Friday, April 19, 2013

It's Helmet Time!

At Braden's two month appointment, the doctor told us that he had some flattening on the back of his head that she thought needed some attention. He favored his left side and would always look to the left when he was laying down, which made that side of his head flat. For over a month we did various exercises to try to make him turn to the right and tried to keep him off his back as much as possible. His neck got stronger so he could look both ways just as easily, but his head still had significant flattening. Our doctor decided to send us to a specialist to do some further tests and measurements to see if he needed a helmet to correct the problem. 

We met with that doctor on Wednesday and he said that Braden needed a helmet. Let the adventure begin! He said that Braden has a 12mm difference between the two diagonal measurements of his head (right side of forehead to the left side of the back of his head and vice versa....if that makes sense). Since Braden is only four months old, he said that the helmet would correct about 80% of the problem. If we had waited until he was nine months, he only could have fixed about 10%. Luckily, Braden doesn't have any face asymmetries like a crooked jaw or an uneven forehead. Apparently that can be pretty common with babies who have significant flattening. That was good news for us! So, Braden will have the helmet for three to four months and will wear it 23 hours a day. The hour he isn't wearing it, he'll be bathed and the helmet will be washed. The doctor said his head will get really sweaty and the helmet will start to stink if you don't wash it. Sounds fun huh? :)

We met with the doctor again today to get his head measured so the helmet can be custom fit to his head. I was blown away by the technology! They put a nylon skull cap on his head which was covered with tiny little reflective circle stickers. Then he took a laser gun (I don't know what else to call it) and moved it around his head. The lasers somehow picked up signals from the stickers and transmitted them to the computer. A 3D image was formed, which will be sent to the helmet manufacturers who will build a helmet that will fit Braden perfectly. It really was amazing to watch! The doctor said that a few years ago they had to cover the baby's head in plaster in order to make a mold. Thank goodness for new technology!

I really shouldn't laugh at these pictures, but the whole thing was just hilarious! He looked SO cute in his little skull cap and black cape. When he put little stickers on his nose and cheeks I just had to laugh! 

We know that the next 3-4 months won't be the easiest, but we're so grateful that it is something that can be fixed. We're doing our best to stay positive. If anyone has had a child with a helmet or knows someone who has and has some tips or advice for us, we would appreciate it!


  1. Oh Marie--that sweet boy! I love how you are trying to be positive about the whole thing. Patty and Grandma T. know people that have been through this and they can give you names and numbers. Love you three!

  2. marie! my roommate just went through this with her son. you can check out her blog here, so wrote about it some. i'm sure she'd love to tell you more too.

  3. He is so adorable. Ah! Love him! :) My sister-in-law just did a helmet with her baby girl, and it's off now. Really helped. Would you like her contact info? She would be so happy to chat or anything.