In South Asian households, it is a very common practice after birth. Mostly Grandmothers or midwives ask new mothers to flatten their baby’s head. Flattening infant’s head cause some major problems in kids in the future.
If you are aware of South Asian households, you may hear some of these absurd practices. Getting a child is a blessing in itself but sometimes it became a challenge for new mothers. In India or Pakistan, it is normal practice to flatten an infant’s head. Other than that putting a “Surma” or pressing the baby’s fingers to shape it long and beautiful is also common. Even in a few advanced countries you may find some cases of flattening infant’s head as well.
If you are a new mom then you must be hearing different opinions regarding “Your baby’s head is too round, make his head”, “Keep baby’s head on a hard surface”, “Baby’s head is very long, keep his head on a plate or even on a floor”
It is a very common tradition among the various communities to press the forehead and head of the newborn to modify or reshape it. No doubt that the delicate parts of the brain are protected in the cranium but hard pressing can still damage them. Brain growth is also affected by this even some brain parts get affected and lose their ability to properly work. Some recent studies proved that pressing the head in a newborn also decreases the intelligence and learning ability of the child.
Have regular “tummy time“. Have your baby lie on their stomachs for a few minutes at a time and work up to an hour a day in shorter chunks. Babies don’t usually like tummy time at first, but stick with it!
So next time if someone tells you that your baby’s head isn’t in shape. Please don’t put them on a hard surface, positioning is the key. Just position your baby right. Don’t let him lie on either the right or left side for long intervals and you are good to go.