelming everything can be some days but it is all worth it in the end.

      Well, if it makes you feel any better Ethan is 6 months next week and still isn’t rolling (only tummy to back) and not sitting either. This is where the Chiro and Physio are helping alot but it is hard. I am trying not to get affected by it anymore and just believe Ethan will get there in his own time, of course with the help.

      Thanks again for writing all of this. I love relating to other journeys and its nice to know we are not alone.

      Wish you and Natalie all the best ahead. You have been doing everything right!


  6. Thank you for your story. My little boy has the same thing. I went through 4 Drs and none of them cared. Being a new mum, I just thought I was paranoid but he wouldn’t turn his head to feed. I gave up breastfeeding very quickly because he would scream when feeding from my right side.
    Jordan had a very rough birth and I had a rough time too. It was only picked up when I mentioned it to my physio and she gave me a contact for another physio who then told me Jordan damaged nerves as well in his shoulder at birth

    We haven’t had to go down the path of the helmet yet because I pushed for someone to listen to me and feel like we got to it early. His head still is a bit flat at the back and his ears don’t line up but atleast the front of his head looks good now

    Since reading this, I feel like my boy isn’t rolling to one side. I’ll have to double check. He has moved onto sitting up and getting teeth so I’ve been slack with his physio. I don’t see her until 2 weeks

    1. Hi Chum27! Sorry to hear you little one is experiencing the same, I can completely relate with how you must feel especially being rejected by the doctors. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been for you to give up breast-feeding because of his neck/head. Im glad the physio could see what was wrong and that you got to it early! Proud of you for pushing through for someone to listen, its what we all want isn’t it but sometimes we can just be afraid or doubtful too! I recommend as soon as your notice anything at the front of his head change (if it does), go get it checked as that was the deal breaker for me to get a helmet. He had the flatness and asymmetrical ears, which I could have dealt with, but the forehead started bossing on one side after a while and that was enough to send me straight to an Orthotist and get that helmet on! Ethan isn’t rolling or sitting yet and is 1 week away from being 6 months! I have stopped worrying, as I believe he will get to it in his own time now with the help from physio and chiro. Just perseverance is key. Don’t beat yourself up with being slack – I am guilty of it too but I don’t think it has hindered anything.

      All the best! 🙂


  7. Thank you for sharing this. We have the same issue. We had our first paediatric physio appointment last week and our GP has referred us to a paediatrician to get it checked out as well. Since doing the exercises his head turning is improving but he still definitely has the tilt.
    This was great and has given me some ideas for our next step. Thank you!

    1. Hi Beth! You are welcome. Sorry to hear you have the same issue but am glad you have some plan of action in place! That’s great you feel he is responding to the exercises but of course it will take some time and perseverance for it to fully go away. Ethan still has the tilt and we have been doing Physio for months, only just started with a Chiropractor now too and hopefully this will be the light at the end of the tunnel! Glad I could provide you with some ideas 🙂


  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You sound like such an incredible mother persevering for your son until you found the answers you were seeking. Let me offer you some comfort: my 3.5 yr old son was born with the same type of torticollis as your son after being breech for most of the time in utero and then a forceps delivery. While he never had head shape issues, he did have a servere tilt. After many months of physio and stretching exercises, I’m delighted to say he is now perfectly normal! No tilt at all

    1. Hi Jeg81! You are welcome, I am glad you enjoyed it and thank you for your lovely kind words! That is amazing to know! I haven’t heard of any stories of when Torticollis babies had grown up, so that does offer me comfort knowing his tilt went away fully as that is my biggest concern. You must have been on the ball with him, which I’m sure he will be so grateful for when he is older, well done mumma! 🙂


  9. Thanks for sharing, was so interesting to read. Ethan’s gorgeous and lucky to have such a dedicated mother!

    1. Thank you Sally for your comment! Im glad to hear you enjoyed reading it and thanks for your kind words, means a lot to me 🙂


  10. Hey I just had a quick read and saw you say there is reluctance to provide the helmets from the medical field. What do they suggest you do? My bub had a flat spot on the back of his head and the midwives and drs just tell me it’ll correct when he can sit up and roll (which he started this week). They’ve called it “mild” but I’m not sure.

