Author Topic: Infant helmets for flat heads  (Read 1349 times)

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Infant helmets for flat heads
« on: May 23, 2018, 06:51:02 PM »
Not sure of a better way to title this...  has anyone dealt with getting the helmet to reshape your infant's head?  Has anyone been borderline on getting one? What made you decide to go one way or another?

We have the potential for one as daughter has a flat back of head area due to sleeping on one spot 95% of the time.

Going to the "measurement" at a national chain location, it sounded more of a sales pitch.  Of course everyone will be a good fit for the helmet, that's what they're selling.

If she needs the thing, I'm all for it. Cost is not an issue.  It's the "does she really need this thing" that I'm questioning.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 09:29:26 PM »
What is her doctor's opinion?

Cassie

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4262
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 10:35:40 PM »
Did your daycare provider not rotate her sleeping position? Yes I would do whatever is necessary @at this point.

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2018, 05:44:11 AM »
Doctor and PT both said she is borderline and most likely will grow out of it, but no guarantees.

I'm daycare =) and changing sleeping positions didn't work. She has minor torticollis that we've been working on fixing, hence the PT.  It makes her favor sleeping to one side.  There have been improvements with her and that has helped immensely.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

claire.harris

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Location: Manchester, England
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2018, 08:06:35 AM »
Our 18 month old had a flat back-of-head as an infant and we were told not to bother with a helmet as it would likely correct itself once she grew and stopped sleeping on her back. It has!

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3919
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2018, 08:11:07 AM »
How old is she right now?

My babe had the same thing. Once she started rolling it went away. I bought a fancy pillow off amazon for about $100.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10911
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2018, 08:22:34 AM »
Why does a flat back of the heat matter?

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2018, 08:36:12 AM »
She's 6 months.  It's about the time you would consider getting the helmet.  She just started rolling both ways which should help.

I do think this would correct itself, as she continues to move and get into different sleep positions. Though I would feel terrible if it didn't...  not really correctable after a certain point. 

To the why does it matter?  It's basically cosmetic.  Though I've heard it can give problems with fitting glasses and such in the future.  I know that it's cosmetic, but i wouldn't want a lopsided head, so why not fix it now while there is a chance... 

Dilemmas. Again, money isn't the issue, insurance "should" cover most of it and we're basically at OOP max anyway. It's the "why put her in a helmet 23 hours a day for 2 months with additional appointments and follow ups if it corrects itself anyway."


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7757
  • Age: 60
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2018, 09:04:01 AM »
Though I've heard it can give problems with fitting glasses and such in the future. 
Hmmm, did you happen to "hear" that from someone trying to sell you a helmet?
I did it! I have a journal!
A Lot Like This
And hell yes, I am still moving confidently in the direction of my dreams...

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3919
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2018, 09:05:55 AM »
I’ll tell you what I did.

Babyjoy had slight flat head and a bit of a bald spot from lying only on her back. So I took birds eye photos of her head as a starting point, and gave myself one month to see if it would improve. I marked the calendar. And I bought fancy pillows (pillows with a hole so they put no pressure on the back of the head) and used them whenever she was awake and lying down. I even had one on the change table.

Her flat head was mild but I was very upset and worried! I forget the ages, but the nurse mentioned it about a month before babyjoy started rolling. I didn’t notice before that.

Anyways once she started rolling it resolved over time. She’s now 9.5 months and has a round noggin. It’s hard to decide what to do. Best wishes!

Oh- I also made certain for my 1-month trial that she was ONLY lying on her back with her head flat while sleeping. Every other second or the day I was carrying her or having her practice tummy time.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3919
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2018, 09:07:09 AM »
Also this is really really common! Shockingly so! Be kind to yourself / many parents have had this happen but don’t talk about it much <3

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2018, 09:58:52 AM »
Though I've heard it can give problems with fitting glasses and such in the future. 
Hmmm, did you happen to "hear" that from someone trying to sell you a helmet?

I really felt the helmet "evaluation" was half sales pitch, but they were clear to tell me that this is cosmetic. 

I read the other piece online somewhere. Not sure if there's truth to it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2018, 09:59:25 AM »
Also this is really really common! Shockingly so! Be kind to yourself / many parents have had this happen but don’t talk about it much <3
So we've come to find out!  It stresses my wife out much more than me. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2018, 10:02:11 AM »
I’ll tell you what I did.

