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Infant Hair Loss
Sometimes it's a surprise to find that your baby, who was born with a full head of hair, is now experiencing some hair loss and thinning. This is something that happens to many babies, although the timing can differ. "It varies, either before delivery or right after birth during those first few weeks of life," says Dr. Stephen Muething, MD, associate director of Clinical Services in General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
The cause is relatively unknown, although it may have to do with hormone levels. Just as it disappears, new hair grows at varying times. "Some babies have a full head of hair shortly after they are born, but usually during the nine- to 12-month range you can begin to see hair growth. Although, some babies can go until their first birthday and still be bald," says Dr. Muething.
This is a relatively new problem pediatricians are encountering. "We are beginning to notice an increase in babies with a rubbing bald spot on the back of their heads from being continually placed on their backs. This type of baldness doesn't cause any damage, however it can be helped," says Dr. Muething.
Because parents are advised to always place sleeping babies on their backs to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), doctors are noticing a flattening of babies' heads and patches of hair loss where babies continually rest their heads. "Now we are also recommending 'tummy-time' when the baby is awake," says Dr. Muething. "This decreases the hair loss and also prevents flattening of the head. It is better to start early, right from the start placing baby on her stomach. Babies then become accustomed to this position and actually enjoy it," Dr. Muething continues. "It helps for moms to get down to the baby's level so [Baby] can see Mom's face."