some helmet/cranial band questions — The Bump
Babies: 6 - 9 Months

some helmet/cranial band questions

Hi all,

Anyone have any experience with cranial bands/plagiocephaly? I knew since my LO was 2 months old that he had a flat spot and brought it up to his pediatrician who wasn't concerned at all at that point. Fast forward to the 4 month appt where she said it was probably fine but if he didn't start rolling over in the next few weeks to call the specialist and gave us a referral. LO was still having trouble rolling often so we called and they couldn't get us in until a couple of weeks ago when they said he had moderate to severe plagio. :( I'm so upset with myself that we didn't push the ped more but I trusted her opinion. LO got fitted with his helmet last week. I called the orthotist and I'm waiting for a call back so in the meantime I thought I'd ask here:

We're having severe issues with getting LO to sleep at night with the helmet. He does great during the day and it doesn't bother him at all. He naps fine too. One of the nights he refused to go to bed for 3 additional hours after his normal bed time and we were up trying to figure out what the heck was going on since he was so happy up until bed time. We took his helmet off and his head was red but the redness went away quickly. He spent the rest of the night fitfully trying to scratch at his scalp even though it looked fine. A few nights, he has gone down for bedtime fairly easily but wakes up within 3 hours inconsolable until we take the damn thing off and then he tries to scratch at his head for the remainder of the night half asleep. It's really upsetting. I hate seeing him agitated but I can't keep taking off the helmet especially at bedtime when he needs it the most. It looks so darn uncomfortable though. :( Anyone have any advice for keeping his skin from itching? We use Johnson and Johnson's baby wash for bath time, which we've had no problems with, but I read recently that it's drying. I've thought of switching, but it specifically says on the cranial band info to not switch shampoos/soaps in case he has a reaction.

Anyways, sorry for the long post. Basically I want to know:
1) Did you LOs have trouble sleeping and does it get better? It's been almost about 5 days.
2) Is there any great way to stop the itchiness but not cause additional skin problems?
3) Is it possible that it's just a bad fit and can they fix this?

Hopefully I hear back from the orthotist soon...

Re: some helmet/cranial band questions

  • Sorry to hear your LO is having problems. My daughter got a helmet when she was about 8 months and wore for 2 months. She never, ever scratched at her head while wearing it though. I personally don't like Johnson's products and never use them on my kids. I use organic or allergen free products.

    1) My daughter had problems sleeping during nap time for the first day or 2 of having the helmet but then went back to sleeping normally. Night time was never an issue.

    2) For the itchiness, I'd switch shampoos to something allergen free.

    3) It definitely could be a bad fit so calling the helmet folks is a great idea

    Hang in there. Once the itching stops the helmet usually doesn't cause any other problems. Most kids don't even realize they have it on!

  • Thank you! I'm so bummed because he was taking it like a champ the first 2 days and now it's gone downhill. I finally heard back from them and they say it's probably not a bad fit since the redness goes away soon after taking the helmet off but I can send them photos tomorrow for them to double check.

    Any recs for a good allergen free shampoo/wash? I know there's so much out there. We just stuck with J&J since we got a bunch for the baby shower and it doesn't cause any problems normally. If it wasn't for all the scratching I wouldn't feel so bad! They also suggested putting lotion on his head but I'm worried about introducing more potential irritants. Oy.

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  • I had to clean my daughter's helmet really well with rubbing alcohol quite a bit, plus I put Aquaphor on her forehead and back of neck. That stuff is pretty gentle and works well for her eczema too.

    As far as gentle shampoos go, my absolute favorite is fragrance free Burt's Bees. Honest company is good and so is California baby. I believe you can get both at Target.

    He might be sweating in the helmet, then the sweat dries and the whole area becomes itchy. I'd try Aquaphor or another fragrance free lotion.

    Good luck!

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