    1. Hi Sare235. Sorry to hear your bub has a flat spot 🙁 From my experience, I was told to let it correct itself and that it would sort out which was far from the truth. I had a special mattress recommended by a Cranial Specialist for Ethan, which I used for a few months to avoid getting a helmet but it didn’t make it better or worse. So we ended up with a helmet in the end. I cant see the extend of your bubs flat spot but if you feel it is significant and it worries you then I would explore options outside of Doctors such as an Orthotist – maybe getting an opinion on the flat spot from them. Hope that helps!


  11. Thanks so much for the writeup Dacia, we’ve been on the same journey and looking for solutions and it’s great to learn about your experience. Thanks for the advice too, we’ll be sure to let you know how we go!
    Jason and Charlene.

    1. Thank you Jason and Charlene! You are most welcome. Looking forward to hearing about how you get on with your little one! All the best 🙂

  12. Wow good on you for following your gut instinct. You’ve definitely changed the course of your son’s life for the better by doing so. Ethan is lucky to have you. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you May! I am very blessed to be Ethans mum and will do whatever it takes for the best quality of his life. Thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot to me 🙂


  13. Your story interested me as I went through the same journey as you did with my now 2 year old toddler. We were fortunate to not have to get the helmet in the end but tracking down an orthotist to examine her was incredibly hard! I feel they need to make this resource more easily accessible. Our chiro has provided me with research to show that treating plagiocephaly isn’t just a cosmetic thing like most doctors believe.

    All the best with Ethans journey. He is lucky to have you as his mum as you are clearly on the ball and determined to get the best for him.

    1. Thank you Ava for sharing that with me! I know how hard it is to track down an Orthotist but am glad to hear you didn’t need to have the helmet therapy in the end. I definitely agree, the resources need to be more available which is why I created my post to at least provide a way of help and support to other parents so they don’t have to endure such a complex journey as I did with Ethan.

      Thank you for the kind words, I am very blessed to be Ethans mum and will do anything for my little guy! 🙂

      Have a nice day.


  14. Hi, I too am in Perth and have a son with torticollis. At six months now I thought it would have mended with our physio visits however it hasn’t.
    Id be very interested in getting the name of your chiro. Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Spoilt86! Awesome you are in Perth too 🙂 Sorry to hear your son also has Torticollis. Our journey sounds quite similar! I have sent you the name of Ethan’s chiro 🙂

      Good luck!


  15. Thanks for posting this- my LO is nearly 12 weeks and I noticed the beginnings of flat head at about 2/3 weeks old. He had a significant lump at the base of his neck (front) which meant he slept on one side every single day and therefore the pressure on the right side started causing flathead.
    i saw 2 Drs and a Physio at 3 weeks old, they all said it would repair itself.
    To be honest I think it is getting worse, his ears are not symmetrical. I saw another dr today who called me back after I left and asked me to come back in and see her to discuss what we need to do from here….

  16. Hi Dacia!

    Thanks for sharing your journey!

    My boy Cole is also a plagio baby and is onto his 3rd week of the helmet. We suspected tort but he has been cleared of this, it’s so frustrating when people don’t take your concerns seriously!

    1. Hi Chelsea! You are welcome glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Ethan has just started his 3rd week too. That’s great he was clear of Torticollis, that’s one less big stress to worry about! I can completely relate, its way too common in this area for people to not take you seriously when you want the help. Exactly why I wrote my blog post so other parents could find it and hopefully get inspired!

      Good luck with your helmet journey!


  17. Hats off to you for pushing that are an amazing mum.Happy to hear how Ethan is responding to the therapy.Sending lots of hugs.Thanks for sharing with us.I’m not going through that but my bub’s scan show he had kidney problem when in the womb and I haven’t had the guts to do any follow up.your story has encouraged me and i’ll book an appointment tomorrow to start his tests.

