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My daughter is 4 months and 1 week now (c-section delivery). I am worried about the flattened back of her head. Friends and relatives have suggested using a rectangular mustard pillow. Will this be helpful?

Earlier she was mostly looking towards her right side because of which right side of the back of her head is a little more flatter. Now I am trying to make her look towards her left by putting a toy. Also while she is sleeping I put a folded towel at the back of her towards the right side so that she is facing towards left. When will her start getting  normal rounded shape and what should I do to help her get a normal head shape?

Hi Manisha,

Babies' skull-bones are normally soft and can get flattened if head remains in one position.

Please also note that babies' head is normally bigger as compared to rest of the body. Hence, they don't need any pillow. Even if smallest pillow is placed beneath their head, their neck gets flexed and they feel uncomfortable: The result is that they always "slip down" from their pillow: You will never find them on their pillow: hence, "mustard pillow" or even "horse-shoe shaped pillow" always fails.

Better solution is to keep changing the position of baby after every 4-5 hours (i.e, whenever baby is held up for cleaning etc., when you place back baby, it should be in a different position). Please note that whole body has to be changed (just like older children/ adults turn sides) and not just head. This will prevent further flattening. This is to continue till baby learns turning herself.

Whatever flattening has already occurred: will resolve slowly on its own, with growth of head. This usually takes many months.

Please feel free to ask for any further clarification.

Best wishes,
Dr. Puneet Kumar,
Kumar Child Clinic, Dwarka,
New Delhi, India

+91-9818356846, +91-11-45535647  


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Dr. Puneet Kumar


I would be happy to answer general queries on prevention and treatment of ailments in newborn, infant, toddler, child or an adolescent. Needless to say, it will not be possible to answer any query that requires diagnosing, since it is not possible to examine a child online.


I have worked in various capacities (medical officer, resident, senior resident, consultant) in public as well as private sector in Pediatrics and Neonatology. Today, I have over 17 years of experience in the field.

Currently, I am running my own clinic (Kumar Child Clinic) in Dwarka, New Delhi and am attached to Lifeline Hospital, Dwarka as consultant pediatrics and neonatology. I am also developing my clinic website into a comprehensive child health/ parenting website (

(a) Chapter "National Immunization Schedule" in Frontiers of Social Pediatrics, Jaypee Publishers: 2nd edition, 2016. (b) Article, "All about Pertussis vaccines" in special issue of Indian Journal of Practical Pediatrics, July-Sept 2015 (c) Three chapters (DTP vaccines, Pneumococcal vaccines and Poliovirus vaccines) in "Textbook of Pediatrics for Post-graduates" First edition: 2015. (c) Chapter: "Alternative delivery methods of vaccines" in IAP textbook of Vaccines, First edition, 2014 (published by IAP/ Jaypee Brothers) (d) Special Article: "50 years of Immunization in India: Progress and Future" in January 2013 issue of Indian Pediatrics (e) Four chapters in "FAQ: Book on Vaccines and Immunization Practices" First edition, 2011 AND 2nd edition, 2015 published by Jaypee Brothers. (f) Three articles in special issue of Journal of Pediatric Sciences on “Controversies and Challenges in Pediatric Vaccination Today" in Sept, 2010. Co-edited the series also. (f) Regular column, “How do I treat” in Pediascene ( (g) Review article, “Role of Anti-Poliovirus Agents in Polio eradication and beyond” in Polio Pulse, April, 2008. (h) Chapter on “Acute Infectious Diarrhea” in Textbook of Infectious Diseases in Children. (An IAP Publication), 2007. 2nd edition in 2011. (i) Book-Review (IAP Pediatric Drug Formulary, 2004) in Pediascene, March 2005 ( ) (j) Case-report on Osteopetrosis. Jharkhand Journal of Pediatrics, Dec-2002.

After MBBS, I have done DNB residency in Pediatrics.

Awards and Honors
Winner of IAP practising pediatrician's quiz in 2001.

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