Cranial Band-what was your experience? — The Bump
Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Cranial Band-what was your experience?

Im feeling so frustrated (for so many reasons, having one of those ihavenoideawhatiamdoing moments).  My son will be 6 months in less than 2 weeks.  At his 4 months visit I asked Ped if she thought the back of his head looked flat and she said "a little, don't worry, keep up with tummy time".  I am at home so I was super diligent about that.  I also held him a ton for naps and carried in baby carrier as a newborn b/c he never wanted to be down.  So I really couldn't believe he had such a flat spot.  Fastforward to a sick visit around 5 months and a different doc at practice who thought it was really flat, sent me to an ortho who measured my son's skull and said he may need a helmet.  Two totally different reactions from the same doc office.  They  Sent me for a PT eval.  Been doing PT for a few weeks and have been crazy anal about keeping pressure off the back of his head.  There are no definitive answers given...on the one hand they say early intervention is best for optimal success with band and on the other i was told once my son starts crawling and really rolling nature may take it's course and his head could round out.  

Has anyone had their son or daughter in a cranial band or opted out of it to see if nature would correct itself?  I can already tell that hats don't fit him well.  Im a FTM and so sleep deprived (he still wakes up 3x a night and never nap more than 30 minutes) so I am feeling so down in the dumps like I am doing something wrong and it's all my fault.  The last thing I want is to make a poor choice.  I don't want a cranial band on him 23 hours a day if there is a chance that that his head will be fine once he is mobile.  Ugh.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  This is one mama who is feeling a bit overwhelmed and wants what is best for her baby boy.  Thanks everyone

Re: Cranial Band-what was your experience?

  • My niece had an incredibly flat head (I mean, it was super bad!  Like we were all really worried about it!) but her parents opted to see if it would self-correct, despite the doctor's adamant suggestions to do a helmet.  It was even flat throughout toddlerhood!  But somehow, it did even out and now she has a perfect head and is a really beautiful kid.  This is just anec-data, mind you, and definitely not scientific.  But it is definitely is possible for a flat spot to self-correct.  
  • ladyteach0505ladyteach0505
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    edited August 2015
    DD has a flat spot on the right side.  The PT said banding is recommended if there's more than a 10 mm difference.  DD is right around that.  I'm praying it gets better- she said she'd wait a month to see what happens...

    Someone I know has a baby with a FLAT head and her dr isn't worried. It's just personal opinion.
  • GET THE BAND. For real. You don't want to gamble with something like this, especially for a boy because he most likely will have short hair and could you imagine if it didn't round out?

    Early intervention IS best. My daughter started PT at 4 weeks old for torticollis, finished with it at 4 months old and she was put into a helmet at 9 months old. She only needed it for 2 months and it was honestly the easiest thing in the world PLUS she looked freaking adorable in it.

    I was like you, conflicted. The cranial specialist said her head "wasn't that bad" and the decision was in our hands. Well, I wasn't willing to take the chance that her head wouldn't round out.

    She didn't even notice that the helmet was on and slept all night long with it for 2 months. If you have any doubt at all as to whether or not your child needs it then GET IT.  

     

  • Feel free to message me if you have any questions or want to see pictures.

     

  • Im feeling so frustrated (for so many reasons, having one of those ihavenoideawhatiamdoing moments).  My son will be 6 months in less than 2 weeks.  At his 4 months visit I asked Ped if she thought the back of his head looked flat and she said "a little, don't worry, keep up with tummy time".  I am at home so I was super diligent about that.  I also held him a ton for naps and carried in baby carrier as a newborn b/c he never wanted to be down.  So I really couldn't believe he had such a flat spot.  Fastforward to a sick visit around 5 months and a different doc at practice who thought it was really flat, sent me to an ortho who measured my son's skull and said he may need a helmet.  Two totally different reactions from the same doc office.  They  Sent me for a PT eval.  Been doing PT for a few weeks and have been crazy anal about keeping pressure off the back of his head.  There are no definitive answers given...on the one hand they say early intervention is best for optimal success with band and on the other i was told once my son starts crawling and really rolling nature may take it's course and his head could round out.  

