Hayes's Noggin

Thank you all so much for your comments, texts, tweets, emails, and phone calls yesterday. I could really feel them and so much of my worry was taken away. Todd and I have a fairly big decision to make, so thank you for your prayers.

Our sweet Hayes is healthy and wonderful, and we are so grateful. We have so much to be thankful for, and while this situation is a big thing in our lives, it may not seem like a big thing to someone outside of our family.

A few weeks ago at Hayes’s doctors appointment, his pediatrician told me that she wanted to refer us to Cranial Technologies for a consultation to see if Hayes needed to wear a doc band to correct his head shape.

This was something that I had been concerned about for the past few months. Hayes’s head is flat. And it’s really not just a little bit flat. It’s actually flat. Around the time he was 3 months old I noticed that his head was getting a little flat. And as time has gone on, our pediatrician has told us that she wasn’t concerned yet, but wanted to keep an eye on it each month at his appointments.

And as time has gone on, it just hasn’t improved. It’s not obvious when you look at him from the front, but the profile view makes it pretty obvious.

While Hayes can crawl now and he has been on all fours and sitting up for a few months now, his head still hasn’t rounded out at all on its own. When he’s awake, he’s not on his back at all. But when he’s asleep, he still sleeps flat on his back.

Tummy time “practice” never really phased Hayes. He would actually just lie down and doze off when I’d put him on his tummy on his mat. He’s just the most content kid.

When Hayes was 2.5 months old, he started rolling over. At this time, we stopped swaddling him and hoped he would start sleeping on his stomach. But he never did. He loves sleeping on his back (and sometimes his side) and is comfortable sleeping like that. We wish he would just flip on over and be a tummy sleeper.

The clinic we visited yesterday is in Charlotte, which is about 90 miles from our house. We chatted with a few friends who have gone through all of this to find out a little bit about what we could expect.

They took some photos of Hayes’s head from a few different angles so we could really get a good look at what his head looks like.

Mommies always see their babies as perfect. Seeing the pictures of Hayes taken at the clinic were pretty startling. It looked a lot worse than I’ve ever noticed before.

We saw the physical therapist and after watching Hayes and talking with us, she recommended the doc band treatment for 3-4 months. She said that he has Brachycephaly.

We are encouraged that the treatment can correct his head shape. And it’s actually a really light weight apparatus. It only weighs about 7 ounces, I think. So I don’t think it would really bother him all that much.

He would need to wear it 23 hours per day. And it’s imperative that he wear it while he naps, sleeps, and rides in the car seat.

But then the physical therapist told us that it’s up to us. This is our decision to make. She recommends he wear the doc band, but pointed out that if he doesn’t wear it he will still be healthy. This is an appearance issue. But he’s a boy and won’t have tons of hair to cover up his head shape and the doc band is more often recommended for boys because of that. She categorized Hayes’s head in the “moderate to severe” category.

So, the doc band is recommended. But he’ll be fine if he doesn’t wear it. It’s also really expensive and insurance rarely covers it. And the clinic is 90 miles away and treatment would require visits to the clinic every two weeks.

Then there’s the concern that your baby is “different” and will be wearing something that causes people to stare and ask questions. He’s just a baby and he’ll never know. And none of that matters, I know. But my mama heart breaks a little bit when I think that people may whisper about him.

The benefits of wearing the doc band definitely outweigh our concerns, worries, and the hefty price tag.

At this point, we’re waiting to hear back about the insurance situation and then we’ll decide based on the information we have.

Todd and I went back and forth about whether or not I should blog about this, but I’m hoping that I can connect with moms who have gone through this or who are going through this currently.

Has anyone been through this before?

I know that we would probably regret not going through with treatment, but I know we wouldn’t regret doing it for Hayes.

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  1. says

    What a big decision! Bless your heart! I have triplets and these bands are very common in the multiples world. Ive read many blogs of families whose babies have these. One “blog friend” is blogging about it now (www.tilyoutriplets.blogspot.com) and she just posted some pictures of her boys’ progress and it’s amazing!

  2. says

    I don’t have experience with this, but honestly from the outside looking in, I would do it. Maybe you don’t need to hear this, but I think you’d regret not doing it especially now when he won’t know the difference.

  3. says

    Lots of prayers for your family as you make this big decision. Our daughter was on a heart monitor for the first month of her life, so I know what it’s like to wonder if people are talking and feeling like you have to explain the situation to people who really don’t need to know what’s going on. I babysat for a little boy who had to wear the band. I don’t know all the details, but it never seemed to bother him. As a sitter, I was thankful it was protecting his head as he became more mobile. I also know that a set of quints who had the television show “Quints by Surprise” had two babies who needed this treatment. It was televised on the show, and you may be able to find information on their blog. Choices concerning our children are so tough, but I know through reading your blog that you always put the interests of your boys first, and that’s how we as moms make the best decisions.

