Looks familiar, huh? Our little buddy didn’t quite escape the DOC band after all. We fought a little bit of torticollis (tightening of the neck) when he was just a couple of months old and it resolved, the head shape, not so much.
Although it’s not horrrible, he does have noticeable flattening in the back, known as brachycephaly and a bit on the side (hard to capture in picture) known as plagiocephaly. For those of you who have followed us since the quads were itty bitty you know they all dealt with plagiocephaly as well. This is the, count ‘em, NINTH DOC band to enter our household. Mr. Brody broke records with his multiple bands and was in his cranial helmet for nearly a year. Most babies are “banded” for 6-8 weeks, depending on their growth. Those who grow rapidly, allowing the head shape to improve quickly are in for a shorter time than those with slower growth. Blade will go back weekly to every two weeks to track his progress and alter the band as needed. Here’s a few pictures of his noggin…
Not only is he starting to sport the duck hair that Brody once had, he has a hemangioma just like his big brother too :] (back of his ear)
Our happy dude didn’t mind at all when he had to wear his sock for imaging! No worries, this “sock” type of mask is totally harmless and totally breathable. They wear it to help get near perfect digital images of the skull shape.
Click here to see the not-so-fun time we had with the quads when they had their imaging. Bret and I couldn’t help but join in the misery that night ;)
Each DOC band is made special for each baby and their exact head shape. We went a week later to get his helmet and my rarely sad baby was indeed sad. For those of you who thinks he never cries, check out these crocodile tears… poor buddy :(
It took some time but he adjusted and is doing fine in it now. He wears his band, which weighs approximately 6 ounces, 23 hours a day. We take it off when he’s being bathed or when we’re cleaning the band itself (which is a quick rub down with a cotton ball with alcohol). To my surprise his first night in it was like any other night. It took the quads a bit longer to adjust so I’m thankful he got over it quickly!
Here’s a good look at Brody’s poor head. He literally couldn’t lay on his back and look up without his head rolling to the side… Rarely are babies’ heads this bad, because of his prematurity, being the gate holder in utero AND a shunt on the opposite side of his head causing him to want to look the other way his torticollis and flattening got bad, fast.
Cranial Technologies has been great over the years and although we’re not thrilled about Blade having to be in a band, we are grateful they’re an option for babies with flat heads like ours! The staff, same as back when the quads were there, is great and we feel like we’re back at our second home once again! To learn more about plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, visit Cranial Technologies by clicking here. Their website explains everything in detail, shows additional pictures of head shapes, ways to help prevent needing a band, reasons why babies are in them…etc. If you question your baby’s head shape at all, I strongly encourage you to go in (they have facilities in many locations) for a FREE evaluation. Although helmets are NOT cheap, insurance companies usually cover some of the cost. For sure worth looking into!
Take a look back at the quads’ journey to rounder heads by checking out these links:
We’ll keep you posted!