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Posts about Colton's Cleft Lip and Palate surgeries as well as the Triplets' Cranial Bands are along the sidebar.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Before and After Helmet Heads!

You know...I often forget how long our kids wore their Cranial Bands (their helmets, as we called them.) While at the first few appointments, it seemed like they'd be wearing them forever, it now feels like it was only a month. Let me just say THANK YOU one more time to our orthotist, Liz Chabot. I actually miss visiting with her every few weeks at our helmet check-ups because she was just so pleasant and SO amazing with babies. Think about it. To be able to put a sock on a baby's head, then run a scanner wand all around them, WHILE clicking her measuring tape as a distraction, WHILE looking at her computer, and THEN putting a helmet on that baby?? That's amazing. To do that on THREE babies is freakin' genius! Liz, we were meant to meet you in this lifetime! Thank you for everything you did for us and for making helmet wearing no big deal!

So it occurred to me that I never showed you all the results of our head shaping project. Yes, all three babies had misshapen heads (Plagiocephaly & Torticollis). So at about 6 months old, we actually started wearing helmets. (Well, I say 'we' but i really mean 'they'.) :) The whole process started a few months before then, as we had to first go through the insurance maze, and then get fitted and wait for our helmets to arrive!

If you have a child who may need this type of corrective measure, it is NOT that bad! Honestly. It did seem very wrong at first to be putting our kids to sleep in what was essentially a football helmet, but not one baby ever cried about it. I honestly don't think they even noticed them.

They wore them for 23 hours a day. The other hour, we would remove the helmet, to let their heads "breathe" and also give the kids a bath AND give the helmets a bath! Because yes, after wearing a helmet for 23 hours in Arizona, their heads and their helmets get sweaty and stinky. We just washed the helmets with a mild soap and water, then rinsed them really thoroughly and then dried them off with a washcloth and even the hairdryer. We always found it helpful to then dust the inside of each helmet with baby powder. And then back on they'd go! We went for check ups about every 3 weeks. At these appointments, Liz would make sure the helmets weren't rubbing in any one spot. If it was, she would "shave" off some of the foam so that there was no abrasion.

The helmets are not designed to "squeeze" the head, but rather fit closely on the areas of the head that were protruding, leaving open spaces where the head "was supposed to go." The helmet encouraged the skull to grow into those open spaces. And they totally work! It was amazing to me how much better the babies' heads are! The photos I have below are before and afters from a bird's eye view. Hunter's got a stubborn head. Hers will continue to grow as she grows, but her head, in my opinion has the best before and after. (This picture doesn't really do it a justice. I'll see if I can find others for another post.

So anyway, here are our photos from our adventures in Helmet Land!

The top scan is the BEFORE 9-16-09
The lower scan is the AFTER 2-8-10
Total time: (about 5 1/2 months)
The top scan is the BEFORE 9-16-09
The lower scan is the AFTER (but not the final) I couldn't find that one at the moment...1-5-10 Total time: about 5 1/2 months
The top scan is the BEFORE 9-16-09
The lower scan is the AFTER 1-5-10
Total Time: 3 1/2 months


Mary said...

It is hard to believe that their heads changed that much! I am remembering those cute "sock on their head" pictures from their helmet fitting... How time flies!

Adrian said...

Do you want to know something super random (besides the way we met of course)?!?! I was just at TMC Outpatient Therapy taking my daughter to a feeding/speech therapist! We're sitting in the waiting room and I was looking around at all of the random stuff on the wall. Then all of the sudden I see YOU and your darling helmet wearing babies in a big newspaper article that is posted on the wall! How funny right?

I can't believe their little heads have changed so much! Thank goodness for modern technology and advancements! And I'm so happy we're blogging buddies too!

Ami said...

Adrian, what's even weirder is that a student at my school JUST told me the same thing last week! That is so funny! I had no idea they had that article there! Anyhoo, I'm glad we're blogging buddies (and jewelry buddies) too! :)

nsj said...

I have a question, my son is 6 months old and just got his helmet. How did your kids take it in the beginning, my son cries inconsolably when he wears his helmet touching his head and we haven't been able to keep it on for more than an hour. I know they have to get used to and all but is it normal that they cry so much? I noticed red marks on his cheeks when I take it off, Is it possible that the helmet is tight? And what do I do about the sweating? I am going to talk to the orthotist about this but any advise will be helpful.

Anonymous said...

First of all, sorry for my broken English. I am a Japanese. My son (second baby) was born 4 moths ago with a normal shape head. But 2 months later, I noticed that back of head became asymmetric. I feel guilty to him. A moths ago, I started helmet therapy for my son. It has worked quite well up until today. I feel quite happy with your boys and girl, since now they look quite good. I hope my son has good future like your boys and girl.

Anonymous said...

Muy son is 8 months and i still cant find a doctor that tales medacare for his helmet

Terah said...

Oh my goodness, I've been looking at your cute family on the wall of the Hanger Clinic at the KC Rehab Institute location. I just did a search to read about stories and tips and tricks for getting the kids adjusted to wearing helmets as we start this weekend. I know this is an old thread and you may not even see it - but I love your blog!

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