If you are reading this you probably were told by your baby's doctor noted that your child needs a helmet or your baby is like Braden and currently is wearing a helmet. Anyway here are some things that I've learned throughout the process to make your process easier.
I'm a new mom. Braden is my first son so, when his doctor said that he needed a helmet I was nervous and confused. Is it going to hurt him if he doesn't get one? How much is it going to cost? Would I be a bad mom if I didn't make him an appointment to get a helmet? There were so many questions I kept asking myself.
Why do babies need cranial bands?
Cranial bands are a type of treatment that babies receive while their skulls are still malleable that will correct flatness and misformations of skulls.
1. The first thing I want to mention is that it is no way your fault. Your child could have been that they were stuck and the womb positioning could have caused it. If you had twins or triplets there probably wasn't enough room. Maybe they just hated tummy time and were always laying on their backs. I know a lot of babies used the Rock N' Plays a lot causing their head to flat but, whatever the cause is, you are not to blame. Your child's head could just be more malleable than others.
2. When I got home the first thing I did after his doctor mentioning a helmet to me was I researched helmets and called the doctor to get his first evaluation. A helmet is going to be harder on you then it will for your baby. I thought he'd try to tear it off and his head would fall over because, of it being heavy. That was not the case. He never minded his helmet. Its also super lightweight. They weigh only about 5-6oz. Think of it this way. They are learning to crawl and walk around, a little protection around their head will actually be good to protect them from bumps and bruises.
3. Braden has never minded the band. They are all made hypoallergenic. It doesn't bother him taking it off and on. He sleeps normally in the band. I think of it as an accessory that is helping him. The only problem we have is that babies have extra fat so it made his face looked wrinkled but, his doctor said it was completely normal.
4. Helmets can be very costly. They range anywhere from $2,300 - $4,000 and insurance doesn't always cover the cost. If your insurance doesn't get approved you can have your pediatrician submit a form also or some places will include payment plans.
5. Helmets can be time-consuming. The average time frame is 3-4 months but it could take longer depending on your child. Braden has to wear his for 3 months 23-hours a day. He also appointments every 2 weeks to check that he is on the right path. They make them according to how they want your child's head to grow so, every band looks a little different and will change over time. Helmets only work if you commit to it.
6. Helmets do smell and your child will get sweaty. Heat leaves your body through your head and feet so, wearing a hat locks heat in. The same goes well with helmets. Braden's doctor told us to dress him light so if he's wearing long sleeve then no socks and if you want them to wear socks then have them in a short-sleeve shirt. Braden is always missing his pants at home when he has his band on. You will also need to clean the helmet every day with 70% alcohol.
7. Changing their clothes can be difficult. Trying to slide shirts over the helmet is hard. I found that getting a size up works perfect or stay stylish in zip-up PJ's if you don't want to struggle with the hassle of taking the helmet on and off every time you change their clothes.
8. People will stare. It's 2020 and everyone likes to get involved in everyone's business. Instead of letting them stare you can educate them about helmets. Maybe they never heard of them before. You might of not even heard of them before your child's doctor mentioned it to you.
9. Find a support group. We are surrounded by technology in our everyday lives. There are many mommy/daddy support groups. You can also find cranial band support groups. There are more and more baby's needing bands` to help shape their heads. You are not the only one going through this.
10. There are ways to correct and prevent misshaping of the skull. You can start physical therapy, try special massages at home, increase the amount of tummy time, or use a head shaping pillow that you can buy on Amazon.
11. Your child will thank you in the future. You don't want them growing up and dislike their head shape when you could have done something to correct it while they were young.
12. Make your helmet fun! You can customize their helmet according to your child's personality. Acrylic paint works great. We clear coated it t make sure the paint stayed shiny and clear. You can also find people to ETSY that will customize the helmet how you'd like. I also found this company that sells stickers just for helmets to keep your child in style. We just used regular dinosaur stickers for the back and clear coated them on with the paint.
13. Celebrate when the process is over. You will receive a certificate from the doctor. Buy some balloons. We don't celebrate little accomplishes often so, when something good happens to make time to celebrate together.
*** Britt's Creative Crafts were not paid to write this article in any way. I wanted to share my experience with all of you to make yours a little easier. ***