  4. says

    I have a friend who’s son wore a doc band for a while. He was always the most handsome, content baby, but like Hayes, his head wasn’t rounding out on its own. His doc band was blue, and they got some Batman stickers for it from a woman who runs a doc band website. He wore it for a few months and he’s got a gorgeous head now! They said they have no regrets as far as going for the doc band. Whatever you choose for Hayes will be the right choice for your family. Pray over it. <3

  5. Wendy says

    I rarely comment, but I enjoy your blog. I live in Charlotte and I see alot of babies with the bands. I know when I see a mother out with her baby in a band that she is doing what is right for her child. Obviously, it is a personal decision and will be made with the best interest and concern for your child. Three to four months is really such a small amount of time when comparing to a lifetime. When comparing to a child that is so young, it seems like a long time. Your concerns just show your love for your child. On a lighter note, they look so cute when they are personalized with cute art or stickers etc. Good luck with the insurance matters and I hope whichever decision you choose that you have peace about it. You are a mother that loves her children and all of your concerns are valid because of your love for them.

  6. Jen says

    I read a blog and the mom made a seperate one for her son that also had to have the doc band. If you check out the blog look in the archives to 2008 and beginning of 2009 to read about her experience. It also talks about his NF but it started as a place for her to share her experience with getting him fitted and all that. good luck with your tough decision. Praying you guys will find the answer!

    Here is her website: http://alvin-rice.blogspot.com/

  7. Britt Z. says

    Praying for you during this decision making process! Your honesty is admirable and I would feel the same way, hoping people wouldn’t whisper and wonder. However, I have been seeing these doc bands everywhere these days as it has become so much more common (with the back to sleep campaign). Also, as mothers I feel like whatever stage we are facing seems like it will last forever, when I’m reality it all passes so quickly. I feel like the 3-4 months would go by so quickly and looking back would seem like a blink of an eye, and may make a huge difference in Hayes’s sweet little head. Like the other poster, I saw the boy on Quints by Surprise had one, and the parents commented what a blessing it was since he was always running, jumping and falling! I’m sure whatever you decide will be the best decision for Hayes!

  8. Stephanie macek says

    I have 2 boys who both wore doc bands from cranial technologies in Dallas tx. I know it was the right thing to do for each of them and now that they Are 3 and 5 I hardly even remember the months they spent in the bands. Praying for you. If you wish to chat with someone who has experience in this feel free to email me

  9. says

    The “helmet” is becoming much more common. I see babies all the time in them and most people know what it is for these days – although there are plenty of idiots still out there too. I have had several friends who have been in your shoes all of which chose to get one and they have been happy with their decision and the head shape of their babies drastically improved by 12 months.

  10. says

    I’m praying for you as you make this decision, Erin. It’s a tough one, especially since Hayes will be healthy either way. I know God will make your way clear, whichever option you decide.

  11. Jill says

    We just had our 9 1/2 month old son evaluated at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis because one side of the back of his head is flat, which is referred to as plagiocephaly. It was caused by sleeping on his back. He is a child who only recently began sleeping on his tummy. His case was mild to moderate, according to the plastic surgeon. The doctors said that the results from a helmet or band at this age would not benefit him any more than what will happen naturally from him being upright so often and sleeping differently than he did when he was younger. By 9 months of age, the skull has done 65% of its growing, so correcting the shape is something that needs to begin by 4-6 months of age and be complete around this time, according to the doctors we talked to (take this for what it is worth and keep in mind Hayes has a different type of flattening). They told us it was our choice, but they would not recommend it due to his age and his severity level. The helmet was not covered by insurance and would cost $1500, which we would have paid if it were recommended.
    I can completely identify with all of the concern and guilt that comes along with this. Before I had kids, I thought kids who wore helmets either had a seizure disorder or had flat heads because their parents didn’t hold them enough. The thought of people thinking that about me was awful. The fact that I noticed the flat spot much earlier than the doctor did and didn’t report it because I thought I was being a neurotic first-time parent makes me feel horrible. The more research I did though, the more I found out that this is a huge problem due to the back to sleep campaign, which has saved many baby’s lives by preventing SIDS. An additional cause, that I was not aware of, is that being breech near the end of pregnancy can make kids more susceptible (my son was breech).
    I really feel that pediatricians should educate parents about positional changes that could be made (ie: putting your child’s head at the “foot” of the crib so that they turn to look out at the room on the other side of their head, limiting time in infant carseats, etc.) and refer earlier so that if a correction needs to be made, it can be made in time.
    Our situations are different in some ways, and therefore your decision may be different than ours. However, the emotions that are tied to it are much the same. It feels like a personal reflection on you and your parenting skills. It is not. You will make the best choice for your son and there is no right or wrong.
    My son’s head will not be perfectly round and I feel responsible for that. I guess it’s one of many things he can blame me for as an adult!
    Best wishes as you contemplate your decision.

