Many parents who contact us are concerned that the TiMbandAir will be distressing for their baby. This post is to give you some idea about how the many babies and parents that we see manage their daily lives with a helmet. Choosing to treat your baby with a plagiocephaly helmet is a difficult decision for many parents and making sure your baby is happy, healthy and comfortable throughout their journey is understandably your number one concern. It’s also our number one priority so we make sure that our helmets are very comfortable.
The length of time that your child will wear a plagiocephaly helmet will depend on their age and the severity of their condition. However, dependent on age at the start of treatment, we estimate that a helmet will be worn for between 4 to 8 months, with older babies wearing their helmet for longer as head growth slows down as infants get older.
Our TiMbandAir plagiocephaly helmet is made from a lightweight easy clean foam liner with a semi flexible shell that is moulded to allow growth exactly where we want it to be. To achieve this, we take an accurate photographic scan of your baby’s head shape and modify the scan using computer aided design (CAD) software so that we can allow the growth to go exactly where we want it to be and hold the growth where we need to so that the head shape comes back towards normal. After we fit the helmet we review babies at regular intervals. At the reviews, we measure changes and make any adjustments to gain continued improvement. It’s no surprise that parents regularly talk to each other on our Facebook page and they are experts on the best ways to keep their baby comfortable throughout their treatment. We’ve decided to put together some helpful advice to reassure new parents on some of the concerns that they might have.
How Comfortable is the TiMbandAir Helmet?
Very comfortable! Each TiMbandAir plagiocephaly helmet is made to an exact scan of your baby’s head which is then modified to allow growth. The helmet is not made to apply pressure, but to allow precisely directed growth. As your baby adjusts to their new helmet, we need to allow the body to adjust so that temperature control is evened out. This takes about one or two weeks and babies accept helmets very easily.
When your baby starts to wear a helmet, it’s not unusual to see light reddening of the skin on the control points. This is easily relived by applying a little protective soothing cream such as Sudocrem or Vaseline. Cleaning your plagiocephaly helmet regularly keeps the area hygienic and healthy. If you have concerns, we’re always available to answer questions!
What Happens if My Baby is Ill During Treatment?
If your little one becomes ill during helmet therapy, the main thing is to monitor their temperature. For example, if they come down with an infection and develop a high temperature, the helmet should be taken off until the temperature stabilises. Many parents worry that taking the helmet off during illness will hinder their baby’s development however a couple of days without the helmet won’t impact progress and it’s important to let your baby recover from the fever as soon as possible.
We recommend that if your baby becomes ill, keep them hydrated and comfortable and if necessary, see your doctor.
Is the TiMbandAir Hot to Wear?
At the start of treatment, until the body adjusts, you may notice that your baby is sweating when you remove your baby’s helmet from their head. This quickly settles. Our advice is to keep the helmet clean and dry and wash your baby’s head regularly to keep the area clean. By doing this you can feel assured that you’re doing everything necessary to keep your baby comfortable.
On sunny days, we recommend that you use a good sunscreen and keep your baby shaded, just as you would normally. Dress them in light clothes such as short sleeves, short pants and no socks to keep their overall body temperature down and bring thin extra layers out with you if you think they might be needed if the weather cools down. For more information on keeping your baby cool, read our checklist to keep baby comfortable in the summer.
When it’s cold, we mean very cold, you may be worried that your baby’s head, particularly their ears, may be at risk of feeling the cold and causing discomfort. Although the helmet acts as a ready-made hat and retains some well needed heat on colder days, exposed areas still need to be covered. We advise against using a tight-fitting hat on top of a helmet as this could cause overheating. However, buying an oversized hat or a coat with an extra-large hood provides extra coverage (plus giving you some items for your baby to grow into)! Ear muffs can be useful too! If you are out and about, make sure the pram cover is over to protect against any cold winds.
Can My Baby Sleep in the Helmet Without any Problems?
Babies love routine and it’s good to get into a night time routine. Regulating your baby’s temperature throughout the night helps them to sleep soundly right through until morning. If possible, keeping the window ajar to keep the room ventilated in warmer months will help to keep baby cool and comfortable and aid a better sleep. During winter months, layer a vest with pyjamas and a sleeping bag warm duvet and simply remove a layer or use a lower TOG sleeping bag if your baby gets too hot.
If your baby is undergoing plagiocephaly treatment and is wearing a helmet, there may be an adjustment period and all of the concerns which are addressed in this guide are completely normal. However you will find that it becomes easier with time, especially as you see that your baby isn’t distressed and comfortable in their helmet. If any of these symptoms worsen or you are worried about anything else relating to your baby’s treatment do not hesitate to call us on 0330 100 1800.