Dear Henry, your life in a helmet
Oxygen came out and not too long after we added a helmet... Have you seen a baby in a helmet and wondered whats wrong? I had... until we were told that Henry would need one.
This kid just can't catch a break!
There are a couple of different reasons you would need a helmet for Henry it was because he had a flat head or "positional plaguecephaly". Anything under a 3mm difference in circumference is considered normal, Henry's was at 15mm. We were told that he would need to be in the helmet or a "cranial band" for anywhere from 2-5 months... it took 7. I thought it might be interesting to document the process.. here it is.
It all starts with a referral from the pediatrician followed a by a few weeks of insurance hassle. Then finally your appointment. The first appointment is just a consult and measure. The second appointment they put a cap on and scan the head into a computer for accurate measurements. Then 2 weeks later your helmet comes in!
You can get any color you want, and they have a bunch of designs to choose from, we chose white so we could paint or add stickers.. Once you have the first fitting they mark for the ears and eyes and do some fine tuning in the office. You walk out of that appointment in a helmet and are told to gradually increase time wearing it so they can get use to it.
At the clinic they use the same line on every parent "This will be harder for you then the baby". Your know what? They are right, at first I went through a little bit of embarrassment, wondering who was staring at Henry and what they were thinking of him. I came to realize very quickly that people are very curious and kind when they approach to ask about it. I also found out that so many people know or have a kid thats in a helmet.
I ordered stickers from a website called blingyourband.com as soon as we got home and I spent 5 hours cutting, placing and gluing them to R2-D2 perfection! I wanted Henry to look back at these pictures and think of it as a fun time. It wasn't long before his helmet just became a part of his everyday life. You are supposed to keep it on for 23 hours a day, if I'm honest he wore his for 16-20 a day, which is why he ended up in it for so long. Consistency is key, but for me if Henry got too hot or antsy I would give him a break.
Every month we had to go into the clinic and get measured, and month after month we left with just 2-3 mm change. Baby steps...
until that magical day... He made it!
I'm so proud of this tiny man and his beautifully round head!
I had a friend post on Facebook pleading with everyone to please make sure you do tummy time with your baby, and how this will prevent a flat head, while this will help it's not an end all. Having a baby in a helmet doesn't mean you're a lazy parent or that you're doing it wrong. People who don't know your story and give out parenting advice really irk me. Let's all just step back, leave the judgement behind and live your own life. We are all just faking it anyways right, just doing the best we can with the hand we are dealt...