14/07/2009 11:00 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Special Pillow Claims To Help Prevent Infant "Flat Head Syndrome"

A friend sent me a spreadsheet of baby essentials this week, and boy was she one prepared mum-to-be. There are 83 items on it, and only one essential that she overlooked, according to her. That one thing, she says, is a Goi Goi baby pillow.

Her baby was quite poorly when first born and spent a month or so in hospital, nearly all of it lying flat. The little fella has apparently developed quite a flat head from all that lying down, and this is where a Goi Goi pillow comes in handy.

Goi Goi Baby Pillows have been developed in Sweden especially for newborn and young babies to help prevent and treat flat head syndrome, a common medical condition also known as Plagiocephaly. I've never heard of flat head syndrome, but it sounds like something to avoid.

According to my friend: "There is one thing on my spreadsheet that I fully recommend that no one told me about. Get a Goi Goi pillow. In Sweden they use them from birth and they help prevent flat head. We have two now and they have helped but I wish I had known about them sooner. As all babies sleep on their backs now they all get a bit of flat head but some (like our baby) worse than others."

It is best practice to not use pillows with infants, and so I proceed with some caution here. There are some expert comments from UK health professionals on the Goi Goi website, including this one from Dr W John Fysh FRCP, FRCPCH, Consultant Paediatrician at The Portland Hospital in London and former President of Paediatric Section Royal Society of Medicine:

"Positional Plagiocephaly has become very common since the "Back to Sleep" campaign to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is almost entirely preventable. Paediatricians, Midwives, GPs and parents need to be educated further to identify those babies at greater risk of developing this condition in the early neonatal period. Some babies' heads are flattened from labour which may persevere after delivery.

However, babies who have perfectly normal posture and normally shaped skulls can also experience the problem, which does not always resolve completely if not treated. Prevention is therefore by far the best option and Goi Goi Baby Pillows play an important part in preventative care."

I plan to investigate further, and will be asking my midwife about the pillow to see what she recommends. While it does seem a viable option, I'd recommend you do the same before investing in one.