  12. Kerry says

    I have a two year old little boy who also had Brachycephaly and started wearing a helmet around 9 months. I think it was the hardest decision for me, but I can whole-heartedly say that it was the best decision we ever made for our son. I was so nervous about him wearing it, and can honestly say I was self conscious about him wearing it, but he barely noticed it—after the first few weeks of transitioning, he was wearing it 23 hours a day with no problem. It also ended up being the perfect time for him to wear it as he started pulling up and walking, so it ended up preventing a lot of bumps and bruises! He ended up wearing it for about 4 months, and we noticed a dramatic improvement after treatment was complete. Looking back now, it seems like such a short time that he wore it, but I know how big of a decision it can be.

  13. Sarah says

    Here is a blog I have followed for years written by Holly Allen in Atlanta: http://shootingallens.posterous.com/

    One of her twins had this same issue and wore a doc band; I believe they even went to the same clinic in Charlotte. It was a few years ago so you’ll have to look through her archives. She seems like the most wonderful mom and person, so I’m sure she’d be willing to give you some info over email. Good luck!

  14. says

    Erin, I know how you feel and we are going through a similar situation right now and you can read about aiden’s head on my blog. I totally understand it is cosmetic but since he is a boy it will be more noticeable than a girl because obviously boys have less hair. Also as I’m sure the ped told you the sooner the younger they are when they get it usually the quicker they can get it off. We know several people whose children have gone through this and unfortunately the percentage is on the rise because of the back to sleep recommendation. Good luck and if you need anything let me know.

  15. Katy downer says

    I went to PT school in Columbia and we did an inservice at brace and boot off blanding st on doc bands/helmets for plagiocephaly. She worked part time and had all the imaging and fitting equipment for the helmets. She was awesome. That is always an option if you don’t want to go all the way to Charlotte as that is certainly a haul. If you are interested, send me an email and I can try to locate her contact info. This was about 4 years ago so I’m not sure if she is still there.
    PS I love following your blog!!! I am a SAHM to a 4 month old so I can relate to alot of stuff you post. Plus we used to live in columbia. 🙂

