Bedhead baby

So...Adam's head. About a month ago, at his two month check-up, Adam's doctor noticed that the back of his head had a flat spot. This condition called positional plagiocephaly has become more common in recent years with babies sleeping on their backs. He tends to lie with his head turned toward the right so we were told to encourage him to turn the other way. I wasn't too concerned because Drew had basically the same thing and it went away eventually.

We had another doctor visit last week specifically to check on his status. Despite our best attempts to turn his head while sleeping, there wasn't much change. The distortion is not obvious if you look at him from the front:

but his head is definitely misshapen and his ears are misaligned as a result. This is more apparent if you look down at him:

Today, at my pediatrician's urging, I took Adam to see a neurosurgeon, partly to rule out anything more serious. This doctor confirmed that he has moderate plagiocephaly which generally won't resolve itself until around six months or so when Adam is sitting up more and sleeping on his stomach. It doesn't impact his development and is not a major concern unless we want Adam to be America's next Top Model.

Our options at this point are to have Adam fitted for a molding helmet which he would have to wear 23 hours a day for 8 to 16 weeks. Or, we simply work hard at giving him "tummy time" during the day and turning his head to the side at night. The doctor also said, "Ask your husband to make a pillow" which I honestly thought was a joke and laughed at before I realized he was serious. He went on to draw an outline of a wedge-like thing which should position Adam's head correctly.

Either way, with some work, it should resolve itself somewhat. The question is, should we get a helmet or not? I checked with our insurance company and it is mostly covered. However, when pressed, the doctor said that in his opinion, the helmets don't really work. He believes their function is basically to make parents feel better. A helmet would be a huge pain but at the same time it's going to be tough to keep him on his stomach and limit time spent in his baby seat and swing. We are leaning toward not getting a helmet but are still somewhat undecided. Does anyone have any experience or opinions with this?

I guess my new baby carrier may really come in handy. Either that or I'll be making this kid lots of hats.


Claire said...

"Ask your husband to make a pillow..." In what world is this a normal statement? He had no idea he was talking to The Queen of Sewing and Other Crafty Projects, I suppose.

Okay, Keith, it's doctor's orders: you've got to make a pillow. I expect to see pictures on the blog soon of The Keith Pillow.

Heidi Helfen said...

I, too, am anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Keith Pillow.

I put out a message to a good friend that did the helmet for her little boy for 23 hours a day, at about Adams age. I'll let you know what she tells me for if it was worth it.

Anonymous said...

Vaughn suggests that you use a rotisserie. Tummy time might cause the face to be smooshed.

Jen says don't worry it will straighten out on its own.

looking forward to seeing the Keith pillow.

gretchen said...

Oh my word! I can't imagine anything that would be more annoying and induce more stress than hassling with a helmet for 23 hours of the day!!! Yikes!!!

If it will resolve itself in a few more months I'd be all for letting nature take its course...Tummy time did tend to equal "fussy time" at our house, but maybe he would gradually get used to it???

Stephanie said...

Is he old enough for one of those Bumbo seats? I didn't have one but my friend swears they are the best thing ever. You can squash your little person in there and they sit up!

kw said...

I wonder if Jesus had postiional plgogmy or whatever it's called. Sorry..random thought..Christmas on the mind etc..

Heidi Helfen said...

Okay, talked to 3 "helmet-experienced" friends. All say there was nothing to it, easy as pie, worked like a charm and wasn't as big of a pain in the butt as it seems like it would be. That's good, right?

ljmax said...

Thanks guys...
Vaughn, you should definitely market the rotisserie idea. Good for a laugh anyway.
Gretchen..tummy time is stressful here too but they do say it should get a little easier over time.
Stephanie--I do have a Bumbo and I tried him in it the other day. He's almost ready for it but doesn't have quite enough head control to sit for long.
K-k--UM? I bet the hay helped.
Heidi--thank you! I'll talk to you more tomorrow.

kw said...

Time to get in touch with your feminine side and do some sewing, Keith. They will sell like hotcakes!

JJ said...

You've had me studying and measuring David's head since I first read this. I think his misshapenness is on his forehead. Which way are you leaning now? On the helmet, that is?

ljmax said...

JJ...at this point we are actually leaning toward getting a helmet. I just don't want it to get any worse and getting him positioned right has been pretty hard. We have an appointment tom. morning.

Weird you say that about David because I was recently looking at the pic. of him next to ADam and noticing how very symmetrical and perfect his head was. I'll have to look at the forehead again.

Wendy said...

...still a very adorable bedhead baby!