Flash forward really fast -- We ultimately decided to go with a cranial band [helmet] for James. During my research, I was really searching for a testimonial or input from other parents who had been in our shoes. I found lots of things about severe cases, but not many moderate cases, like James's. So I'm throwing this out there, at the very beginning, to share some tidbits about our experience and hopefully put a fellow mom's mind at ease.
WHERE WE'VE BEEN
At every well-check, our wonderful pediatrician would mention the flat spot on his head, and of course, we always agree to do our fair share of tummy time. James has been in daycare since he was 2 months old, so we've only had so much control over that throughout the day. Combined with sleeping 12-hour stretches at night on his back (insert praise hands emoji), we now have a perfectly healthy, gorgeous baby....with a little flat head.
At 8 months, we decided to seek the opinion of a local specialist about his head. Sure enough, she suggested that due to his age, they recommend the cranial band. After much debate and discovering that insurance isn't going to assist us with coverage, Andrew and I decided that it's in his best interest to go ahead and do it. Our thought - if someone ever bullied or picked on him because of his head shape, it would break my heart to know we could have done something about it.
For those wondering about specifics, James's measurements were 12mm in diagonal difference [moderate] and his CI was 92% [mild brachysephaly], which they thought may improve slightly with age.
So....a couple of weeks ago, sweet baby James got his head measured and molded for his new helmet. After seeing a couple of unsettling photos of babies getting fitted, I was really nervous, but James lived up to his nickname and handled the whole process like an angel baby.
Our therapist first put a breathable stocking over James's head and then proceeded to overlay strips of wet plaster-covered fabric over it. Since he can easily sit up on his own, this made things much easier because he could sit up and play while she was doing her job - our job was distracting James. They kept the room very toasty since he was down to his diaper and the water would drip on his shoulders a bit. It didn't take long until he wanted a bowl water for himself to splash around in.
Almost done! The whole process took about 20 minutes. Once she had all of the plaster strips in place, she was able to snip the part covering his mouth while we let the plaster harden. Sidenote: James is obsessed with watching the Robin Hood "Oo De Lally" song on YouTube. We pull it out whenever we need him to sit still for a sec.
Once it dried, she wiggled the plaster cast right off! They had a sink bath waiting for him so we could clean the remaining plaster off. This is the only time he was a little uncomfortable and fussy - the tub was better suited for a smaller baby, and since it was mostly a sponge bath, he got a little too cool before we could dry off.
WHERE WE ARE NOW
Right now, the helmet is in production. We'll go back in on Tuesday, when it arrives, for his fitting!
We were originally told that James would likely wear his cranial band for about 10-14 weeks [max] for about 21 hours a day. He'd get 3 one-hour breaks for skin checks and free-reign wiggling throughout the day.
Overall we're incredibly optimistic about it! I keep saying it couldn't come at a better time. James is pulling up and cruising ALL THE TIME [more in his 9-month update] so the extra protection will serve him well.
I hope to share a couple more updates on this when he gets his helmet - how he adjusts and the progress - as well as before and after pictures when it's all said and done!