Baby and Kids

Why My Baby is Wearing a Helmet and Progress After One Month

Kate has been wearing her helmet for exactly one month, and I cannot believe the progress we’ve seen in such a short time. We noticed a flat spot at around three months. At first, our pediatrician wanted to keep an eye on it and started to see some improvement, so we waited. Over the next month or two, it wasn’t looking too great and at her six month appointment, our pediatrician suggested getting a free evaluation (we went to Cranial Technologies).

It should be noted that Kate is perfectly happy and healthy – this choice was entirely cosmetic and recommended by our pediatrician and ultimately, by a specialist. I definitely thought about whether or not we needed to do it and decided that since it’s such an easy fix and she’s too young to decide for herself, that we should just take the advice of the people who do this all day long. Some babies need PT and have muscular issues, but that’s not the case for her. It’s entirely cosmetic. 

I am obviously not an expert so you’ll want to talk to your doctor, but I want to share what the process looked like for us. 

Since she is healthy, we weren’t worried, but I was a little (ok, very) anxious about nighttime sleep. I’m happy to report that it really hasn’t been a big deal at all. I started her off wearing for a few hours at a time the first two days, then for a nap, and then overnight. 

A week after the evaluation, I took Kate for her helmet imaging. The technician put a stocking (she could see and breathe) over her head and breezy Kate smiled through the whole thing. Bless her breezy, happy little soul.

A week or two later, we went back in for her fitting. They put the helmet on, made an adjustment or two, and we were off.  Initially, it’s advised to look for red spots after a few hours and she had them, so I was too nervous to let her sleep in it. We went back in for one more adjustment and had zero issues from that point on. The first night in her helmet, it took maybe 15 minutes to fall back asleep and she’s been fine sense.

The helmet should stay on 23 hours a day. It is recommended to take it off for an hour during bath time. At that point, we clean it with 70% isopropyl alcohol and do our best to make Kate’s head not smell like a foot (sorry Kate). My friends warned me about the smell but my god. It smells like a men’s locker room – so, so offensive. 

We have fitting/adjustment appointments every two weeks, and those take about 20 minutes. Again, easy. 

I ordered her name sticker from this etsy shop. She’s working on a custom vinyl sticker (no white background) for us. 

Here’s a photo taken right before she got her helmet, and exactly one month later. The progress is pretty incredible, isn’t it? 

And to answer some of your questions

does she overheat?

it’s still pretty cool here, but she does sweat at night. I keep a dyson cooling fan (pricey but I have one in our room and love it – it works as a heater or mini AC) in her room and make sure the temp doesn’t go above 68-69. She loves her weighted sleep sack and I didn’t want to take that away from her with the addition of the helmet, but worried she’d get too hot. 

is this developmental or cosmetic?

In Kate’s case it is 100% cosmetic. Sometimes, babies have muscular issues, like only sleeping on one side or not being able to turn their heads. Some need PT. 

How did you make the decision to move forward? 

Our pediatrician recommended it. If Cranial Technologies had been on the fence I don’t know that we would have done it, but they said she needed it and showed us why. We are not experts and they are, so we did what the experts told us to do. 

When did you realize it wasn’t going to self-correct? 

We probably could have had her evaluated early but it didn’t feel urgent and our pediatrician said we could wait, so we did. I just listened to our doctor. 

Was it obvious that she needed a helmet? 

Probably? It wasn’t great but at one point looked better, and we know she’ll have hair eventually. No one wore cranial helmets when we were babies and it felt like another thing to deal with. But yes, once she hit 7 months, it seemed obvious. 

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