    Has anyone had their son or daughter in a cranial band or opted out of it to see if nature would correct itself?  I can already tell that hats don't fit him well.  Im a FTM and so sleep deprived (he still wakes up 3x a night and never nap more than 30 minutes) so I am feeling so down in the dumps like I am doing something wrong and it's all my fault.  The last thing I want is to make a poor choice.  I don't want a cranial band on him 23 hours a day if there is a chance that that his head will be fine once he is mobile.  Ugh.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  This is one mama who is feeling a bit overwhelmed and wants what is best for her baby boy.  Thanks everyone

    The whole 23 hours a day sounds scary but trust me, it's super easy. For everyone. And you don't HAVE to keep it on 23 hours. We took it off more than an hour a day.

     

  • another vote for getting the band. Get it today. The sooner you get the band, the less time your LO will have to wear it.

    My LO had a helmet and it really, seriously was not a big deal. But you need to fix it while you can.

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  • We have a neuro consult this Friday to discuss a helmet.  We've been doing PT for 2 months and I'm religious about keeping DD off her head.  PT doesn't think her head is better.  Not happy at all.  We'll see what they say. :(
  • Thanks all.  My son has his 6 month visit this week and will be remeasured by the orthotist to see if there have been any changes.  Regardless of the outcome, I am happy to have some more answers this week to help with our decision.  (BTW...@bigboobsmcgee.. I have googled images of babies in helmets and they are so freaking cute!)
    Bigboobsmcgee
  • My first son, now 5, went into one when he was 4 1/2 months. He wore it for 2 months. If he needs it, get it now. The earlier they go in them, the quicker they get out of them because their heads are changing so quickly. Mine needed it because of the shape of his head, he was positioned weird inside me, so he came out like that. It was amazing to see the results in just 2 months. the 23 hours a day was fine, it didn't even phase him at all. It will be worth it, trust me!
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  • Those who have had the helmets, did your insurance pay for it?
  • EmJ628 said:
    Those who have had the helmets, did your insurance pay for it?

    Yep. I only paid a small amount out of pocket.

     

  • EmJ628 said:
    Those who have had the helmets, did your insurance pay for it?

    ------

    Yes, everything except $500. I believe the total cost, without insurance, was $5k

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  • Get the helmet!  We just got one for my daughter last week (she's 5.5 months) and I can already see huge changes!!  She has torticollis and we have been doing PT for about 6 weeks as well.  The reason why we opted to get the helmet was because my cousin's daughter didn't get hers until later (like 8 months) and she's now over a year old and is still wearing it and they've even had to buy a second one.  My daughter will only have to wear hers about 10 weeks because she is still young and growing fast.  But additionally, my cousin's daughter had experienced some fairly severe facial feature changes because their doctor didn't believe in taking action early.  It can cause eyes, ears, etc. to be misaligned.  They also think it might be a reason that she is delayed with certain milestones like standing and walking as it has inhibited the growth and development of her brain.  The helmets have helped her a ton.  Again, hers was a more severe case and every child is different.  But honestly, do some Google searches on it and you will see what I mean. My daughter literally hardly even notices she has her helmet on.  It just makes her a little hot at times.  It's really light weight, and it in no way is squeezing her head or anything, it just kind of sits there.  The "hassle" of cleaning it, daily baths, 23 hours a day of wearing it - all the things that sounded horribly scary before we had it - are really not that big of a deal.  It only takes a minute to wipe it down each night.

    As for insurance, ours covered nothing. :(  We have United Healthcare and it was $2300 out of pocket for the Doc band through Cranial Tech.  My cousin has the same insurance and same helmet, but since their case was classified as very severe they were able to get some coverage.  They paid $300 for the first helmet and $1000 for the second.

    Hope this helps!
    Bigboobsmcgee
  • Get the helmet. My nieces daughter has an incredibly flat head (and it's huge ). Her mom didn't get the helmet and now at a year old she's still very flat. Her head looks so odd, which is a shame because she has such a cute little face!
  • This is so reassuring to read! We had our 4 month appointment today and my husband just got back from the Physical therapist office where they did her measurements and said she'll need the helmet. Hearing from you moms that have been through it makes me feel better, especially knowing that baby won't be fazed at all.

    Now we just have to wait a month to get the actual helmet! :|
  • hgyp525 said:
    This is so reassuring to read! We had our 4 month appointment today and my husband just got back from the Physical therapist office where they did her measurements and said she'll need the helmet. Hearing from you moms that have been through it makes me feel better, especially knowing that baby won't be fazed at all. Now we just have to wait a month to get the actual helmet! :|
    It will be so much easier than you expect! Glad you are doing what she needs :)

     

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