Skip to main content


Symptoms of Positional Plagiocephaly

A baby with positional plagiocephaly has flatness on the back of the skull. This is usually more on one side than the other (asymmetric). This is because babies tend to like to rest on one side more than the other. Or, it can happen just to the middle of the back of the head (symmetric) if that is where your baby always lies. If you think your infant has positional plagiocephaly, please talk to your child's doctor or nurse practitioner about it.

Positional plagiocephaly can look different depending on where the flatness is on the skull. It can be very mild and hard to see, or it can be very obvious and easy to see.

Usually only the back of the head is affected. Sometimes the forehead is also uneven.

Some children with positional plagiocephaly have mild developmental delays. If this is a concern for your child, we will work with you and your child's primary physician to see if more evaluation or therapy is needed.

Positional Plagiocephaly Diagnosis

To diagnose this condition, your child's doctor or nurse practitioner will examine your child's head. The doctor or nurse practitioner will check for features like bony ridges, flat areas and asymmetric ears and forehead. Your child's provider will also evaluate your child's development.

Positional plagiocephaly can sometimes look like a condition called craniosynostosis. They need very different kinds of treatment. Our team is expert in looking for the signs that help us tell these two conditions apart.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)