So Your Baby Might Need a Helmet

helmets doc band

helmets doc bandAre you worried that your baby might need a helmet? Many babies today experience flattening of the head. There are special helmets that can be worn at a young age to redirect the growth of the skull, making it more even, and to correct alignment of ears and eyes.

Check out the video below for more information on helmets and how this might effect your child. After the video you’ll find more tips on how to cope with your child’s diagnosis.

In this video, Jennifer of Jennifer Connor Fitness explains:

  • what is plagiocephaly
  • what is torticollis
  • how the specialists determine whether your child will need a helmet or not
  • what to expect when you get a helmet
  • how to clean the helmet
  • how progress is monitored

helmets2-1My twins both had helmets. One of them had to wear two helmets! Above all, I want parents to know that this is not their fault. I felt so guilty when I found out the best treatment plan was to get helmets for my boys. I felt that I could have done more — that I SHOULD have done more. But the truth was that even with all of my efforts they still would have needed them.

My twins had torticollis (tightening of neck muscles) so they weren’t able to turn their heads very well and even with physical therapy, repositioning their heads, and all the neck exercises, extra tummy time, and keeping them out of the swing and bouncy chairs, it was inevitable. This is quite common with twins who make it further along in utero. My boys were both vertex until 38 weeks and our specialists feel that this may have contributed to their condition. The boys started wearing helmets at 4-months-old and my Twin A (moderate diagnosis) was done with his after only 10 weeks and Twin B (severe diagnosis) after 5 months and two helmets, since he outgrew the first one. We kissed the helmets goodbye forever at 9-months-old!

Helmets really seem like a big deal at first, but after about the first week it just becomes a part of them.  I think the best thing I can tell you is #1 – don’t beat yourself up about it — SO MANY babies have to have these now and they REALLY WORK so it will be worth it, and #2 – just get through the first week with the helmets and it will soon feel like no big deal. And just remember that the baby doesn’t know any different. After the first few days it’s like a part of their body! My twins were their normal, happy selves after the first few days of adjusting.

helmets3-1The video above was filmed in April 2012 and Jennifer mentions that not many insurance companies will cover the cost of the helmet. Since then, many more insurance companies are getting on board with the medical benefits and are paying out more. Most companies that produce helmets (such as StarBand and Cranial Technologies) have insurance experts who help guide you through the process. Our insurance consultant was a rock star and we got over 75% of the cost covered!

I’m so glad we went through with the helmets. At 16-months-old, I can tell they really made a HUGE difference and I know I’ll continue to see the results get even better with age.

If you need further advice or have questions on helmets, email me here.

– Julie Burt Nichols, Twiniversity MoM Squad

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twinbookAre you a new twin parent? Check out Natalie Diaz’s new book “What To Do When You’re Having Two: The Twin Survival Guide From Pregnancy Through the First Year”, available in stores now!

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