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Scaphocephaly Head Shape

Scaphocephaly, from the Greek, meaning ‘light boat’ head, to describe a head that is long and narrow resembling an inverted boat. This head shape is  sometimes also referred to as Dolichocephaly. The head appears long and the forehead can protrude and become square shaped. It is more prevalent in babies that have spent time in neo-natal care.

Scaphocephaly Head Shape

These are the physical symptoms for you to watch out for in your baby:

  • Decreased width to length ratio
  • Elongated, narrow head shape
  • Overall increase in head height
  • Bilateral frontal bossing

There may also be:-

  • Some degree of asymmetry(Plagiocephalic features)


If your baby’s head has these symptoms it also possible that your baby has Craniosynostosis. The most common form of Craniosynostosis is sagittal synostosis where the sagittal suture, located at the top of the head, fuses too early. The resulting head shape looks very like Scaphocephaly - the skull is long from front to back and narrow from ear to ear. If you run your hand along the top of the head, a ridge may be felt.

If you are concerned that your baby might have Craniosynostosis you should arrange a consultation with your GP.

We can provide you with our clinical opinion of your baby's head shape based on your photographs. Just fill in our plagiocephaly / flat head diagnosis form

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