  16. says

    Hi Erin,
    I absolutely love reading your blog, but confess that I am a lurker who has rarely, if ever, commented. 🙂 After reading yesterday’s post, I had a sneaking suspicion that you might soon be sharing this about sweet Hayes’s noggin. I figured I’d share about our experience, as my 16-month-old son completed treatment with a StarBand back in October.
    Porter needed a helmet because he had a moderate case of plagiocephaly (specifically, his head was flat on the right side from turning it that direction while sleeping on his back). We were told that treating it was totally voluntary, but his case was serious enough that insurance did end up covering it. That was HUGE, as I know it’s a significant expense otherwise. I really struggled with the decision, too. I felt like I was being kind of vain, no matter what I chose: If we did it, it was like we felt the need for our kid’s head to “look good”. If we didn’t, it was like we were afraid of what people would think of him when we were out in public. I just wanted someone to tell me I HAD to do put him in it!!!
    Anyway, before making our decision, I did just what you did — reached out to moms who had both put their daughters in helmets. I asked them two main questions: 1. Did the helmet make a real difference? 2. If you had it to do over again, would you have made the same decision? I guess you can assume, based upon what we did, how they answered. 🙂 Two things stand out to me that really helped put things into perspective: One mom said that she imagined her daughter as a teenager, possibly feeling self-conscious about her head, asking if something could have been done but hadn’t. Another friend, when I was lamenting the fact that I felt guilty because it was a “cosmetic” treatment, pointed out that my parents had put ME in braces, which was a cosmetic treatment and not medically necessary. I realized how much I appreciated that, and ultimately thought that Porter would appreciate any help we could give to him, too.
    So, as far as our process went, Porter was in the helmet for about 4.5 months. Was it inconvenient sometimes to go to the appointments, deal with washing the helmet, and make a couple of last-minute appointments when it needed to be adjusted because it wasn’t fitting properly? Yes. Also, the orthotist warned me that at first he would be hot and his head would stink. She was right — Porter smelled like a sweaty foot! But he adjusted to it and soon that went away. I worried that he would hate it and would try to pull it off, and also that it would interfere with his sleep. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. They always say how resilient babies are, and aside from the initial transition period, he basically acted no differently.
    I have to tell you, I CRIED the first time the orthotist put that helmet on my baby. I looked at her with tears in my eyes and asked if this was normal. She smiled and said that it really is harder on parents than it is on babies, and I believe her. I was nervous at first about taking him places, because of the stares and comments. Most people said nice things — I actually had several people say their children/grandchildren had them, too — but of course you always have people asking what it’s for and ignorant people just saying ridiculous things. Truthfully, it wasn’t too long until I became so used to the helmet, I kind of forgot about it. Don’t get me wrong; I knew he was wearing it, but when we were out and about and I caught people staring at Porter, I forgot that there was a reason for them to look besides the fact he was cute!
    We decided to end Porter’s treatment when he turned 1 year old, and then continued partial wear (naptime and nighttime) for another month. It was totally up to us when to stop, and that’s just when we felt ready. Porter doesn’t have a perfect head, but I know that I’m more sensitive to it because I’ve looked at it every day for almost a year and a half; other people don’t notice the flatness at all. The helmet really did make a significant difference and helped round it out nicely. We were very pleased with the result.
    So I guess you can tell by now that I am glad we made the choice we did. But I know that it’s an extremely difficult and emotional one, and not to be taken lightly. I was grateful for the encouragement of the mommies I talked to, and I hope this is encouraging to you, no matter what you decide. Sorry I’ve rambled on!
    Either way, your Hayes is an absolute cutie pie! Love all the pics and stories of your beautiful family. 🙂 Praying for you as you fight this bear. It will be over before you know it!

  17. Sarah says

    I have a little boy who just turned 9 months . He was born with torticollis…basically he was positioned in the womb oddly and a muscle on one side of neck is very, very tight. This tightening made him always have his head turned to one side as a newborn and major flattening started. Our pediatrician is fantastic and referred us to a physical therapist at 4 weeks to start stretching that muscle out. Up until about 6 months, we strongly considered this band or the helmet. Luckily, our little guys head shaped improved so we did not have to go that route. However, I know exactly what you are thinking/feeling as you weigh your options. We had decided that if it did not improve by 6 months or so we would move forward with the band or helmet. We were willing to do what we had to do for a year or so to get things going in the right direction as he grew. I also work at a major childrens hospital and it is MUCH more common than you would think- knowing this made it easier to accept. While I obviously dont know how Hayes head is really shaped, I do wonder about the band at his age. Our sons physical therapist and pediatrician both said that past 6-7months the helmet or band would not do much good, as the head is almost finishing shaping. Good luck to you as you face this decision for sweet Hayes.

  18. says

    One of my girls has torticollis (tightening of the muscle in your neck) on her left side which has caused the right side of her head to be flat (b/c she constantly turns her head to the right due to the “crick” in the left side of her neck). We have been doing PT since she was 3 months old and while that is helping loosen her neck, her head is not “filling out” as quickly as the pediatrician prefers so she has referred us to get her evaluated. I look forward to reading about your journey (if you decide to proceed) and hope to blog about our journey as well.

  19. says

    Praying for y’all and Hayes. He is precious. It’s hard when anything makes your kid “different”. But he will be great and I know y’all will make the right decision. Praying you get good answers and that you get good advice from others who have been there.

  20. Anna P. says

    I don’t comment much on your blog but my husband and I went through this with our soon when he was 9 months old. He was considered “moderate to severe” as well. We opted not to go with the
    band because our insurance wouldn’t cover it. He’s now 3 1/2 and you can go hardly tell that his head was flat when he was a baby. Good luck making the decision!!

  21. says

    Hi there. I have triplets & all three wear cranial bands. I live in Winston-Salem, we were just referred to a local plastic surgeon here for our boys. The bands were expensive. We only have follow-up appointments every 8 weeks & our boys are suppose to be in them for a total of 6 months. Along with their plagiocephaly, they had torticollis. Their ears are also misaligned which if left untreated could cause chronic ear infections & other sinus issues. I have a tab at the bottom of my blog for plagiocephaly if you wish to read all of our experiences with it 🙂 Good luck with your little one.

