Why do Taiwanese have flat heads?

AFAIK, when I was little, doctors in Germany advised Mums to put babies on their tummies because thus, they can’t choke if they vomit in their sleep (which can happen more easily if they lie on their backs). But the connection between lying on the tummy and SID has also been drawn in Germany (is still being researched, I think), so the position nowadays is to put babies on the side.

HTH
Iris

Maybe the best way to avoid a flat head or SIDS is to just put the baby to sleep in a hammock. I’m sure that would be great for its bone development. :wink:

See, the amusing thing here is that you think you’re joking :slight_smile:

Baby Hammocks

See, the amusing thing here is that you think you’re joking :slight_smile:

Baby Hammocks[/quote]

I have a baby hammock and my baby loves it. :smiley:

It’s a local Taiwanese device with two bamboo A-frames with a bamboo crossbar from which the baby hangs in a canvas sling. There’s a canvas flap one can drape over the baby so she’s in a little cocoon, and there’s a string one uses to rock her back and forth in it. Even if she’s hungry, fidgety or crying, the thing puts her to sleep in less than 5 minutes. It’s great. I like it too because it’s not some cheap made in china plastic crap – it’s a simple, local device made of all natural materials and it probably cost less than NT$1,000 (mine was free from the grandparents in Chiayi).

Well, if they all used to use that sort of device, then only the younger Taiwanese will have flat heads.

Now, this explains why the waishengren are crying foul. Because they spent their childhood sleeping on their backs. :laughing:

MT, you should take a picture of this hammock for us.

There’s a pillow sold that helps to keep baby on his/her side now.

My babies have nice round heads that are always being admired by people here but my father in law thinks it looks funny.

This is typical forumosa, someone starts a silly pointless topic about flat heads, and someone else comes and raises it up to baby care :unamused:

Wow, I had no idea this stuff was for real! I was just being silly and figured that flat headedness was just a common Taiwanese physical trait, like black hair or almond shaped eyes. I didn’t really believe it was from lying on the back as a child. But I googled the big words that daasgrrl posted and learned . . .

“Positional Brachycephaly is when the entire back of the head is flat and the head has the appearance of being wide and short. Positional Brachycephaly is most often seen when a child sleeps entirely on the back of his head.”

You’re right, Omni, maybe the thread shouldn’t be in the flounder forum but should be in the health section. I thought one should have the baby sleep on it’s back to lessen the risk of SIDS. Is that not true? Should one really have the baby sleep in other positions? Or perhaps if the baby sleeps only on the back it risks getting a flat head; if it sleeps in other positions then SIDs is a risk.

I will do that. I don’t know how to post my own digital photos online though. :blush: If you send me a PM telling me how I’ll try to post a photo soon.

My inlaws were admiring my baby’s round head too. :smiley: They all have flat heads. :neutral:

This is the situation as I understand it - sleeping on the stomach carries the most risk, followed by sleeping on the side, with the least risk sleeping on the back. Apparently in most cultures babies always sleep on their back - front sleeping was something of a ‘fad’ in Western cultures in the 60s and 70s and is related to treatment of premature babies who were found to develop better sleeping on their stomachs because of the contact.

Now, most western babies do not develop flat heads, because they naturally learn to roll over anywhere from two to six months old (this is a guess - I can’t remember all my developmental milestones!). After that, a lot of them will just roll over and sleep on their stomachs anyway, and a lot of parents just let them, because it’s not worth the fight. However there are babies who habitually like to sleep on their backs/favour one side, and hence the flattening can still happen. There are also devices you can buy that literally force a baby to sleep on his/her back, using velcro and such, and although no-one I know has used one of these I imagine some people would, and this would also contribute to a possible problem.

Having looked at some hammock sites, I actually think they sound like a bloody good idea. Back sleeping, very cosy, and no flattening :slight_smile:

I think you have to store the photo somewhere on the net first then reference it in your post using the IMG tags. If you don’t know how to do that, send it to me and I can do it for you.