    1. Thank you for your kind wishes Iren! Im so glad my post has inspired you to get your baby looked at 🙂 That is great you are going to get on the ball with it now. I wish you all the best with his tests and results! Have a lovely day 🙂


  18. What a journey! Very interesting information. I was always dubious about the value of chiropractic treatment for babies but you’ve opened my eyes. Thank you.

    1. Hi Lisa! Glad you enjoyed it. Yes it has been, the past few months have just flown by but I am glad now things are going to slow down a bit so I can enjoy spending quality time with my little ones 🙂

      Me too regarding chiro on babies. But in the end it was the last thing I could do to give him the best result so I just let my reservations go and now I can’t speak highly enough of it. It is very gentle and it isn’t manually done – they use a tool called an activator. Glad I experienced going to a chiro.


  19. Hi Dacia. Just reading your blog over the last few days. My little girl is 3 months old and i have noticed her head having an odd shape the last month or so but i blew it off thinking it’s normal. Now i feel so bad. She definitely favours one side so taking her to a physio Tuesday. If it’s tollicolitus I’ll take her to a chiro as well. With your sons tollicolitus did his chin face a certain way or was his head just favouring one side?

    I’ve looked into the helmet too but i don’t think anyone does them in Adelaide. Freaking out even after physio her head won’t go back :(. Not sure what to do if doctors say just leave it, whether to wait to see if it goes back or push for helmet.

    1. Hi Gemma! Glad to hear my blog could help you out a bit. Sorry that your little girl is going through something similar. The good thing is she is 3 months old so you have plenty of time to get the right treatment. Physio is a great step and if it does turn out to be Torticollis, go straight to a Chiro too. I wish I had done that if I had known Chiro could help Torticollis back then – we are only just starting his Chiro at almost 6 months as its going to be a long journey as we left it quite late.

      With his Torticollis, yes his chin does face a certain way. This is called the head tilt. You will find the baby will tilt their head to the side the Torticollis is on. For example Ethan has torticollis on his left neck, so Ethan’s head tilts left and his chin goes to the right.

      In terms of finding a helmet I went through the exact same thing in Perth, which is why I wrote my blog to help other mums not have the same issue finding the help! I know we are in different states but the best advice I can give you is finding an Orthotist who makes the Cranial Remolding Helmets.

      They generally recommend starting them around 4-5 months old so you have time. The physio will also teach you stretches and positioning techniques that are important to do at home.

      Hope this helps. I know how overwhelming it can feel but just see how it goes at the Physio and go from there. If he does have Torticollis, I would push for the helmet as Torticollis does contribute hugely to Plagiocephaly as it is the underlying issue actually causing it. If he doesn’t have Torticollis it may just be a matter of some physio and doing those stretches and exercises.

      Good luck! 🙂


  20. Hi. You have done an excellent job doing everything possible for Ethan. One day this will all be behind you and you should feel really proud.

    My son had the same issues. He is now three and his flat head is barely noticeable. I first noticed him favouring one side around 6 weeks. We then went to physio but it made no difference. Our lives were spent trying to get him to turn his head the other way. My sister suggested the osteopath and we never looked back. My son had weekly sessions from four months until he turned one. His issues were all the way down in his pelvis right up to his head. They had to start at the bottom and work their way up. It took nearly a year for his torticollis to improve. Now you would never know he had it. I asked about a helmet but a few years ago they said there was no evidence that they worked some were advised against it.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you all the very best!

    1. Hi Al0610! You are welcome and thank you very much for your kind words and wishes. Also thanks for sharing your story too, it is nice to relate to other mums. I can fully relate in terms of dedicating all your time to correctly positioning them a specific way, it is overwhelming at times isn’t it? I haven’t heard of using an osteopath. What do they do to help treat the Torticollis? I’m very interested!

