I’m Not an Overprotective Mother: It’s a Plagiocephaly Helmet


It seems my children love orthotists. Or at least keeping one of the local clinics in business! Both kids see a specialist for different issues. My youngest, now 7 months, started shortly after his 4-month appointment. I had asked his pediatrician if she thought he had flat head. The fancy lingo is plagiocephaly, brachycephaly or scaphocephaly–all are terms that describe different formations of a flat spot. She confirmed it was pretty pancake in back, and sent in a referral.

I'm Not an Overprotective Mother: It's a Plagiocephaly Helmet | Duluth Moms Blog

A Short History

In the 90’s, it was determined that babies should sleep on their backs to reduce SIDS. This, in turn, has increased plagiocephaly to almost 47%. It is common for many babies to develop a flat spot during infancy. But only 10% of those babies need helmets. So SIDS vs. a temporary helmet: it’s an easy argument on the side of back sleeping. A “no duh”, if you will. 

How It Works

The technology we experienced was actually pretty cool. Baby got a stocking cap type hat tied onto his head, and it had a sensor on top. The provider scanned his head with a laser in a 360 shape, which rendered a near perfect model of his head on the computer. Then they used the measurements to make a helmet. The FDA regulates these helmets, so ours was made and in our hands super fast. 

Because the helmet design options seemed subpar to me, I just knew I HAD to customize it! We chose a classic UMD Bulldog theme and I used acrylic paint, mod podge, and stickers to achieve the (pretty awesome!) end result .My daughter couldn’t understand why she couldn’t have her own in unicorn theme.

I'm Not an Overprotective Mother: It's a Plagiocephaly Helmet | Duluth Moms Blog

We slowly built up my son’s tolerance of the helmet until he wore it 23 hours a day. (Let me tell you… it smelled great... not!)

Getting Used to the Helmet and Fielding Questions

I probably hated the helmet most. I missed kissing his cheeks and head. But he wore it for only 6 weeks before he grew out of it. Now we wait a little to see if he will need a new helmet. We can see a huge difference already.

Sometimes I got questions about his helmet. People were interested and not judge-y at all. Perfect! One person did ask if I was super overprotective aka, why did I put him in a helmet! But overall, I loved that people felt comfortable speaking up and asking me about it. They were curious and I didn’t mind sharing our story. It’s very common these days to see them around. 

It’s been a little challenging in our weird, hot summer, but we made it through. And once Mr. Baldy grows some hair? You’d never even know he needed a helmet. 


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