Welcome to the second post in my series on babies and flat heads.
As I explained yesterday, we went through the issue with our eldest daughter back in 2010. In all my anxious Google searching at the time, I would have loved to have found just one parent who wrote “Yeah, we went through this a few years back, and it’s all good now.” I know specific issues vary, but I would have felt better at the time if I’d found someone to talk to who had gone through this. So this blog series is really for the me of five years ago.
Because, it IS all good now.
For anyone dealing with this now, here’s some of our story – and what we did – as pulled from my blog entries of that time. I hope it helps.
I posted yesterday about discovering the issue with our eldest daughter, our early attempts to fix it, positional therapy, and the ultimate recommendation at seven months that our daughter get a helmet.
For those unfamiliar with the issue, briefly: some babies get flat or misshapen heads for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons, the reason it happened with our child, is that they develop a preference early on for one sleep position. This can be preventable, but, for whatever reason, our baby’s head got, and stayed, a little flat.
Where we left off yesterday, we’d exhausted positional therapy attempts to address the flat head issues and the doctors had recommended a helmet.
June 10, 2010 Blog Entry (abridged)
So we decided to go with the helmet to help gently reshape her head. The helmets don’t put pressure on the skull so much as encourage the head to grow in the places it needs to “grow out” by leaving space in the helmet in those spaces and having it tighter on the areas where growth should be discouraged.
The helmet referral took another month. Which took us to the date of my first post on the issue – yesterday’s journal at four days short of eight months.
That was the day we took her in for the casting of the helmet (which was fast – but she cried).
We chose the pattern for her helmet (fingerprint bunnies on a pink background) and the fitting was scheduled for the following week.
For those interested, it looks like this:
On average, kids wear helmets for about five months.
We were warned that it takes babies a little while to get use to these, and they tend to sweat quite a bit at first until they get accustomed. Our little one didn’t seem to mind it much at all and we have been following the guide for building up the time she is wearing it – up to 23 hours a day (only off for bathing or swimming – and to give her a bit of a break).
All went well yesterday, and then today, after a four-hour stint wearing the helmet, I noticed a little white spot on her forehead which I thought might be a blister from rubbing. I called Orthotics and they recommended keeping it off for a few hours. So we took a three-hour break, the mark went away, and it’s on again now for another four hours and then we’ll take it off and have a look. I think we’ll probably keep it off her tonight – so have one more helmet free night – until I make sure the thing isn’t causing any sort of friction that will cause her pain.
So, she’s currently napping and I’m hoping everything is okay under the helmet.
June 16, 2010 Blog Entry (abridged)
We have breakfast. She rubs some of it on her helmet. Which I then take off and clean with rubbing alcohol (I understand this will stop the helmet from smelling absolutely FABULOUS in five months). Then she rubs some in her hair. I just clean that off with water. ‘Cause rubbing alcohol would be a bit much, you know?
Doctor’s appointment. She is adjusting to the helmet well. The orthotist shaves it down a bit more inside for her comfort and shaves a bit of the plastic part off that covered her forehead to give her a bit more visibility. I try – somewhat successfully – to feed her while this is going on. I pick up a sandwich for me on the way out of the Rehab Centre ($1.50 – by far the cheapest sandwich I have ever found for lunch ANYWHERE in Ottawa – though $7.00 parking fee kinda cancels that out). Notice mailbox in Centre and mailed health claim (See! I can totally still multitask!).
Above, life carries on with the helmet.
Next post: How five months of helmet life went and my thoughts six years out from the experience.
PS: Baby Gates Down is getting up and running on Facebook. If you enjoy my blog, please head over and give my page a like.