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Best Infant Pillows for Flat Head Syndrome of 2022

Updated
Flat head syndrome is common in infants.

Does your baby’s head look more square than round? Before going into panic mode, it’s important to know that this is a super common issue.

Flat head syndrome is a common name for plagiocephaly, which is common with infants aged between 7 to 12 weeks.

Most misshapen heads usually go back to normal as they grow, but if you’re still concerned, we’ve rounded up the best infant pillows for flat head syndrome.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Baby Breathable 3D Air Mesh Organic Cotton Seat Pad Liner for Stroller...
Organic Bliss
W WelLifes Organic
  • 100% certified organic cotton
  • Reversible design
  • Hypoallergenic
Product Image of the KAKIBLIN Baby Travel Pillow for Head and Neck Support Pillow for Pushchair,Car...
Super Versatile
Kakiblin Baby Travel Pillow
  • Grows with your child
  • Multi-purpose
  • Provides optimal neck support
Product Image of the Babymoov Lovenest
Great for Travel
Babymoov Lovenest
  • Distributes pressure over the skull
  • Suitable for zero to three months
  • 100 percent organic European cotton
Product Image of the Boppy Head Support Noggin Nest, Sage Watercolor Leaves, with Pressure Relieving...
Best Neutral Design
Boppy Head Support
  • Compatible with car seats
  • Machine-washable
  • Easy to install
Product Image of the Boppy Preferred Head And Neck Support, Gray Dinosaur With Adorable Accents,...
Fun Dinosaur Design
Boppy Dinosaur
  • Supports head and neck
  • Machine washable
  • Works with three and five-point harnesses

What Is Flat Head Syndrome?

Flat head syndrome most typically happens when an infant is laid on its back for an extended amount of time. This is most common in babies because their skull is still forming and is extremely soft and pliable.

Since the enactment of the Safe to Sleep campaign (lying babies on their back during sleep time to reduce the risk of SIDS), flat head syndrome has become more of a concern among parents (1).

While it typically resolves on its own, pediatricians recommend lots of tummy time and turning baby’s head periodically when they’re laying on their back.

Too much time on their back is the most common cause of flat head syndrome in babies, but there are other causes as well (2):

  • Skull-moulding while still in the womb: This can happen when there isn’t a lot of amniotic fluid to cushion the head while still in mom’s tummy. This usually resolves on its own.
  • Premature birth: With less time to develop fully, premature babies often have odd-shaped heads.
  • Muscular problems: Issues like torticollis can cause a stiff neck and limited movement.
  • Craniosynostosis: This is when a baby’s skull forms too soon. This may require surgical intervention, so consult your pediatrician if you suspect it.

The Best Pillows for Flat Head Syndrome of 2022

Here are our favorite pillows to help with flat head syndrome.

1. W WelLifes Organic 3D Air Mesh Organic Cotton Seat Pad Liner

Organic Bliss

If you’re looking for a quality pillow with a variety of options, this protective pillow by W WelLifes organic is a good option. It’s made of hypoallergenic cotton filling to ensure safety and comfort to sensitive skin, and the outer fabric has a breathable sequential 3D-air mesh construction.

It has multiple uses and when you’re too tired to start a new load of never-ending laundry, this pillow is reversible so baby can use both sides. That may sound gross, but hey — we’ve all done it at some point.

You can get this pillow in five different designs, including an animal world and bambi pinks, so there’s an option to match virtually any nursery theme. It’s also machine-washable, but it’s recommended to be hand washed.

If you do decide to machine wash it, be sure to do so in cold water on the gentlest setting available.

When you choose this pillow, you can rest easy knowing that it’s going to be of great quality and provide plenty of comfort to your baby. It’s made from 100 percent certified organic cotton and is completely eco-friendly.

Keep in mind that, due to its design, this pillow usually works best when using strollers, bouncers and infant swings.

Pros

  • 100% certified organic cotton through strict testing.
  • Reversible design.
  • Hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.

Cons

  • May not work best on cribs.
  • Not so good for warm weather conditions as it often causes sweating.

2. Kakiblin Baby Travel Pillow

Super Versatile

This circular infant pillow is great if you’re looking for versatility. Most designs are only meant for when a baby is lying on the ground, but this pillow can be used in a variety of places.

It’s recommended for use when lying down to play, in a bouncer or other baby seat, in the stroller, and while nursing. As parents, we’re all about versatility and this pillow fits the bill.

While the description shows it can be used in the car seat, it’s important to keep in mind that no accessories are recommended for use with a car seat, for safety reasons.

The great thing about this pillow by Kakiblin is that it can transition with your child into toddlerhood. This could also be especially helpful if you plan on traveling by plane. It will provide optimal neck support to your toddler.

It’s machine washable and available in 100 percent cotton fabric.

Pros

  • Grows with your child.
  • Can be used in a stroller, bouncer, or in the crib.
  • Available in several different colors.

Cons

  • Some parents received a pillow with the design that is upside down.