      Glad to hear things finally improved at the end and that his flat is his barely noticeable now. Good job mumma! 🙂


    1. Hi Amy! Sorry to hear you have the same problem with your little one. Physio is a great step. All the best on your journey, hope it all goes well for bubs.


  21. Thank you for your blog – I’ve been looking for a support group or something about this issue. Everyone tells me things will be ok but it’s soooo scary. The anxiety is skyrocking. I feel like my son’s little face is deformed ? With one cheek bigger than the other. I want it fixed yesterday! I have been to the physio but tomorrow I’m going to the Chiro (suggested by my friend who went through the same issue) My little one favours is right side. My nurse picked it up at 6wks but she said it was normal and it will get better. I had my osteo look at it and he said the same … my nurse referred me to the physio two weeks ago (3 month check) and it was at the physio that I realized how bad the flattening was. He was diagnosed with moderate to severe plagiocephaly. His little ears don’t align. I was thinking of a pillow but would you recommend the mattress? i know a pillow is a sids risk ? Thank you again for your blog

    1. Hi Tamara, you are welcome! Im glad you have found some comfort through my blog 🙂 I understand what it feels like to be alone through it especially when you are so overwhelmed by it all. Tamara – if there is something I have learnt, it is that IT WILL BE OK! I was anxious and scared like you, trust me. But I decided to be strong for Ethan and for myself and in that it gave me the confidence to push through it all and let my negative emotions go. I also decided to believe that everything will be ok and guess what? Ethan is doing well 🙂

      The great thing with your son is he is just over 3 months old, you have plenty of time to fix it and its good that you have noticed it all now rather than later. Chiro and physio will help him a lot so that is a good step. I had the same experience of being turned down by professionals who also said it will get better, but that was far from true. I did so much research into finding the right help and thats when I found the Orthotist for the helmet. Ethan initially had mild plagiocephaly but it soared to severe within weeks; his ears also don’t align, eyes are asymmetric and his forehead started to boss.

      I wouldn’t recommend a standard pillow due to the SIDS guidelines however we did purchase a SleepCurve mattress from the UK and I called SIDS in Australia where I live and they gave me the go ahead for the use of it.

      All the best!


  22. Thank you so much for your blog. I have been desperately searching the web for some support or someone going through this. My son is 3.5 months and disagnosed with moderate to severe plagiocephaly. I went to the physio on Tuesday and chiro tomorrow after a friend recommended it. I’m actually so sick to the stomach with worry. I look at him and I seen that he has a bigger cheek. there are now links that this condition causes developmental delays. I wish there was more awareness about the implications of this condition. Thank you again for your blog

    1. I just replied to your other comment. And again, you are very welcome. Glad you got something from it! 🙂

      Take care.


      1. So sorry for the double comment. I thought it hadn’t posted. I’m from Australia too-Melbourne. I’m trying to stay strong – I’ve had a few hurdles to overcome being a mum including depression. I’m fortunate to have a place not too far that does the helmets privately but the children’s hospital also has a special unit here but the wait as you can imagine is extremely long. I’ve followed Ethan’s journey on Instagram. It made me smile – Ethan looks so cute with his helmet. Thank you again 🙂

    2. My son has asymmetry of the face, including the bulging cheek. His severe plagiocephaly has decreased immensely by using the Doc Band for only 3 weeks. At almost 6 months, he has been in the band only a short time but I am so excited about the results I am seeing! Dacia does a wonderful job explaining her son’s journey and I don’t want to take away from that, but I have some more about my plagiocephaly specifically related to the Doc Band at All of us plagiocephaly moms need to work together to get the education out to the public! I feel as if it’s a very misunderstood and scary topic for those unfamiliar with it!

