Last updated: August 31, 2021

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During the first months after birth, babies' heads are incredibly delicate and can become deformed if we do not care for them properly. In fact, many infants suffer from a condition known as plagiocephaly. Luckily for us, flat head pillows are designed to ease the symptoms.

Plagiocephaly causes a deformation in the baby's skull, most often due to the extended periods they spend lying down. Despite being a relatively common problem, we still know quite little about it. If your child is affected by this condition, you will learn how you can help them in this guide.


  • Many babies suffer from plagiocephaly during their first months of life. This flattening of one side of the skull is caused by the time they spend lying down. While this may not be too serious, you should treat it systematically.
  • Nowadays, progress in childcare articles has led to the development of plagiocephaly or flat head pillows, with which you can prevent or treat this condition at home and with outstanding results.
  • You will have to take into account a series of critical factors to buy the right pillow for your child. These include shape, compatibility, or manufacturing materials.

The best Flat Head Pillow for Baby: Our Picks

Choosing any childcare product can be challenging. But the task becomes even more complicated when it comes to buying an item that will prevent or cure a condition your child is suffering from. We know just how important it is to take care of our little ones, which is why we have designed the following list with the best flat head pillows currently available on the market.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Flat Head Pillows for Baby

Plagiocephaly is a serious condition and a concern to many parents since it is hard to see our babies' cranium deformed. This is why you may have many doubts regarding flat head pillows and how they can really help your little one. In the following section, we have answered the most commonly asked questions about these fantastic childcare items.

baby looking to camera

The design of these pillows makes all the difference.
(Source: Anna Grigorjeva: 40962036/

What is a flat head pillow exactly?

As we explained above, plagiocephaly is a condition characterized by the flattening of one side of a baby's skull. Babies' heads are very sensitive and can become deformed when they spend too much time lying down. Fortunately for them, flat head pillows provide various benefits:

  • They take the pressure off babies' skulls, allowing them to sleep more comfortably.
  • The head, neck, and spine of the child remain in the correct position.
  • They prevent the appearance of malformation in the skull.
  • Prolonged use can correct these deformations.
  • They adapt to any place where babies lie down (stroller, cradle, and changing pad, for instance).

All you have to do is switch from a regular pillow to one designed specifically for babies, and you will see results in no time. In addition, this type of pillow is made from materials that care for children's skin and may reduce potential allergies.

How else can I prevent plagiocephaly?

While the benefits and positive results of flat head pillows have been proven scientifically, we understand as parents that you want to be one step ahead. That's why we have included a list of other methods you can put into practice to fight this condition:

  • Have your child sleep on their back and with their head tilted, trying to get them to spend as much time on one side as the other.
  • Switch the arm with which you are carrying them from time to time. This will help distribute the pressure on the skull.
  • Reduce the time that your baby spends lying down as much as possible – when they are awake, of course.

You can easily implement these three elementary steps in your daily life, and they can have a significant influence on your child's overall health. Every baby is different, and you should consult a specialist if you see that the situation is worsening.

mom kissing her baby

The pillow reduces the pressure on the skull, and the baby is forced into a correct posture.
(Source: Anna Bizoń: 39091390/

Who can use a flat head pillow?

You don't have to wait for your child to suffer from plagiocephaly to use one. In fact, most specialists agree that every baby should use a flat head pillow instead of a regular pillow. This is backed up by the fact that these products are specifically designed for children's anatomy.

You aren't merely helping your little one sleep more comfortably with the right pillow; you are contributing to reducing the chances of deformation of their skull. Better safe than sorry!

Dr. Peter TaubDirector of the Mount Sinai Cleft & Craniofacial Surgery Center
"The skull of a child is not made up of one single bone but rather several bones that are separated by what we call sutures – and sutures are sort of spaces between the bone."

What influences the results of flat head pillows?

Any pediatrician or expert in the field will tell you that the results may vary from one baby to the next. This is because there is no exact science with children. While a specialist should always evaluate the progress, here are some general parameters that will influence these results:

  • The specific medical case: in other words, the severity of the plagiocephaly.
  • The frequency of use of the pillow: the more, the better.
  • The age of your child. The younger they are, the faster we notice results since the skull is softer.
  • The quality of the flat head pillow.

Unlike the severity of the plagiocephaly and your child's age, the frequency of use, and the quality of the pillow depend on you. Keep these four aspects in mind, be patient, and have a specialist monitor your baby's improvement. This is the only way to evaluate the results accurately.

sleepy baby

Design is essential and determines the functionality and effectiveness of the pillow.
(Source: famveldman: 31615579/

Can these pillows be used during breastfeeding?

Many mothers who breastfeed their babies ask this question. Breastfeeding is a unique moment, and we always want our children to be as comfortable as possible. This is why you may be concerned about not using the pillow properly if your little one suffers from plagiocephaly. The following table can help you, depending on the position(s) you use:

Position How to do it
Laid-back position Sit down and place your baby on top of you, tummy to tummy.
Cradle hold Support your baby with the arm on the side you're breastfeeding. Make slow movements.
Side-lying position Support your baby while holding their body with your arm and their head with your hand.
Football hold Your baby lies at your side on pillows.