  22. says

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that my Hudson (just turned 6 months) has the EXACT same problem. We did physical therapy to see if that would help before going to his helmet. He just started wearing his helmet about three weeks ago and it is honestly SO much better! I can already tell a HUGE difference. Like you, we had the worry that people would think he had something wrong with him and we also worried that he would absolutely hate it and scream because it bothered him. I’ve had numerous people ask what it is for and one person asked if he had brain surgery! haha. I didn’t realize how flat his head was until I noticed how much better it already is. Our insurance ended up covering the entire cost of the helmet which was a HUGE blessing to us. My husband’s company somehow added a clause into their policy. My pediatrician really pushed us to get the helmet because he said that it COULD eventually affect his development( which makes sense because the pressure from his cranial bone would push against his brain). I know you have a tough decision to make! I stay home with my boys as well and he doesn’t act any different since he began wearing it AND he just started sleeping on his tummy. I’ll keep you guys in our prayers!

  23. says

    I actually have two friends whose children have experienced this… I obviously don’t have any firsthand experience but I would be happy to put you in touch with one of them. Praying for peace of mind for you as you make decisions for sweet Hayes.

  24. Katie H says

    We actually went to have our daughter’s head looked at because I thought the back of her head looked a bit flat. We ended up not needed a band at all but I am glad we went. We had two appointments and truthfully, I was prepared to get the band because I knew that I’d do anything to help my baby girl. I actually found a blog in between appointments that has a great deal of information on the cranial bands – it’s a woman with the cutest triplets and all 3 had the band: http://bunchbabies.blogspot.com/p/cranial-bands.html

    Best of luck to you & your family.

  25. says

    We went through something similar with our son. We ended up not having to do the band because he did start sleeping on his stomach. His head did round up some but under his hair you can still feel a flat spot. I still remember that feeling when the doctor said we needed to watch it. To some people it may be no big deal, but Hayes is your sweet little baby . You just want the best for him. I’ll be praying for y’all. And btw Hayes has such a sweet little smile.

  26. says

    My cousin’s son wore one (he was also born blind). He is now nine and is a very active little boy. The band did not seem to phase his activity in the least. Like you say, the hardest part is on momma.

  27. says

    I’m sorry yall are having to deal with this. However, if it makes you feel any better, it really is becoming more and more common for babies to get a cranial band. Our little guy had to get one too. At first, we were referred to Craniel Tech (in Charlotte… wow, is it nice!), but our insurance wouldn’t cover it (since it’s “cosmetic”, even after fighting them on it). So we went with another orthotic company, and even they did an amazing job (plus it was WAAYYY cheaper!). Our little guy had a rough time when he was born, and his head never really recovered. He originally has plagio but eventually was more brachio. Anyway, feel free to browse my blog if you want to read more about our experience. They’re actually really cute, and it didn’t take Noah very long to adjust to it at all, even when sleeping. Anyway, I definitely don’t regret doing it (even though we had to sell a car to afford it… fun times). His head looks a million times better. Good luck with everything. I’ve been there, so I understand what you’re feeling. Let me know if I can help any.

  28. Lesly says

    My niece is wearing a DOC band now and it has been a pretty smooth transition for her and my brother and sister in law. They were like you pretty anxious about making the decision and in the beginning they decided not to but after further appointments and watching her head over a few weeks decided it was for the best. She has done really well and is adjusting with minor problems. She’s learning to crawl and getting around with no problems at all. And I must say its pretty adorable! Praying for you as you make this decision.

  29. says

    Both of my boys had to wear a helmet from about 6 to 9 or 10 months. The idea of it was so much harder than the reality. Does that make sense? We made the decision to do the treatment because any hesitation I had in doing it had to do with my own insecurities about what others would think.
    I didn’t want people to look at my baby and think that there was something wrong with him.
    But the day we got the helmet, I took pictures and proudly posted them on our blog. He was so stinking cute! Hayes is going to be the same way!
    The quicker you can start treatment, the fast it will go. It works with growth spurts by guiding the new growth to grow into the direction encouraged by the band. This is the perfect time to start!

  30. Heather says

    I went through this with my son also. He had a severely misshapen head due to the doctor having to use the vacuum on him during delivery. We have a pediatric chiropractor that has seen our son since he was 3 months old and has done ‘cranial work’ on him. (It’s not as bad as it sounds) It was very gentle, like he was massaging the head. My son would sleep through it some days, didn’t faze him at all! We had a consultation for the cranial band at 14 months at the suggestion of our chiropractor because he wanted to see the results of the head scan and we eventually decided not to do the band b/c there had already been such a positive change in his head shape with the chiropractic visits. Now at two years old you can hardly tell that his head is completely round. The cranial work was amazing for us. Just wanted to tell you a little about my experience and let you know that there are other options. With that being said, we absolutely would have done the cranial band if we weren’t seeing so much improvement with every visit with the chiropractor. Praying for your comfort in making this decision.

