Baby snuggles are the best, especially when they’re still so tiny and have that "new baby smell," which is even better than a new car smell. While snuggling their babies, many moms may catch a glimpse of the back of their beautiful baby’s head and panic, wondering, "Why does my baby have a bald spot on the back of their head?"
Because babies spend so much time on their backs, they’re definitely prone to getting bald spots. Especially since, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all babies should be put to sleep on their backs in an effort to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
But are babies with certain skin conditions more susceptible to getting bald spots? According to pediatrician Eboni Hollier, "The most common skin condition that may cause babies to get bald spots is cradle cap (also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis). This is very common and is harmless — it's called dandruff in older children and adults," she says to Romper in an email.
However, in rare cases, ringworm of the scalp (also called tinea capitis) may be confused with cradle cap, Hollier warns. "It’s caused by a fungal infection, and while it’s possible for babies to get it, it occurs most often in children more than 2 years old." Thankfully, the hair usually grows back after treatment.
Not only can your baby have baldness from laying in the same position all the time, but it could be hormonal. According to pediatrician Alison Mitzner, "After birth, there is a change in hormones for both mom and baby, and because there is a drop in hormones, the baby can lose hair … this occurs in the first six months and is totally normal," she says in an email to Romper. "There may be other rare medical conditions that your pediatrician can rule out if there is any concern it is not a positional or hormonal cause."
Hollier says you can prevent bald spots from happening (if the cause is positional) by "alternating your baby's head from either side during sleep" in order to prevent too much pressure in one particular area. "Doing this may prevent hair loss, as well as the head becoming flat in one area. When your baby is awake, allow her to spend lots of supervised time on her tummy (also called tummy time), and when your baby is not spending time on her tummy, hold her or carry her in a baby carrier — this also helps promote parent-baby bonding," she adds.
By 4 months, your baby should be able to lift their head on their own, and will also start trying to roll over. Because they aren’t stuck on their backs or having their head supported, this gives the hair time to grow back if it’s missing from being in one position for too long.
And Mitzner says once the baby is 6 months old, if the loss is due to hormones, hair loss decreases. Plus, they’ll start moving around more in their cribs, and not having their heads lay in one spot for too long. "Remember, your baby’s hair will start growing in soon after, and when it’s positional or hormonal, the balding is temporary."
So continue to enjoy your baby snuggles. With or without a bald spot, your baby is still totally the cutest.