Parents of neonates
Watched how their babies took
Naps in their bed;
Led to an increase in
Flat-headed babies are
Better than dead.
I found this report (and the reactions to it) very interesting, in part because I just absolutely love babies. I'm one of the folks who rejects the notion of a platonic ideal baby ("nobody's perfect" implies an ideal perfection that we all fall short of) in favor of a wide variety, a population of equally perfect babies. Round-headed, flat-headed, pointy-headed, it's rarely "a face only a mother could love", cos I love it too.
So this story, on an increase in reports of plagiocephaly (flat-headedness) in babies caught my attention, in part because of all the concerned parents who want perfect round-headed babies. (This is, as I am given to understand, very much a cultural thing, and not every culture thinks round heads are adorable.) Some are "blaming" the "Back to Sleep" program, which combats Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or "cot death" or "crib death") by warning parents to make sure their babies sleep on their backs; the actual report in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine suggests that differences in reporting may be as much or more responsible (in part due to insurance coverage changes).
Looking back on my childhood pictures, my own skull was a lopsided potato--it pretty much still is, and it is who I am. I have yet to see a baby whose head I reel from in horror. Given the plasticity of the brain, I have serious doubts whether head shape is anything more (absent extreme cases) than a matter of aesthetics. Variety being the spice of life, I welcome our new flat-headed future overlords.