  31. Becky Lacoste says

    My friend–Hayes will be fine with the band if that is the direction you decide to take. . As far as the concern of stares—its none of anybody’s business–we have dealt with stares for 21 years and it doesnt get easier but we just deal with it. The hardest stares sometimes come from children who are jsut curious and i sometimes I tell the kids that Emily is a 2 year old in a big girls body and that God doesnt make junk—something happened and she is very special. Sometimes I do not say anything and just smile at them. hayes is beautiful no matter what. I am so glad I got to be with my precious boys the other night. Just made a great ending to my week. I am here if you ever need to just talk it out (not during the day but you can call me anytime after 3 🙂

  32. Amy says

    Hi sweetie, thank you for blogging about such a private thing. Your baby is PERFECT!! I know you know that, but I don’t think it hurts to have one more person tell you that. It’s just a symptom of his laid back personality and being on his back so much. God made him perfect and he will always be perfect, no matter what you decide. If it makes you feel any better, I saw a baby with one of those bands on at Target the other week. At first, I was like “what is that”? And because I didn’t know anything about it yet, I just thought it was some new safety thing that the mom wanted her baby to wear in case he fell or bumped his head. I thought he was adorable and I thought – “what a great mom for wanting to protect her baby”. I didn’t think the baby or the mom were “different” at all. Good luck with the decision. I’ll be sending prayers : )

  33. says

    Whatever you decide will be the best decision for your boy! I’m praying for all of you and that God shows you and TC a clear path to follow.

  34. says

    Well you know how I feel about that sweet boy…he is the cutest thing ever! But I can totally put myself in your shoes and understand your Mama’s heart in this. The issue about your baby being stared out, looking different, etc. I personally see babies in these bands all the time and I think most people realize what they’re for. And I can just see his cute face in it! I think he could totally rock the band! 🙂

    I haven’t been through this but I have no doubt you guys will make the best choice for Hayes. Y’all are awesome parents and he’s one precious baby!


  35. says

    Hi Erin – I am sorry your family is going through this. It is a very difficult decision.
    Our son is just a few weeks older than Hayes. I noticed our son had a flat spot Thanksgiving weekend. I brought him to our pediatrician who said it was minor and likely would fix itself. However they would refer us to a specialist if we wanted. I initially said no, but after two weeks where everytime I looked at my baby I saw his flat spot, I called back for the referral. We went in, we’re told we should get a helmet and started pkysical therapy immediately. We came back two weeks later and picked up his helmet. I cried. Oh man were tears shed. Tears of guilt for not noticing sooner, tears for my poor baby who was going to have to wear a helmet, and tears of self-pity. That was six weeks ago. Now it is our way of life. The helmet does not bother him in the least, which is awesome. Frankly I barely notice it. He is still our darling baby, easy-going and full of smiles. This will only be a moment in time in the scheme of things. And like you said at the end of your post: I know I will never regret correcting his head shape while we can.
    Best wishes while you make this decision! I hope you find peace no matter the path you follow.

  36. Mrs. Baker says

    I cannot believe I randomly stumbled upon this post today. I have just started to become worried about my 7 week old son’s head too. He is just such a good sleeper and they told us that he should only be put to sleep on his back, so I try to keep him off of the back of his head as much as possible during the day. I’m so worried. I hope everything goes well with whatever you decide. Hope you know you aren’t in it alone.

  37. Natalie says

    Hi, My son had plagiocephaly where it is flat on one side and we were evaluated for the Doc Band. We ultimately decided not to do it because 1. we did not think it would matter with hair covering 2. the treatment center was over an hour away and he already hated the carseat and would scream during any car ride past 15minutes until the car ride was over (and you had to go often to reshape the band as his head grew 3. it cost A LOT of money and our insurance only covered 20% and we would have to miss a lot of work to take him to appointments 4. And I figured that he would hate the band and if he cried I would probably just take it off of him anyways. 5. My husband and I did “head checks” and felt each others heads and close family and realized that most heads around us were not perfect and we never knew
    So with my decision, I still always wonder if I should have done it even though I think my little one would have been miserable if I did (mostly because of the car rides). You cannot tell anything about his head by looking but I know that the imperfection there and I can feel when I wash his hair in the bath each night. So in retrospect I still think I did the right thing for our family but at the same time I do still think about it.