  23. Hi Darcia,
    Thank you so much for posting this to spread awareness! We are currently going through this with our five month old and we have never heard of this condition prior to noticing that his head was flattening. We are fortunate enough to of met with an Orthotist who was so informative and unbiased about whether or not to proceed with helmet therapy and we are now just trying to decide our course of action. I notice it more than anyone else and sometimes I think that maybe I am overreacting..Do you have any before photo’s that you could share? (totally fine if you don’t want to!)
    Many thanks again!

    1. Hi there Kelly! You are welcome, so glad you came across it 🙂 Sorry to hear you are experiencing it too, prior to this post I never realised how many people were going through the same! I had never heard of it either before the physio told us what was going on, and I didn’t think much of it back then until I started noticing what she was actually talking about. Glad you met a lovely Orthotist to help you make your decision, makes it all easier. I have had the same luck with Ethan and she was just so knowledgeable, passionate and like you said unbiased.

      Of course, as mothers we are going to notice it more than anyone else! We are with them 24/7. I think a few close people thought I was overreacting because I was continually pushing for treatment for Ethan and feeling really anxious about his conditions in the early days. But I learned to ignore it and follow my gut which is what I did and how I ended up with the treatment I wanted for Ethan.

      Yes when I write up future blogs there will be photos 🙂

      Your welcome. All the best!


  24. You’re journey is almost identical ours. We went through the same process for my son’s Plagiocephaly. He’s almost 6 months, as well. I find it odd that in Australia, baby helmets are hard to come by. I’m glad you were able to find one! I’ve been blogging about my son’s torticollis and Plagiocephaly journey, too on my site (Sturdy Mom Central.) It’s nice to read another moms blog to see that we share some of the same emotions about this condition! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Hi Dacia,

    Do you mind if you send me the details of the specialists you saw in regard of you boy’s flat head spot, please? I don’t seem to be able to send you an email 🙁 sorry.
    I have to leave my email to leave a comment so i hope you will be able to see it.

  26. Hi Dacia
    Thank you so much for writing this. I am in Perth and have a 5 month old boy who has Brachycephaly with Plagiocephaly since he was born. His head shape is just like your little bub Ehan’s. As it has being getting worse we are now thinking about the Cranial Helmets. Can you please send me the details of the Orthotists so I can get him assessed. Many many thanks.

    All the best.

  27. Hi Dacia,
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    I’m in a very similar boat to you at the moment and have tried many Drs and therapists with limited success.
    My son was born at term after a spontaneous labour- but we discovered he was breech and he was delivered via c-section.
    This was particularly traumatic for DS and has been the reason (excuse) for his torticollis. He never recovered from his misshapened head and the lop-sidedness has made the torticollis worse.
    We’ve been recieving therapy from an osteo and physio for a few months, and while he now has better range and neck rotation, there’s been little change in head shape and measurements. It’s Type 4 Plagio (caused by my rib cage in my opinion)
    At 5 1/2 months old, we’re now awaiting an appt at the cranio-facial clinic at the children’s hospital.

    Question: How long has Ethan had to wear his helmet? Is he out of it now, or is it still ongoing for you?

  28. Hi Dacia. I just read about Ethan and i can completely empathize with you. We went through the same thing with our now 7yr old daughter. She had congenital torticollis and severe plagiocephaly. Our concerns were dismissed at first but eventually at 10wks we got onto a wonderful pediatric physio who took our concerns seriously. We are also in Perth and its just not taken seriously here. We also saw a craniofacial expert at PMH and he assured us it would get better over time. So for the next yr solid i would get up every 2hrs at night and turn her head. I let her sleep on me during the day to keep her off the flat spot, I never used a pram i carried in a baby born everywhere and limited car seat time. We did physio religiously 5 times a day. I did whatever it took. Helmets weren’t an option in Perth they’re actively discouraged to be honest. But long story short it paid off my daughter is 7 now and you’d never know she had a problem. Her head shape is fine. There the slightest flat spot and i mean slightest but I’m the only one would see it and its negligible to be honest. It took years for her head to improve but it did. I hope this helps someone feel reassured. I know how it tears you to pieces at the time but my daughters got better.

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