In the first few weeks of my son’s life, we realized that he had a strong preference turning his head to one particular side. No matter what I would do, every time I laid him down in his bassinet, he would shift his head to the right side. I started seeing the preference in the car seat carrier, in the swing, and even when he was laying on the ground playing on his mat. I would gently nudge his head to the other side, but he would always go back to his preferred side. Honestly, I didn’t think anything of it at the time.
When my son was two months old, I started noticing that the back-right side of his head was flattening out because of his preference to lean to one side (torticollis). So during the two-month wellness checkup, I brought it up to our pediatrician. She assured me that lots of babies get flat spots, and it will correct itself out by nine months.
By four months old, the flat spot wasn’t getting any better and in many ways, it had gotten much worse. We were then referred to a neurosurgeon who officially diagnosed our son with plagiocephaly or “flat head syndrome” and suggested that we have an evaluation at a cranial clinic. I had no idea what to expect when we arrived at the clinic but the orthotist was so helpful in making our son feel comfortable while they got a super quick scan of his head shape.
All of the measurements and discussion lead us down the path to deciding to place our son in a cranial STARband helmet, and I can honestly say that it was the best decision we could have made. I could rest easy knowing that the helmet would correct the flat spot vs. the wait and see approach. If my child’s head never rounded out on its own, then what?
The helmet did not seem to bother our son at all. I was worried that he wouldn’t adjust during overnight sleep, but the first night he actually slept the longest he ever had. The STARband helmet was also much lighter than I had imagined. Furthermore, it was also so much easier to pull on and off that I had anticipated.
During our helmet journey, our little guy was growing, which meant his head was growing, and therefore we had to have adjustments made on the helmet. The staff at our clinic was absolutely wonderful in making same-day adjustments and talking us through any questions we had. They estimated my son would be in a helmet for 3-4 months, but because of our proactiveness, and the expertise the orthotists had with the STARband, he only had to be in the helmet for 2 months!
I wrote an article 12 things to remember when baby is in a helmet. To help ease any fears, you may have while your child is in the helmet; and get a better idea of what to expect. The time in the helmet goes much, much quicker than you would imagine.