  38. Erin says

    How upsetting! The only idea I have is this: my boss’ grandson had a band, and they had a big party to celebrate when it came off. They called it “hats off to Charlie!” and all the guests wore big hats while the kiddo showed off his noggin. So cute, and so good to acknowledge what a big deal it was in the family’s life even if the kid won’t remember it.

  39. HeatherM says

    All I can say is go with your gut, in whatever way it leads you. A mother’s instinct is almost never wrong- it is a gift and something God gave you to help guide you as you raise both your boys. Then the rest of your concerns- the time and financial commitments will work themselves out with prayer if your gut tells you to indeed go with it.

  40. Kelly says

    Sending prayers! While I know that it seems like a big decision, in the long run, Hayes will be fine. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it was to hear this news from your doctor. We will keep you all in our prayers.

  41. MrsS says

    I think you should do it also! In the long run 3-4 months is nothing in the big scheme of things. I hope insurance covers a fair portion of it. Fingers crossed x

  42. Allison says

    Hi Erin,

    I KNOW what a big decision it is for you, and exactly what your Mama heart fills like, because my oldest son went thru the same thing as a baby. It broke my heart for all the same reasons you mentioned, but we decided ultimately, for our son’s sake, to go for it. We are so glad we did! His head is perfect now (he’s nearly 5 years old). Knowing that he won’t be teased about his head as he gets older by other kids makes us feel like we made the right decision. Also, I kept thinking how this decision would affect the way he looks physically for the rest of his life, yet, as a baby, he had no vote in the matter- so what would I have voted if it was my head that I’d have to live with the decision forever? So that’s why we made the decision we did for him. Yes, it was pricey, but obviously, we would spend what was necessary for our kids 🙂 I will mention, and yours may be different, but initially our insurance company wasn’t going to pay, so we paid for everything up front out of pocket, but by the end of treatment, for some wonderful reason, they changed their mind and thankfully covered 100%. I know it’s up to you, as his parents, but now being on the other side of it with our son, I promise you that you won’t regret agreeing to do this for him. It will guarantee him a beautifully rounded head for the rest of his life, for very little “trouble” for him now, when he won’t even remember it. Best of luck as you make this decision- and you’re right- he’s perfect whether you agree or not to do it- he’s a beautiful, happy looking boy, made exactly the way God intended…I’m thankful that he’s healthy and that this is just an elective, “easy fix.” Good luck! I live reading your blog!


  43. says

    From different things that have heard and through my husband. Its not really necessary. I don’t know the specifics about your case but the different cases we have been in contact with…it was not necessary and a source of stress and worry. Will be thinking of you.

  44. Amy mumaw says

    My son just wore a helmet for four months.It helped his head so much. I would to talk to you more. Do you have a Hanger prostectics in your area. They did my sons and I loved them.

  45. says

    These are always the toughest parenting choices. You wish it was just black and white! I would do it. The world can be a tough place and helping him now short term can remove an opportunity for regret later.

  46. says

    I can’t say that I’ve dealt with your specific issue but I do have a son that is “different”. He was a late talker and is not the best talker these days. He’s 4.5 now and attends a special class in our school district to try to catch him up with his peers. So I know the feeling as a mama and having a child that is “different”. My son is perfectly normal but when we’re in public and he’s trying to speak to others…. and they can’t understand him when they should be able to at his age, it’s not always easy. BUT, he’s my son and he’s perfectly imperfect!! 🙂 just like your son is to you. Just another hurdle in life and a hurdle as a mom to overcome. Like I said, I look at my child and see a perfect little boy because he is to us.

    YOu and TC will make the decision best for your family. When we had to make the decision to pull my son out of his private preschool and put him in public school at the age of 4, it sure wasn’t easy. But through prayers and lots of information, we made the decision best for him. Not the easiest for us, but best for him. and he has thrived!! Praying for you guys.