Babyjoy had slight flat head and a bit of a bald spot from lying only on her back. So I took birds eye photos of her head as a starting point, and gave myself one month to see if it would improve. I marked the calendar. And I bought fancy pillows (pillows with a hole so they put no pressure on the back of the head) and used them whenever she was awake and lying down. I even had one on the change table.

Her flat head was mild but I was very upset and worried! I forget the ages, but the nurse mentioned it about a month before babyjoy started rolling. I didn’t notice before that.

Anyways once she started rolling it resolved over time. She’s now 9.5 months and has a round noggin. It’s hard to decide what to do. Best wishes!

Oh- I also made certain for my 1-month trial that she was ONLY lying on her back with her head flat while sleeping. Every other second or the day I was carrying her or having her practice tummy time.

We've been doing a lot of the same, keeping her off her back, stretches, tummy time, sitting up, changing how we hold and feed her, etc, but I was fighting 18-20 hours of sleep time.

I've seen the pillows and would definitely consider that, though they "aren't recommended by the sleep association/ SIDS risk thing," which my wife has some concerns about. 

I appreciate all the feedback so far!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yankuba

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1227
  • Location: Long Island, NY
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2018, 10:03:39 AM »
My son had low muscle tone, torticollis and a very flat head. He needed PT for the low muscle tone and many of the kids in PT had helmets for flat heads. The doctors generally say it's a cosmetic issue and do as you wish when it comes to a helmet. We got the helmet and used it religiously for a few months and our son's head got less flat. It's still flatter than norm, but I don't think he will get teased over it or develop a complex.

If cost isn't an issue then I recommend getting the helmet because kids that young don't mind wearing the helmet and why shouldn't they have a nice round head? The earlier you get the helmet the better the results. Once your child has the helmet people will come over to you and tell you about so and so who also has a helmet. It's not so unusual anymore.

One difference - you have a daughter and I have a son. Boys have shorter hair in the back so the flat head is more noticeable with boys than girls.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3919
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2018, 10:05:31 AM »
I’ll tell you what I did.

Babyjoy had slight flat head and a bit of a bald spot from lying only on her back. So I took birds eye photos of her head as a starting point, and gave myself one month to see if it would improve. I marked the calendar. And I bought fancy pillows (pillows with a hole so they put no pressure on the back of the head) and used them whenever she was awake and lying down. I even had one on the change table.

Her flat head was mild but I was very upset and worried! I forget the ages, but the nurse mentioned it about a month before babyjoy started rolling. I didn’t notice before that.

Anyways once she started rolling it resolved over time. She’s now 9.5 months and has a round noggin. It’s hard to decide what to do. Best wishes!

Oh- I also made certain for my 1-month trial that she was ONLY lying on her back with her head flat while sleeping. Every other second or the day I was carrying her or having her practice tummy time.

We've been doing a lot of the same, keeping her off her back, stretches, tummy time, sitting up, changing how we hold and feed her, etc, but I was fighting 18-20 hours of sleep time.

I've seen the pillows and would definitely consider that, though they "aren't recommended by the sleep association/ SIDS risk thing," which my wife has some concerns about. 

I appreciate all the feedback so far!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yeah I didn’t let my babe sleep on a pillow. But just pre-rolling she would hang out on her back sometimes. Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2538
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2018, 02:41:18 PM »
We got one for our son. It was expensive. I think it depends on who you ask and what you want. I think it really is a cosmetic issue. At most the helmet will help things from getting 'worse' in terms of the flat spot. It's a bit of a pain, and not very comfortable for the kid but they do get used to it. Also have to deal with cleaning it and what not. The PT will tell you to try to force them to sit up, do tummy time, hold them a certain way, etc to prevent the helmet. Whether or not it helped? I can still kinda tell our son has a 'flat' spot in the back but I think as they grow older it's less noticeable... or you just get used to it. I don't know, I'm a bit torn on what to tell people when they ask if it's really something they should do or not. Is it necessary? Probably *not* in most cases but some people still may feel more comfortable proceeding to do it anyway. It's really based on personal preference...
My Journal - https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-next-step

Sign up for OhmConnect and save money on your electric bill! - https://ohm.co/jplee3ya

Freedomin5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 883
  • Location: China
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2018, 07:12:02 PM »
i second lifejoyís recommendation. I would change her sleeping position (but would not use pillows ó AMA does not recommend using pillows before age one due to risk of suffocation). Or slightly turn her head the other way rather than having her lie on the same spot on her head.

