I wanted to share a post about what happened when I found out that Keira had Plagiocephaly and the experience of her using a baby helmet. Some people have asked me questions about what that was like. There are lots of information out there about Plagiocephaly itself, but little out there about the experience itself.
The helmet was a big part of her life and it encouraged me to share our story with others.
This is just my opinion and experience. Please consult with a professional if this is something that is something that you are considering for your baby.
I talked about what the process of getting a helmet was like in this post. My head filled with questions as we drove to her helmet fitting appointment. How was she going to react to it? Would she hate it and scream her head off? Would it affect her sleeping through the night? A million thoughts ran through my head.
But surprisingly enough, when we put it on, she didn’t fuss.
She looked at us with this adorable little face with her eyes squinty (the doctor said it would be like that at first because the adjustments were going to change the structure of her face). I watched in awe on the car ride home, amazed how oblivious she was with it on her head.
For the first night, the only requirement was a couple of hours.
From day 2 and for the next 2 months, she would have it on for 22-23 hours a day! It seemed mind-blowing to us at first, but just as the doctor had told us, it just became a regular part of our routine and she adjusted quickly.
A lot of adjustments went on during the months of the baby helmet, and I’m about to share all of that with you.
Baby Helmet Stares
We got a lot of stares. A LOT! It was super weird at first, but quickly the helmet just became a part of our daily lives and eventually, we didn’t even think about it.
There are sometimes that we even forgot it was on and would wonder why people were staring at her. I know that most people don’t people stare just to purposely be rude. I understand it’s just because people don’t know or don’t see baby helmets very often.
Some people thought she was sick or assumed it was used to prevent her from hurting her head during seizures. They were usually really surprised when they found out that it was a cosmetic thing and that she was OK (health-wise).
Also, I felt that at times, people were nicer and would go out of their way to try and be helpful. They would open doors, be polite, and smile and offer help with the kids. I was always grateful for that.
It gets hot!
The very first weeks of her wearing it were sticky. The doctor warned us about the sweating. I remember pulling her helmet off the first couple times in awe of how sweaty she was and I felt so bad. Think about football players and how they look after one-quarter of a football game! Because she was wearing this pretty much all day, (like most babies will be) she would get super sweaty.
We made sleep adjustments to make her more comfortable at night by not letting her wear socks, or use those onesies that covered her feet to give her body some room to breathe.
After the babies body has time to adjust, the sweating will drastically reduce.
Cleaning the baby helmet daily
Which brings me to my next point. We had to add cleaning the helmet on our baby to-do list, daily (as if washing bottles weren’t enough). If you don’t, the baby helmet will get discolored and the foam material will smell really bad.
Cleaning the helmet doesn’t take very long, but it is something you have to do religiously. The way to clean it is simply by using rubbing alcohol on a cloth and letting it air dry out. For us, we used her daily break as the time to give her a bath, clean it, and air dry it out.
I tried to research articles about babies losing lots of hair from the helmet but couldn’t find much information. Now it is understandable that all babies can go through hair loss during their first year, but Keira lost a LOT of hair. I mean TONS.
And although everyone (including her doctors) told me it would grow back, it scared me so much. It would be all over the bed and the floors. The worst part was when we would give her a bath. Most of the times that was her helmet break for 24 hours since the day before. Her hair would be EVERYWHERE! There was so much hair in the tub. It was a crazy amount!
So, I just want to share with you with these of what her hair used to look like before her helmet. This is now after her helmet has come off. You can see her hair thinned out and she has patches of bald spots.
The good news is that she has been without her helmet for 2 months now and I can FINALLY see patches of small hairs growing back. The doctors assured me that it would grow back once the helmet came off. However, it would take a few months.
The other part that was difficult during the helmet was that it was hard to snuggle and give kisses to her on her face because the helmet would get in the way. If you are like me, you live for kisses and that baby smell. I also found it extremely uncomfortable to breastfeed because the pressure of the helmet on my arm was heavy and painful.
Dealing with Plagiocephaly and the outcome
There are major adjustments to your life when it comes to your child wearing a helmet, and some were not fun. But it was something that needed to be done. I reminded myself that these small sacrifices were going to pay off in the long term.
The results (shown below) were astounding and that alone assures me that I made the right decision for her by putting her through this process. It seemed like that 4 months was a journey, but I now have peace of mind, that we’ve done what I think is best for her and her future.
A big part of the reason that we had such a positive experience is the doctor that we were working with. You can find their website here which contains lots of helpful information. If this is something that your doctor has suggested, I encourage you to take in all the information that you can and be open-minded.
My hopes with this post are that if you ever wondered about these helmets, or if you or someone you know has a baby that may need one, that this can help with a some of questions or concerns you may have. We had a very positive experience and I hope that you have the same.
As always, thank you for reading. If you like this post, please like and/or comment below. XOXO
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