Jan 26, 2016

Cranial Helmet

We've survived our first week of our Hanger Clinic cranial band or cranial helmet. I thought I'd do a recap post for those who are thinking about a cranial band and for those curious about our week.

I should back up, though, and give a little history. Charlie developed a flat head early in his life. He was not born with it, nor do we think it was a birth defect or injury. He just spent too much time on his back as an infant and it didn't correct itself naturally. His pediatrician first mentioned it his 2 month check up. We did our best to keep him off of his back, but there's only so much you can do. At the 6 month check up she mentioned it again, but said we still had time for it to fix on its on. It did not. At the 9 month appointment she referred us to the Hanger Clinic and were told Charlie needed the helmet. We hemmed and hawed, especially after we discovered our insurance would not cover it.

Ultimately we decided it needed to be done. If we could do something about it, we should. So last Monday, the 18th, we got our helmet. Charlie was very patient through the scanning process, a week and a half earlier, and was patient still when we first got the helmet.

It came with the arrow sticker so we'd know where to line it up with his nose at first.

The first day he was to wear it one hour on, one hour off and not while sleeping. I think he wore it a total of 3.5 hours that whole day. He was great with it. Towards the end of the hour he'd start touching the helmet, obviously a little tired of it, but he didn't fuss too much.

Day two he wore it for two hours on, one hour off, not while sleeping. I took him to church in the morning and the nursery kept him distracted. He didn't complain at all about the helmet. (He also picked up a cold!)

By Wednesday we tried napping with it. It didn't go so well in his crib, but I caught him snoozing in the car after church.

He did not nap well the first few days. But in all fairness he also developed a cold by his fourth day in the helmet. I think the cold had more to do with it than anything. He was still his active, toddler self!

The helmet does greatly affect their body temperature and causes a lot of sweating. This was after 6 hours on.

He slept in it for the last two nights and we are now into the 23 hours on/1 hour off.

Things we've learned:
- Take the adjusting body temperature into account! I think he would have slept better those first few days if we dressed him down a little. Currently we have him in a t-shirt and diaper. He's just fine despite it being in the 40s outside.
- Avoid sickness.
- Babies are so resilient and they adapt much quicker than you expect.

If you have any questions or concerns about the cranial band, please email me or comment below. I'd love to talk to anyone considering the process.

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