Helmet for Plageocephaly - Any tips?


#1

We just ordered a helmet for one of our twins - it is one of the Band-types and should be here in a week or so. Her plageocephaly is on the mild side, I think, and they are estimating she will need the helmet for 2-4 months.

Does anyone have any tips for me? The things I’m concerned with or wondering about:

I picture sleeping with a big helmet on, and feel like I’d get a kinked neck. Is that the case? Should I prop her body up while she’s sleeping to make her head line up right?

What about the carseat - same concern, will her head get pushed forward?

Is her hair going to all fall out? Just curious on that one, I’m sure if it does it will grow back fast.

Is this going to be horrible getting used to? Am I in for some serious crying and a miserable baby?

I feel good about the decision to get the helmet, but I would love any advice to make this as easy as possible.

Thanks!


#2

I haven’t experienced this myself as my little man ended up not needing one however; my sister in law had one for thier little guy. He had a unkowen neck injury from her c-section and they didn’t take him in about his neck until he was 4 months old. Poor thing couldn’t turn his head to the right for 4 months. He had to wear it for six months. It sounds like your case must be mild if they are only thinking 2-4 at most.

They did find he lost a little bit of hair were the helmet would rub as be grew thats how they knew he needed an adjustment cause his head was growing but after about a month he didn’t mind it at all and he had to wear it 23 out of 24hrs of the day. Only off for baths and dressing him. He was a bit delayed with rolling over and crawling due to the helmet but when it came off he caught up very fast.

Wish I had more info for you. Good luck!

Happy Holidays!


#3

sculi, I dont have any advice but I wanted to share that I am taking my 6 month old into the neurosurg tommorrow for a consult regarding a helmet. Its such a hard decision because some people say their kids head rounded out and others swear by the helmet…

I’m just sad for all the superficial reasons… I dont think that she will notice and i hear they sleep well with them… how old are your twins??


#4

I have an appt Thursday for our Ped. to look at my sons head. It hasn’t gotten better and we are noticing that it’s difficult for him to turn his head to the left side. I’m feeling mommy guilt that I didn’t notice it sooner. Any tips on positions/exercises that you do to help?


#5

hey, i just wanted to share my experience as well. my son wore a hanger helmet for 3-4 months. if you’re doing one of the DOC band type helmets, i think they may actually be what’s called a dynamic helmet. our type required the baby to grow and as he grew, the helmet encouraged his skull to change in a certain way. i’m thinking the band helmets actually mold the skull more so they may work faster. we saw a ton of improvement right at first and then it was like his head stopped growing and we weren’t seeing much change at all. we finally said, you know what, it looks way better and if it’ll continue to change a little on its own, we’re fine w/ the progress we’ve made. so we took the helmet off a little early. the only downside was that it stunk (but it was during the summer ane he sweated more) and i hated going out in public in it b/c i know people think we either dropped our kid and broke his head or that he had some kind of brain trauma. he didn’t mind wearing it AT ALL. it never bothered him a bit. he slept just fine, rode in his car seat just fine, no problems. we would give him a 2 hr break every night b/c it needed time to dry after we washed it out. they said 1 hr w/o the helmet but we fudged and the orthotist knew we were doing that and he said it was ok. i don’t think it actually rubbed his hair off but his hair wasn’t growing. it stayed very thin and that’s probably why. it’s a good bit thicker now and growing faster. overall i’d say don’t worry about it too much b/c it’s going to bother you way worse than it bothers your baby. good luck and i hope it works quickly for you!


#6

oh, i forgot…instead of getting a pattern on his helmet, i wanted it more personalized so i ordered some decals from a place called bling your band. they were cute but our design had some small pieces/letters that came off a couple time. (but the lady sent us extras at no charge when i emailed her)

ara, it sounds like your baby has torticollis? they said that’s why about 80% of kids need a helmet. they can’t turn their head a certain way b/c of their neck muscles and it ends up getting misshapen on one side. my baby didn’t have that so i don’t know much about it. i would definitely look into physical therapy if i were you, though.


#7

One of my BFF’s twins wears (for like 2 weeks now)and helmet and my nephew wore one for a year. both are/were bald as q-balls but don’t seem to have any negative effects. It seems to be really common and a lot more tramatic on Mom & Dad than it is on baby. :slight_smile:
Good luck!


#8

Thanks for the feedback everyone - I appreciate it and I’m starting to relax about the whole thing :slight_smile: We are getting a StarBand - it sounds like the bands are the way to go.

Mak27 - Our girls just turned 6 months. It sounds like this is a very good age to start the helmets.

Ara - Our baby also has Torticollis, so she likes to hang her head down to the left, looking right. The exercises the physical therapist showed us at her first appointment were to hold her shoulders down (while she’s laying on her back) and bend her head ear-to-shoulder and hold for 30 seconds. Kissing her neck makes her think it is a game, so she doesn’t fuss too bad. Then we hold her shoulders and make her look at some toys or something on the ground to her left (since she looks right naturally). Basically we’re always trying to trick her into looking left over her shoulder, to try to stretch and strengthen those muscles. Also, lots of tummy time is supposed to help it.

Coba, for the tips and the decal idea. We got a pattern printed (pink with butterflies) but now I keep seeing all these pictures with decals like the baby’s name, and it’s pretty cute. I might look into adding something like that to hers.


#9

To help with the babies turning their heads and relaxing their muscles you may want to try chiropractic care. We started taking our DD at about 6 weeks. She went 4 or 5 times. I may take her again soon. They do not crack the babies neck joints or anything. It is basically a very mild massage of the neck and back. The baby doesn’t mind, it doesn’t hurt and it is very quick. It helped our DD with sleeping and digestion.

Many babies have neck and muscle issues from being crammed in the womb and from injuries or stresses from being birthed or just from being a baby. Chiro is very gentle and worth a look into.