Who Knew Babies Need Helmets?

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, two out of my three boys have needed helmets to round out their heads. What, do I breed soft headed children? I didnt even know this was a thing until I had kids. I thought we all just had round heads. But now apparently some of us need helmets to get that nice round head. How American.

My first Ian, was a preemie, as I mentioned in my earlier posts. He was born at 33 weeks. By the time he was 4 months old, Ian had developed a definite flat spot on his head. And even worse, it was a lopsided flat spot which was making his forehead push out more on one side. My pediatrician referred me to Gillette Children’s Specialists and from there we got a helmet for our little man to help round things out. Leading up to when I had to get the helmet, I was so nervous and racked with guilt. I felt like I should have been more “on it” with Ian’s tummy time and prevented the flat spot from developing. Luckily, the Gillette people were so nice and quickly dissuaded me from my guilt. Preemies are born early and end up having a tendency to develop flat spots because they are sleeping all the time those first few months and we have to have them sleep on their backs. There is nothing I really could have done since SIDS requires babies sleep on their back which causes the flat spot to develop. Its so first world of us though I think. Luckily, there is a remedy for it and it is the helmet. The technical name for it is actually CranioCap which sounds very technical and like its more serious than it is.

Part of what was causing the anxiety was that I was worried that when Ian was wearing his helmet strangers would stare at him and think he had some medical issue and pity us. I know, I know…who cares what people think right? Well, I do. Its just something I know about myself. I don’t like to be pitied. Anyways, it turned out that Ian getting a helmet was really a blip in our little lives. He had it for a little over two months, from the time he was about 6 months old to 8 months old. Ryan painted Ian’s helmet to look like a Minnesota Viking’s helmet and it turned out so adorable. People would stop and say how cute Ian looked in his Viking helmet all the time. I have to say I was impressed with it myself. My husband and I are not crafty at all and I was amazed at how good a job my husband did. Anyways, the time went by so fast and all of a sudden he had a nice round head and we were done with the helmet! Here’s a few pics of cute Ian with his Viking helmet.

Now, its Leo’s turn. Apparently, he is a very good sleeper, per our doctor because his head is perfectly flat in the back which means he doesn’t not move a muscle when he sleeps. This is totally true by the way. When Leo is out, he is out, while his twin Dylan, is just rolling all over the place and turning his head every which way and waking up almost every hour sometimes. (Thanks Dylan for those wake ups.) But at least Dylan doesn’t need a helmet! I guess all his rigorous night exercise was actually a benefit!

Leo also has mild torticollis, which is when there is a tightening of the muscle on the side of the neck. Leo kind of tilts his head to the left a little which the muscle is very tight. I was given some stretches to help loosen the muscle and they expect it resolve in the next month or so. Nothing to worry about really and he is not in any pain. Just want to make sure the tightening doesnt get worse which those stretches will help with.

Today I just got back from Leo’s first fitting and he is going to start wearing his helmet in 1 hour increments throughout the day, then 2 hours tomorrow, then 3 hours and then full time with 2-4 half hour breaks in the day. I have to say that I am glad that Leo is the one who ended up with the helmet, not Dylan. Leo is so chill that I get the feeling that he wont even notice it on him, whereas I could see my passionate Dylan getting all irritated.

Ive decorated Leo’s helmet with some vinyl stickers I happened to have on hand from leftover playroom decorations so that was lucky. In a month, we will be dropping the helmet off at this guy’s business who does vinyl printing out in Rogers, MN. His grandkids had to get a helmet a couple years back and they are just plain white so he decorated his grandkid’s helmet and people everywhere loved it so he decided to offer his services for free to anyone who gets a helmet at Gillette and would like it decorated. This must have happened after Ian had his helmet because I wasn’t told about it then and we just decorated it ourselves. You just have to call the business and make an appointment and you drop it off in the morning and pick it up that afternoon and its all decked out. The man has a ton of designs you can choose from. They are way booked out though so our appointment for Leo’s helmet isn’t until 5 weeks from now so which is why I just added on some bling myself for now. I will just take the stickers off when the five weeks is up and get it professionally done then. At least now, it still looks cute!

 

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Author: twinsandatoddler

Stay at home mom to newborn twins and a toddler in Minneapolis, MN

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