(HealthDay News) -- For years, new mothers have been told to position babies on their backs during sleep, to help lessen the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). That's extremely important advice.

But as a result of continually sleeping in the same position, babies may develop a flat spot on their heads, a condition some experts call "flattened head syndrome."

The experts say baby should still be placed on the back. But parents may opt to gently reposition baby's head during sleep, and during activities while baby is awake.

The Cleveland Clinic offers these suggestions for minimizing "flattened head syndrome:"

  • Regularly change the direction in the crib in which you put your child down.
  • Alternate the side of the head that baby sleeps on each night.
  • After baby falls asleep, gently turn the head. If one side of the head already appears somewhat flatter, gently turn baby's head to the other side.
  • If baby can turn the head without your assistance, hang a mobile facing the side of baby's bed in the direction you want baby to turn.