3. Babymoov Lovenest Baby Head Support Pillow

Great for Travel

From the day you bring your little one home, you can use this pillow to prevent flat-head syndrome. It’s a super compact and lightweight pillow that you can take with you. It’s small enough to fit in bassinets, swings, strollers, bouncers, and while your baby is relaxing on a floor mat.

Just make sure to monitor your baby while they are using the pillow. Never use it overnight while you’re also sleeping.

That being said, it’s suitable from zero to three months, when your baby spends the most time on their back. The cocoon shape prevents postural plagiocephaly, so your baby is comfortable.

To clean it, we love that it’s machine washable to save you time. Lay it flat to dry or hang it on the line.

Pros

  • Prevents flat-head syndrome before it happens.
  • Portable and lightweight; easy to take traveling.
  • Distributes pressure over the skull, comfortable for baby.
  • Suitable for zero to three months.
  • Textile made from 100 percent organic European cotton.
  • Machine washable; hang or lay flat to dry.

Cons

  • The cover isn’t removable, so it can take a while to dry.
  • Might prevent babies from turning their heads while they’re using it.
  • Doesn’t fit in every bouncer, swing, or seat.

4. Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support

Best Neutral Design

This head support is a great option for parents looking for a shaping pillow that will match a woodsy nursery theme. It is also compatible with car seats, strollers, and swings

This is recommended for babies from infancy up to 4 months old. The soft cotton blend fabric is comfortable for naps and shouldn’t snag baby’s hair while they’re laying on it.

It has three designs to suit your theme but this design can be shared by both genders.

It’s machine-washable and should be dried on the lowest tumble-dry setting or hung up to air dry. The company states that this pillow is very durable and should still hold up well even after multiple uses and washings.

This head support is also super convenient. Because of its small rectangular size, it can easily fit into a diaper bag so you can take it with you whenever you need to go out. Nothing makes a parent happier than less weight and more portability.

Pros

  • Compatible with car seats.
  • Machine-washable.
  • Easy to install.

Cons

  • The item is small, only 11 inches wide.
  • Materials are not purely made of cotton.

5. Boppy Dinosaur Head and Neck Support

Fun Dinosaur Design

Parents love this cute dinosaur design. The unique design is a great talking point; it’s cute; and it’s super comfortable for baby.

Plus, it has a great cutout to support your little one’s head and neck. This lets your baby fully relax after tummy time. This pillow is specifically made for strollers, bouncers, and swings. Don’t use it in a car seat — your car seat has a great insert already. Adding an extra insert can be unsafe.

This pillow works with three and five-point harnesses, so your little one is still secure and safe.

While the pillow is made for babies between zero and four months, you can take out some of the inserts. This allows the pillow to grow with your child, and they can still use parts of it even as a toddler.

Pros

  • Supports head and neck while your baby is in a stroller, bouncer, or swing.
  • Suitable for zero months through to toddlerhood.
  • Machine washable, making it easy to clean.
  • Works with three and five-point harnesses.
  • Super soft and comfortable.

Cons

  • The design is a little awkward; the arm support is very close to the head.
  • Excess padding may be too much for smaller babies.

Treatment and Preventative Measures for Flat Head Syndrome

There are several things you can do to combat flat head syndrome in any situation. Whether they’re sleeping, traveling, or enjoying playtime, you can ensure your baby isn’t in one position for too long.

During Sleep

While babies are sleeping, you should always lay them on their back to help prevent SIDS. Flat head syndrome is a concern with this, but you can combat it by alternating the side of the cot when you lay them down.

If possible, you can also move the light source to different areas in their bedroom as babies are typically attracted to light. When they’re sleeping, take care to shift their head in different positions to alleviate the flattened side as well.

During Play

While your baby is playing, try to have them play on their tummy as much as possible. Not only will this help strengthen various muscles, but it will also keep the plagiocephaly at bay.

Of course, some babies just aren’t a fan of tummy time and we can’t leave them on their tummies forever. In this case, you can shift their head position so they aren’t favoring one side for too long.

To learn more about how to treat flat head syndrome at home, check out this video from Stanford Children’s Health.

Infant Pillows

Another way to combat flat head syndrome is to invest in an infant pillow. These pillows are designed specifically with infant skulls in mind.

They’re made to put minimal pressure on the back of baby’s head and evenly distribute pressure on both sides of the skull.

Infant pillows for flat head syndrome can come in handy if you have a fussy baby that doesn’t like to follow the rules.

It’s important to keep in mind that, as per the Safe to Sleep campaign, pillows aren’t recommended to be used during sleep time with babies until they’re at least a year old (3).

If using an infant pillow with a smaller baby, you should be cautious and watch them at all times while they’re using it, and never leave them unattended.


Rounding It Up

While flat head syndrome seems quite serious, there’s no need to worry. As long as you keep an eye on your little one and follow the steps recommended by your pediatrician, your baby’s head should go back to normal in no time.

Our favorite pillow for flat head syndrome is the W WelLifes organic cotton. A baby’s skin is super delicate and we love that this product is made of completely organic and eco-friendly materials that won’t irritate baby’s skin.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that there are so many animal designs to choose from. How cute is that peek-a-boo bunny?

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Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.