The head of a newborn baby is ¾ the size of an adult’s, whereas body length is only ¼. Control of head muscles is not attained until the third month of age.

  • Large, sleepy babies are more prone to positional deformities.
  • First-born babies suffer parents’ inexperience.
  • Second children may not get as much attention as the first.

Congenital muscular torticollis (CMT) affects a very large number of children with plagiocephaly. It is necessary to detect and treat it early.

Hence the importance of helping babies to change posture to avoid deformities attributed to positional flattening


  • Prematurity is an important factor in post-natal development, and scaphycephaly is more frequent in these cases.
  • Post-term born babies are more likely to present plagiocephaly and brachycephaly.


  • Plagiocephaly is twice as frequent in boys than in girls.
  • Brachycephaly is twice as frequent in boys than in girls.
  • Scaphocephaly affects boys and girls alike.

By type

  • Positional plagiocephaly affects the right side more than the left.
  • Brachycephaly affects large, sleepy babies more.
  • Scaphocephaly is more frequent in premature babies.

Postnatal causes

  • Always sleeping on the same side: plagiocephaly.
  • Always sleeping face-up: brachycephaly.
  • Always sleeping with the head to one side: scaphocephaly.
  • Torticollis (wry neck). Treatment to be given as soon as possible.
  • Lengthy delivery.
  • Too much time spent badly seated in pushchairs or baby bouncers.

Antenatal causes

  • Multiple pregnancies.
  • Large fetus (macrosoma).
  • Post-term fetus.
  • Narrow pelvis.
  • Lengthy delivery.
  • Uterine tumors (miomes…).
baby with plagiocephaly and doc band
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