You probably know all these postures already if you are breastfeeding, and they aren't simply the most comfortable for infants; experts also recommend them to avoid plagiocephaly. All of them give you the opportunity to place a flat head pillow between your body and your child's so that their skull is always resting on it.

Are flat head pillows efficient for severe plagiocephaly?

Please bear in mind that specialists tend to disagree profoundly regarding this question. While some experts claim that any degree of plagiocephaly can be treated by using pillows specifically designed for that purpose, others believe otherwise.

The naysayers explain that, in case of severe plagiocephaly, babies are very uncomfortable in the position required to correct the symptoms. They would never remain in that position, and the condition would eventually worsen. In that case, using a corrective helmet may be considered appropriate.

Is plagiocephaly merely an aesthetic issue?

This is another topic of considerable controversy. While some claim that this condition is purely aesthetic, many studies (such as those conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information) have demonstrated quite the opposite. Here is a list of their main findings:

  • Psychomotor development is worse in children who have suffered plagiocephaly, especially in severe cases.
  • It can lead to the appearance of malocclusion (misalignment of the jaws).
  • Children aged three to five may have a balance impairment.
  • At first, some people do not consider potential alterations in the future development of children to be too serious. However, no one would want their child to suffer from the consequences of not having used a flat head pillow or corrective helmet. We have an efficient solution, why not make the most of it?

When should my child start using a flat head pillow?

Specialists often diagnose plagiocephaly in newborns after a cesarean delivery or simply because of a particular position of the fetus during pregnancy. Either way, the condition is detected at an early age because that is when the bones of the skull are the softest.

This is why it has become relatively common to see babies as young as two or three months old already using a flat head pillow. In fact, it is not recommended to wait until five or six months of age, let alone twelve, since the bones become stronger and correcting potential deformities become harder.

baby sleeping with a teddy bear

You don't have to wait for your child to suffer from plagiocephaly to use a flat head pillow.
(Source: sailanalt: 18442492/

Shopping Criteria

Choosing the right flat head pillow for your little one is the only way to ensure that you obtain positive results. This is why you need to familiarize yourself with some vital criteria that will help you make the best possible purchase. You will find everything you need to know in the section below:


The very first aspect that you need to look into when buying a flat head pillow for your child is the design. It is fundamental because it basically determines the pillow's overall functionality and effectiveness. The design of these products is what makes them stand out from the rest.

The ergonomic shape and the hole in the middle are what make this type of pillow so particular. Both of these features help reduce pressure on the skull and force babies to keep their heads, necks, and spines in the correct position.


Like with any childcare item, you will also have to pay attention to the manufacturing materials of the pillow you want to buy. This product will be in direct contact with your little one's skin, and you naturally want to avoid any possible allergies from occurring. The material will also influence comfort.

The vast majority of childcare articles are made with non-toxic, safe, hypoallergenic, soft, resistant, and comfortable materials. That being said, it is always worth having a quick look at the pillow's packaging to make sure that's the case. In addition, the quality of the material will determine the useful life of the product.


Most flat head pillows are made of viscoelastic foam, which cannot be put in the washing machine. This is why they usually come with a pillowcase that you can wash when needed. Stains are common, so it is always better to have something to protect the pillow.

You can find one-size-fits-all models, and pillowcases that can be purchased separately to have a spare part handy. We encourage you to have at least two different ones at home to protect the pillow when you're washing one of them. Besides, the fabric of the pillowcase will always be more comfortable for your baby's skin than the foam.


We have already discussed the importance of using the flat head pillow as much as possible. However, how can you do so if you can't place it on any surface where your baby lies down? This is precisely what compatibility means: the product you choose should be adaptable to work anywhere.

Some parents prefer to have various pillows so that they always have one where is needed. Luckily for you, these products are reasonably affordable and a viable option if your main pillow isn't compatible with your stroller, for example.


Last but not least, let's talk about quality. It may seem silly even to mention how essential this criterion is, considering the impact it can have on your child's overall health. While it is hard to guarantee the quality of a product before buying it, you can certainly take some preventive measures.

Relying on renowned brands from which you have already bought childcare articles is a great way to minimize risks. You should also pay attention to user reviews and ratings since they represent first-hand opinions regarding the quality and effectiveness of the product. Finally, warranties that back up items always make us feel more confident about a purchase.


Using a flat head pillow has been proven to have huge benefits on babies. First of all, it helps prevent the appearance of deformations in the skull while favoring a correct posture of the head, neck, and back. Secondly, these pillows can correct the symptoms in children suffering from this condition.

There is a wide variety of pillows specifically designed for this purpose on the market, and you have to be careful to choose the model that best suits your child's needs. In that regard, factors such as design, quality, material, and compatibility can help you make the right decision.

If you liked our guide on flat head pillows, feel free to share it on your social media. You can also leave us a comment in the section below.

(Source of featured image: Anna Grigorjeva: 52783020/