If there is no improvements after a month, I would consider the helmet. At this age theyíre not going to remember wearing a helmet for a month or two.

Some posters commented that itís more notceable for boys than for girls. I disagree. Itís equally notceable in girls. Especially when they try to tie their hair up.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3919
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2018, 07:40:21 PM »
I think it would also be relevant to tell you that I’m super paranoid about my baby’s head and even though it’s super round now, I’m always like OMG is it as round as it should be???

So if cost is not an issue and it might give your wife peace of mind, why not get the helmet just to feel like you did everything you possibly could’ve?

SimpleCycle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2018, 09:45:40 PM »
Both our kids had flat heads, our first more than our second.

Our pediatrician said that there was no medical justification for helmets in mild to moderate plagiocephaly, but that they did show some improvement for severe cases, especially if there is facial asymmetry.

There is a single randomized controlled trial of helmets for moderate plagiocephaly that found no difference between the treatment and control groups.

There is a later observational study that found that a conservatively treated group (repositioning, physical therapy for torticollis, and progressing to helmet therapy if no improvement by a certain time) had full correction 92.1% of the time (77.1% with repositioning, another 15% with helmet therapy), while a helmet therapy group had full correction 94.4% of the time.  The difference was statistically significant, but I'd say not actually meaningful

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25415272

Ultimately, we decided no helmets, and now that our kids are older we're fine with their head shape.

SimpleCycle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Location: Chicago
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2018, 09:47:51 PM »
Oh, and for repositioning, we turned her in her crib 180 degrees.  She was always turning her head to see out, so we made "out" be on the non-flat side of her head.

AlexK

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Sparks, NV
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2018, 10:33:33 PM »
They didn't have these helmets when I was a kid, never saw another kid wearing one. Where are all the adults with misshapen heads? That right there tells me it's a scam to get your money.

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2018, 11:02:19 PM »
They didn't have these helmets when I was a kid, never saw another kid wearing one. Where are all the adults with misshapen heads? That right there tells me it's a scam to get your money.
It's become a much more common issue since the "back to sleep" change in the mid 90's.  The PT says 50% of her work is on these infants right now.

Google image search a bit and you'll find some of the severe cases.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Allie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2227
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2018, 11:33:41 PM »
Though I've heard it can give problems with fitting glasses and such in the future. 
Hmmm, did you happen to "hear" that from someone trying to sell you a helmet?

My son had torticullis and what seemed like a softer than average head...he flattened on one side at an angle and it pushed one if his ears forward.  You can't tell unless you look down at him from the top of his head as long as he has hair.  He'll never be able to shave his head without looking bizarre and glasses will have to be extensively modified if he ever needs them.  I kinda wish we had tried a helmet, but we were told it would likely round out and the studies didn't support a helmet as making a big difference. 

My daughter developed a flat spot right on the back of her head, nice and symmetrical.  Hers is completely unnoticeable and I think it rounded quite a bit.  But, she didn't have the torticullis impacting her ability to look around. 


mld

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2018, 11:32:33 AM »
My oldest has a big head and by 4 months we had noticed this issue.

Iíll tell you what I did.

Babyjoy had slight flat head and a bit of a bald spot from lying only on her back. So I took birds eye photos of her head as a starting point, and gave myself one month to see if it would improve. I marked the calendar. And I bought fancy pillows (pillows with a hole so they put no pressure on the back of the head) and used them whenever she was awake and lying down. I even had one on the change table.

Her flat head was mild but I was very upset and worried! I forget the ages, but the nurse mentioned it about a month before babyjoy started rolling. I didnít notice before that.

Anyways once she started rolling it resolved over time. Sheís now 9.5 months and has a round noggin. Itís hard to decide what to do. Best wishes!