OK, here’s the highly recommended Taiwan baby hammock:

And here’s the happy baby (Emily):

Doctors are now prescribing “headbands” for infants to wear, so that they won’t develop a flat back-of-the-skull.

cappskids.org/PlagioFAQ.htm

[quote]Currently the most common forms of treatment are reposition therapy and helmet or band therapy. Some doctors argue that Positional Plagiocephaly will correct on it

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]OK, here’s the highly recommended Taiwan baby hammock:

And here’s the happy baby (Emily):

[/quote]

:smiley: :lovestruck: :smiley:
She’s sooooo cherubic!
Gong xi, gong xi!

Thanks Alien.

Mapodurian, your recommendation that babies wear helmets when sleeping, to prevent them from getting flat heads is a good one. But many babies have been known to fall from the bed, injuring their elbows, knees and vital organs. Therefore, I would also recommend the use of . . .

shin guards

elbow pads

and pelvic protectors (although they lengthen the time required for diaper changes)

In all seriousness, though, I wonder how common it is for a baby to have a flat head from lying on its back. I would think it’s extremely rare, but I’ll have to google later to find out. And, even though that can be a cause of flat headedness, I doubt it’s the reason why so many Taiwanese have flat heads. What percentage of people here have such a trait: 50%, 70%, 80%? What percentage in the west: 10%? I don’t know, but I never noticed such a thing till I came here.

MT,

I would suspect it’s a combination of both genetics and the ‘forcing’ of many generations. Sort of similar to how humans lost their tails.

I find it very interesting how the Chinese through thousands of years have so much ‘old wives tale’ knowledge of childbirth and baby care.
That is, if the flat head thing is due to their understanding of the danger of SIDS, how come westerners didn’t cotton on to this until recently? Also, the whole “jyou yeh tz” thing seems evident of their understanding of post partum depression that has only recently in the west brought any attention.

Additionally, I would venture to guess that Chinese health superstitions may often have some foundation of truth to them, although they’ve not been scientifically tested or proven in the western medical world.

Can a baby get a flat head from sleeping on his/her back? Absolutely!
Do a search on Google for [color=blue]‘positional plagiocephaly’ [/color]and see what comes up.

You guessed it - I already did a search. :smiley:
This link is quite interesting.

She’s adorable, MT!

I asked my mother in law about the flat heads and she says it used to be some kind of class thing and that when she was growing up, the they thought having a flat head looked nicer. She also said that parents would lay their baby’s head on something hard but not clear what it was called.

A big coochy coochy coo for Baby Emily - she’s a sweetie!!! :uhhuh:

[quote=“Alien”]I find it very interesting how the Chinese through thousands of years have so much ‘old wives tale’ knowledge of childbirth and baby care.
That is, if the flat head thing is due to their understanding of the danger of SIDS, how come westerners didn’t cotton on to this until recently? Also, the whole “jyou yeh tz” thing seems evident of their understanding of post partum depression that has only recently in the west brought any attention.[/quote]

I think there’s some truth to this - I actually think it’s the Western culture which led the divergence from the ‘traditional’ norm in regards to many aspects of childcare. In pursuit of science it could be argued we went too far and are now only starting to come back again - co-sleeping, back sleeping, natural birth, breastfeeding. Also times have changed - in the old days the extended family would have been around to help mother and child in early days, but that’s increasingly rare in the ‘independent’ West so mums don’t get the support they have traditionally had.

[quote=“Spack”]Can a baby get a flat head from sleeping on his/her back? Absolutely!
Do a search on Google for [color=blue]‘positional plagiocephaly’ [/color]and see what comes up.[/quote]

Y’know Spack, sometimes I think you don’t bother reading my posts :stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile:

Now I have to resist the temptation to walk around checking out people’s heads… :laughing:

Sure I read it, daasgrrl. I was backing up your comments if anything.
My comment was in response to MT who said:

It’s not a criticism of MT’s comment; I’m just saying that there’s no doubt, IMHO, that most Taiwanese have flat heads because of their habit of sleeping on their backs as babies. :slight_smile: