Is It Concerning If Your Baby Is Born With A Conehead?

Did you know that when a baby is born, their skull hasn't fused together yet? In other words, there are various soft spots between the different sections of bone. These soft spots, known as fontanels, actually serve a couple of very important purposes, points out the Mayo Clinic. For starters, the malleability of the skull allows for rapid brain growth that occurs in utero and following birth. The lack of rigidity also enables a baby's head to fit through the mother's pelvis and birth canal, given that a newborn's head measures about 13.8 inches in circumference and the cervix through which it must pass is only four inches across (per Cranial Therapy Centers).

In fact, a baby's skull is so malleable during birth that it can actually appear to be shaped like a cone, with a point at the top, when the baby emerges states Healthline. This is more likely to occur during vaginal birth, due to the squeezing that the head goes through in order to pass, and won't be as common during a c-section. However, cone-headed babies can still emerge from a C-section if they've spent a significant amount of time descending into the mother's pelvis, which exerts pressure on the skull.

So, your baby was born with a conehead. You may be wondering now if this is cause for concern. Will your baby's head ever resume a more rounded shape or will they be destined to remain cone-headed forever? Here's what we know.

There's no reason to worry if your baby is born with a conehead

Fortunately, most babies with coneheads will resolve on their own within a couple of days after birth, with some taking up to a handful of weeks (per Healthline). Either way, you definitely don't need to be concerned that your baby's head will stay cone-shaped forever.

If a couple of weeks have passed and you'd like to make sure your baby's head will round out as it should, What to Expect has a few tips. First, you should try to switch up the direction in which you lay your baby down in their crib to encourage them to alternate the way they turn their head while sleeping, ensuring there isn't always consistent pressure on just one side. You can also use baby carriers during naps to prevent your baby's head from experiencing pressure in the same spot, which happens when they are always lying down. When awake, implement plenty of tummy time into your newborn's day for the same reason.

It's important to note that a conehead is different from plagiocephaly. The latter occurs when a flat spot develops on a baby's head from spending too much time in the same position, explains Boston Children's Hospital. Unlike in the case of a conehead, plagiocephaly develops within the first six to eight weeks of an infant's life, rather than at birth. In some cases, it must be corrected with physical therapy, specialized equipment, and/or a corrective helmet.