Plagiocephaly update + Pros & Cons

Madison in her baby plagiocephaly helmet
I read today that this week is plagiocephaly awareness week. In honor of that, I thought I’d share an update on our little princess (in her crown above) and her helmet therapy so far.

Madison has been wearing her plagiocephaly helmet for a full two months now. It’s been a long road so far, but we are both so glad we made the decision to use it. She hardly even notices (or cares) that it’s on and it has made a world of difference. At our last appointment even our doctor was impressed at her progress. But, before I go into that, let’s talk about the pros and cons of having a helmet.

Pro –
Baby’s head will be well protected as she learns to roll, crawl, and possibly walk. Madison rolls like a champ in the helmet, but slows down a little when she’s out of it. She’s not as sure how to roll without banging her head around on the ground. It probably doesn’t help that our floors are pretty hard.

Madison in her baby plagiocephaly helmet

Con –
The helmet is just enough extra weight on the head that we’ve noticed she’s a little behind other babies her age at sitting up and crawling. She does much better when we remove the helmet, so we know she can, it’s just a struggle for her at times.

Pro –
Baby’s head is noticeably corrected. I do not believe we would have been this successful with the ‘wait and see’ method. Not only are her ears no longer as crooked, but the her overall head shape is more like an oval and less like a parallelogram. If you are looking for results this is the best way, in my opinion, if your baby has a moderate to severe case of plagiocephaly.

Con –
All. The. Sweat. It’s a good thing Madison’s only had to wear this through the winter and we have air conditioning. I have noticed when picking her up from daycare than she is super sweaty. I even dress her with lighter clothes to make up for how hot she gets in the helmet, but her head is still super sweaty some days. I could not imagine doing this in the middle of summer, or if we did not have air conditioning. It is definitely something to consider if you’re looking into this.

Madison in her baby plagiocephaly helmet

It is really cold outside and baby is in a short sleeved onesie and leggings so she doesn’t sweat too much. Plus she’s having a ball in her blow-up bathtub.

Pro –
Believe it or not, her wearing the helmet has had a ton of people come up to us and say they were considering getting a helmet, or they did use a helmet, or they know someone who used a helmet. It makes me feel less like a failure as a parent and more part of a team of people with similar issues. My mom was concerned people would think we had hurt her and banged her skull up, but so far no one has ever mentioned that to us. Honestly, it’s been kind of a bonding experience with strangers.

Maddie4

Con –
The cost. Seriously, it’s over $2,000. That’s a lot of cash that insurance does not often cover. It’s typically deemed cosmetic, therefore, it’s on your own to pay. But, $2,000 now to ensure my baby doesn’t get made fun of for the rest of her life, I’ll pay it.

Pro –
Our insurance covered the cost! We really lucked out!

Con –
Our insurance covered the cost because it was deemed ‘medically necessary’ due to the severity of Madison’s plagiocephaly. She was initially 16mm off. Anything over 15mm our insurance covered. While I’m grateful for the extra millimeter, I really wish we would not have needed the helmet in the first place.

Pro –
This too shall pass. In another month or two all of this will be a memory and we’ll have our cute, cuddly, adorable munchkin with a round head. In a few years, I’m sure we’ll laugh at the trips to Wichita and visits to the doctor.

Madison in her baby plagiocephaly helmet

Helmet hair, don’t care

Speaking of doctor’s visit, Madison’s last visit we did a half-way checkup on her progress. The doctor repeated many of the measurements from her first visit. At the initial intake she had a 16mm difference from her left and right side. The doctor told us at that point in time she would probably never get below a 6-7mm difference based on her age and how quickly baby skulls fuse together. At this trip when he measured she was down to only a 5mm difference. That’s HUGE! Especially considering anything within the 0-5mm range is considered normal. We were so happy to hear this. Seriously, I couldn’t stop smiling all day. I’m so glad it’s working so well for the munchkin.

The doctor did relay to us that because her head was so off-kilter to begin with that as her left and right sides even out the ratio of her skull length to width is beginning to get to be too much. Basically, her head is too long and thin so now they are adjusting the helmet to try to make her head a little wider and less long. I do not think I would have noticed this if the doctor had not pointed it out, but apparently it’s a thing. Who knew?

Even if we stopped with the helmet today I would consider it fully a success. I’m very pleased with the results and hope that Madison will understand some day why we put her through it. And, looking at these photos, can she blame us? Who doesn’t love a baby in a cute little pink helmet?

Maddie6

Questions about the helmet process or plagiocephaly? Head to my Facebook page and ask me about it. I’d love to hear from you!

 

2 thoughts on “Plagiocephaly update + Pros & Cons

  1. What a sweetie pie!
    “had a ton of people come up to us and say they were considering getting a helmet, or they did use a helmet, or they know someone who used a helmet.” – You know, this is true of so many things. We feel alone or in isolation, but the truth is that a great many people have or are experiencing what we are. I recently posted about having secondary infertility and then, BAM tons of women shared that they had as well. We’re not alone.
    Also, so happy that the helmet is working! ^_^

    Like

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