Starting helmet treatment carries all sorts of emotions for parents, especially for new Mums. The good news is that it’s only for a short time with correction starting in the first few days and you’re doing the best for your baby. Just as it’s new for Mum, it’s also something new for your baby, but then everything is new for baby so if it’s Ok for Mum, it’s Ok for baby. The TiMband is just another new thing for babies to familiarise themselves with and the majority of babies adjust straight away. Others can take a little longer but either way, here are some useful pieces of advice for helping baby to adjust to the TiMband.
A cranial helmet to treat plagiocephaly works as a gentle remoulding treatment, gradually guiding a baby’s head shape towards the correct shape as the head grows.
When they decide for their baby to use the TiMband treatment, a lot of parents wonder whether the helmet will affect their baby’s hair growth. The simple answer is yes, but we find that hair growth seems to actually be faster when using a TiMband. Parents, especially Mums, notice that their baby develops a flat spot at the area that’s lying against the cot sheet and this is usually the flattened area. When a helmet is worn, this area is protected and covered and parents even notice that the hair seems to grow more strongly within the helmet than before. This is just the same as when a broken arm or leg is put into a cast. When the cast is removed, the hair has grown due to the protective environment and the reduction in friction from the fabric of sleeves or trouser legs. Don’t worry though, as this is common and not permanent and when the helmet comes off at the end of treatment, things go back to normal.
If your little one has a TiMband, you have no doubt already noticed it working its magic (if your baby is yet to put on their plagiocephaly helmet you have all of this excitement to come!). As well as improving the shape of your baby’s head, you can expect a few other things with the TiMband such as sweating or pink areas on the head. Should you be worried? No, the TiMband is designed to be 100% baby-friendly! To reassure you, this blog post highlights the most common queries that we receive about the TiMband as babies start treatment, it explains why they occur and how to make them better.
How does plagiocephaly affect the head and face?
Plagiocephaly is predominantly identified by a flattening either at the back or to either side of the skull. As a direct result of this flattening, facial features can become misaligned and other issues may develop. The facial features subject to the most change include the eyes and the ears. As such, facial asymmetry is also regarded as a good indication of plagiocephaly.
Do cranial helmets influence ear position in babies with plagiocephaly?
In 2012, a paper was published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery exploring whether or not helmet therapy, such as TiMband treatment, influences the ear position in babies with positional plagiocephaly.
This is a question that we are often asked but it’s a difficult one to answer, as the changes can be so subtle.
With Christmas around the corner, the wintry weather has finally arrived and the temperature has begun to fall. Many parents often ask us what type of headwear should be worn to keep their baby’s head warm whilst out and about and the best ways to keep their baby comfortable. This blog post offers advice and information to help keep baby warm during winter without causing them to overheat.
Wearing winter hats during plagiocephaly treatment. Plagiocephaly helmets are made from a resilient foam liner encased by a lightweight co-polymer shell which provides natural insulation during winter.
With the sun finally (hopefully!) out and the summer holidays fast approaching, you may be concerned in case your baby’s plagiocephaly helmet should cause any problems.
The good news is that there’s no need to cancel your holiday, abroad or otherwise. A few short spells in the sun with the plagiocephaly helmet off won’t do any harm so long as it is worn the rest of the time. Provided that it’s only for an hour or two – during the middle of the day when it’s particularly hot, or when you’re both in the pool – you have no need to worry.
Many parents that contact us or visit us at our clinics often ask “what’s a normal head shape for a baby?” and “how can I tell if the flattening is plagiocephaly?” Although we would always advise that you visit one of our leading orthotists for a professional diagnosis if you are concerned about your baby’s head shape, this blog post offers some key indicators for recognising plagiocephaly and the steps you can take to treat the condition.
Following a diagnosis of plagiocephaly, parents often carry out extensive research online to try and understand exactly how the condition affects the brain or seek out clinical online studies to help them decide whether to treat and which treatment option will have the best results for their baby. (more…)