The good news: Fewer babies are dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) these days, thanks to efforts by health organizations to get infants to sleep faceup. The not-so-good news: More babies sleeping on their backs means more flattened heads -- 1 in 60 today, compared with 1 in 300 in 1992. The condition is usually cosmetic and resolves when babies start to spend less time lying down. But in extreme cases, a flattened head may lead to problems like a misaligned jaw, and your child may need to wear a corrective helmet or band.
You can avoid that, though, by giving your baby's head plenty of chances to round out on its own. Ten minutes of tummy time several times a day, from when she's 2 months old, is a good start. What else to do:
Vary her position during bottle feedings so the pressure isn't always on the same side of her head.
Regularly move her toys to different spots in the room. She'll have to turn her head to see them.
Don't let her spend all day in a swing, car seat, stroller, or bouncy seat. (Wearing her in a sling or carrier is a good switch.) When she is in a seat, move it every so often to encourage her to look around.
Alternate which end you lay her down in her crib. This way her head won't always be in the same position when she looks toward the center of the room -- the view of choice for most babies.