On February 16th of this year I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! I noticed within the first week of having little Jesse home that he was favoring one side of his head when he would lie on his back. Within the second week I began to notice that the side he was favoring was starting to become flattened. I immediately started researching flat head syndrome and how to correct it. I was freaking out just a bit because I didn’t go through this with my daughter.
I soon came across Torticollis and Plagiocephaly, and although my son’s head was a very mild case compared to some of the pictures I came across, I knew instantly that this was what he had going on.
Torticollis is when there is a tightening of (or damage to) the Sterno-cleido-mastoid muscle in a baby’s neck, which then causes the baby’s head to tilt to one side. It typically occurs in utero when the baby is stuck in one position for a long time due to lack of space. This sometimes requires a bit of physical therapy to correct.
Plagiocephaly is a fancy name for flat head syndrome, and it is characterized by a flat spot on one side of the back of the baby’s head. This is typically caused by Torticollis because the baby is constantly favoring one side when he/she is laid down on their back. Flat head syndrome has increased dramatically since the start of the 1994 back to sleep campaign when parents were told to always put their infant’s on their backs to sleep to help prevent SIDS. There are actually a few different “versions” of flat head syndrome as you can see in this illustration below.
So there must be a good way to prevent Flat Head Syndrome, Right??
I have good news for you. There is!!
After a bit of research I discovered this amazing product called the Mimos Pillow. ( Find the Mimos pillow on Amazon here! ) This pillow is a Medical Class 1 approved baby pillow, it allows for 180 degree free neck/head movement which helps prevent asymmetry in neck muscles, it relieves up to 400% of the pressure that is on a baby’s head when placed on their back, and the best part is that it is breathable! I literally tried to suffocate myself with this pillow when I received it by smashing my face into it in all directions, I peaked above the pillow at one point and caught a glimpse of my husband’s face while I was testing this out which, needless to say, was priceless.. HA! … but I was pleased to find that I survived, and could in fact breath through the pillow! (He may have thought he married a crazy person at the time watching me smother myself with a pricey baby pillow, but after seeing how much the pillow helped our son I think he realized that I didn’t completely lose my mind!)
Now for my testimonial after using the product for about three weeks!
I 100% recommend this pillow to everyone!!! Not only can it improve or completely correct flat head syndrome, but it can also prevent it from even happening in the first place! I am not planning on having anymore kiddos, but if I did, I would use this pillow from the very start.
I started using this pillow when Jesse was about four weeks old. Within just a week of consistent use of this pillow I noticed his head was rounding out ever so slightly, and because it cradles his head so nicely, he actually started holding his head in different positions while sleeping.
After three weeks of using this pillow there is a noticeable difference in the shape of his head. It is almost completely rounded out and you can hardly tell he ever had a flat spot at all! A picture is worth a thousand words so I will post his before and after below. 🙂
When looking at the top of his head from above, you can see in the first photo how the back of his head slants in on the left, this is where his flat spot was. In the second photo, taken just three weeks later, there is an obvious improvement and his head is almost completely round again!
Now, keep in mind that along with the use of this pillow you should also implement lots of tummy time whenever possible as this is a GREAT way to help prevent flat head syndrome while also strengthening those neck muscles! It is also very important to talk to your doctor about it, and get your baby started with some physical therapy if they recommend it. Torticollis can slow down your baby’s motor skills development. Often times, some physical therapy will be needed to help them use and stretch the tightened muscles.
Is it worth the money?
In short, absolutely YES. Even if this pillow was priced at 2-$300 I would still consider it worth purchasing.
Corrective helmets for flat head syndrome usually cost around $2,500-$3,500 and insurance often won’t cover it because it is considered cosmetic. Besides, who wants to put a helmet on their sweet little babe’s head that they have to wear 23 hours a day for weeks or even MONTHS at a time!? NOT ME!
So whether you are looking for prevention or correction this is definitely something you need to try! My biggest piece of advice would be to make sure you are consistent in using it. Use it every single time your baby goes down for a nap no matter where you are putting him to sleep. I even use it in the rock and play and in the carseat! I will let you use your own judgement on that one, some may think it should not be used in a carseat, but it helps hold my little guy’s head in place so well, and actually makes me feel more comfortable knowing it is in there.
In my opinion is it totally worth paying around $100 to prevent or correct flat head syndrome with this pillow, and being that it is the only breathable pillow like this on the market, it is definitely worth the peace of mind knowing that it is safe for your baby to use as well. You can’t put a price on that!
Washing Intsructions – Mimos® pillow: • Machine gentle wash • Low speed spin • Do not bleach • Do not tumble dry • Hang to dry
Pillow cover: • Hand wash or machine wash • Hang to dry • Do not bleach
Here are some adorable pictures of my little one using it for your enjoyment. 🙂
Update – My son just turned a year old and not only is his head lovely and ROUND, but his torticollis is almost completely gone. He continues to go to Physical Therapy once a week and is making amazing progress. I truly believe this pillow prevented my son from having to wear a helmet and gave me tremendous peace of mind.
*This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions on the product are my own. I was not given this product for free for testing purposes, I bought this in search of something that could help my son’s Torticollis and Plagiocephaly, and it helped immensely! 🙂