Oh- I also made certain for my 1-month trial that she was ONLY lying on her back with her head flat while sleeping. Every other second or the day I was carrying her or having her practice tummy time.

We've been doing a lot of the same, keeping her off her back, stretches, tummy time, sitting up, changing how we hold and feed her, etc, but I was fighting 18-20 hours of sleep time.

I've seen the pillows and would definitely consider that, though they "aren't recommended by the sleep association/ SIDS risk thing," which my wife has some concerns about. 

I did the exact same picture thingy and also all of the above. I would let baby sleep on the pillow during naps if I was right near by but it did make me nervous so I limited that.
Another thing I did was lots of time in the baby carrier and ideally one nap in there to cut down on the sleep time on the back.

Slowly saw the pretty flat spot move on to a rounder normal head shape in the matter of a few months and now at 3 everything looks really normal :). Also around 6-7 mo baby switched to sleeping on his sides which, I think, helped a lot.

malacca

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
  • Location: Malaysia!!!
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2018, 05:51:28 AM »
Due to parental neglect our son had a flat side. We were traveling a lot and he never complained or cried. He was happy to sit in the car seat (the removable part). As he looked to one side all the time and seat is harder than a pillow he had a flat side.

We got a helmet fit for him. Worked well.

Upside is that he never banged his head when he fell! Maybe that is why he has a fairly high IQ - who knows.

I retired at 40. Have been having / raising kids since. Now "traveliving" the world while educating the kids.

Papa bear

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2018, 07:53:00 AM »
Both the PT and pediatrician don't think the head shape necessitates anything right now and it kind of contradicts the prosthetic company's "severe" measurements.

We're holding off for another few weeks before any decisions.  It has started to remedy on its own so far with increased mobility and new sleeping positions.  She's been kicking butt!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3919
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2018, 08:50:27 AM »
Both the PT and pediatrician don't think the head shape necessitates anything right now and it kind of contradicts the prosthetic company's "severe" measurements.

We're holding off for another few weeks before any decisions.  It has started to remedy on its own so far with increased mobility and new sleeping positions.  She's been kicking butt!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That’s great news!

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3677
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2018, 05:52:32 AM »
My son has mild plagiocephaly and had moderate to sever tortocollis. I think the only reason his head isn't more misshapen is because he wouldn't bloody sleep in a crib so I babywpre him all the time.

His wasn't bad enough for a helmet but it is still quite noticeable if he wears his hair short. Given he'll probably go bald as an adult, I feel bad that at some point his misshapen head will be visible.

I also feel bad that as a first time mom it took me 7 months and an unrelated PT appointment (he was developmentally delayed) to realize it wasn't normal that he always kept his head turned to one side. With my second kid I was religious about turning her head both directions.
Journal:  http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/mayday's-journal/350/  featuring children, chickens (new!) and other ch words.

uphillslide

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Infant helmets for flat heads
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2018, 02:46:51 PM »
Our son also had mild plagiocephaly and had moderate tortocollis. He significantly favored one side as an infant. It was all we could do to correct this behavior and was a source of frustration along with some other early challenges. His head was noticeably flat in the back on one side. We got three opinions. They ranged from "get a helmet now, what are you doing!" to "it's very borderline; your call." His primary care physician, fwiw, told us we should do something about it too, purely from a cosmetic standpoint.

There was a study done by NIH I believe that suggested the helmets don't do nearly as much as the companies advertise. This was released about a month after our decision. We brought it to our pediatrician's attention. He laughed and basically said "you guys made a good call ignoring me."

A couple other factors: It would have been a considerable out of pocket expense for us, several thousand, as insurance didn't cover. He had many follow up appts with doctors due to monitoring an early challenge that also, incidentally, went away or never was. Having a helmet on his head was like salt in a wound for new parents who already felt stretched to max emotionally over their baby.

In the end, we opted against it. It seemed superficial compared to the other ongoing care requirements. He grew out of the tortocollis. His plagiocephaly improved. It's completely unnoticeable now to everyone except us and the woman who cuts his hair. She actually smooths it out by letting one side grow a tiny bit longer. If he shaves his head, yeah maybe you'd see it if you were looking closely. If he shaves his head, that's on him. If he loses his hair one day, he'd have to lose almost all of it as it's really in the back part if his head.