  47. amy spencer says

    Hey girlie-
    I don’t comment often- but wanted to pipe in here! Check out this blog- they just went through a similar experience with their youngest, Porter. http://thebralys.blogspot.com/ I think the easiest way to search for the posts would be to look through the monthly archives in the bottom right hand corner..and they went through this is mid-late 2011 🙂 Praying for clarity with your decision 🙂

  48. Susan says

    Hi! My friend who reads your blog told me about your post, and I have to say I am going through almost the EXACT same scenario as you – only I am about month into it. My son is 5 months old, and we have been watching his head since about 1 1/2 months. At his 2 month appointment, the doc said a similar thing, and that we would most likely need a referral for the band if there wasn’t enough improvement. At his 4 month appointment, it hadn’t really improved despite very pro-active attempts by us parents to re-position him and try to get that head growth going in the right direction (no luck there!) We went into the eval with an open mind, and of course they left the decision up to us with the recommendation that he get it for similar reasons as you, with the addition of the possibility of problems with vision and the ear canal if the directional growth worsened, which was an added incentive for getting the band. About that time we started to really pay attention to kids we know that had a flat head shape whose parents decided not to get the band (it wasn’t as often referred even a few years ago, it seems). In one case, the head popped out just fine, but in the other cases the parents had accepted the fact their child had a flat spot and were ok with it. “We will just have to buy him special hats” or “he turned out just fine” were a few of the comments. The parents were not all that concerned, which was encouraging. It was funny that we started to see flat heads everywhere and talk to a lot of parents who has faced the same situation. Needless to say, we decided on getting the band even though insurance didn’t cover it. What finally made the decision for us was that we didn’t want to have our son have a flat head his whole life because we didn’t have the $2300+ to pay for the correction. It is so easy to correct as an infant, and we just couldn’t say no to that. But my suggestion to you is to trust your gut as a parent, and decide what is best for your child. Like you said, he will be perfectly healthy without it, so either way is not a bad decision. Just make the decision and be glad about it, not looking back and saying “what if.” In our experience, now that our son has had it for about 3 weeks we are happy we got it. We’re used to it, he’s used to it, and we’ve seen dramatic improvement in his head shape in just 3 weeks. We’re setting up a payment plan with the specialist to pay it off over the next year, and will find the money somehow. Best of luck in your decision!

  49. Rebecca Albano says

    We have a son who is almost 2-at almost every appt for the first year the pediatrician would mention head shape, but then when he was a year, said it had corrected itself enough. Can you wait another couple months to see if it corrects? It seems like it corrects quite a bit in those last few months (or at least it did for us), esp when they start walking etc.
    -Becky Albano-Denver, CO

  50. Jennifer says

    Hi Erin, I know you don’t know me, but Andrea from MyChihuahua Bites, tagged me in a Tweet. In reading the comments here, I saw my son’s blog listed! I am Alvin’s mommy! His blog is the one listed at http://www.alvin-rice.blogspot.com I’ve been where you were. The decision to go forward with it. The fear about the comments, etc. Please, if you have any questions, or just need someone to vent to, I am here!


  51. says

    Hi Erin –
    I’m like many of the other commenters….I love your blog, but have rarely commented. This issue is particularly of interest to me though. I have a 10 month old little guy (our first), and at 3 months I noticed that the left side of his head was a touch flatter. Our pediatrician recommended some positional therapy on our own – but it didn’t make much of a difference at that point b/c he preferred to sleep on his back. We saw a plastic surgeon at 5 months, and they recommended the helmet therapy. It was a very, very, very difficult decision. One of my good friends had twins who were both in helmets, and she said that while it was difficult, she didn’t regret it for a second because their heads look great. So, we decided to go forward with helmeting. Logan wore it 23 hrs/day for 2 months. The first month did feel like a long time, but we could see improvement already (he had a 10mm difference…and it was down to 4mm after 1 month….no difference after 2). I did get used to going out and about with him and not worrying about looks because I knew my decision was best for my son. Nobody made any comments. Some little kids would look from time to time, but just because they worried about his head. If you have to go somewhere and you really don’t want to explain it, or you want pictures of him without it, you can simply take it off. It’s been off for 3 months, and I already am so glad that we did it. The 2 months of wearing the helmet are a very distant memory, and Logan’s head is looking great. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or need support. I know it’s not easy, but whatever you do will be best for your family and your son.

  52. Erin V says

    My first born son sort of had the same problem. At about 2 months the doctor noticed a flat spot forming and we did everything we could but at that point he was still sleeping on his back and he hated tummy time. We eventually went to a neurologist to check it out because it did get a little worse. They told us that the helmet was not necessary and as he got older it would round out. My son is now going to be 4 and it has rounded out, but of course I can still feel a flat spot but it is not noticeable to anyone else. So I can relate to what you are going through because I worried about it constantly and was always checking out other babies heads wondering why my son had to have a flat spot. If you decide to do the helmet I don’t think you will regret it.

  53. Missy says

    I don’t have children, but I have had several friends who have experienced this. The one piece of advice I have from going through it with them is….if you can swing it start asap during the spring monthes. My friend’s son had his during the hottest part of the summer and the helmet made him so hot and sweaty around his head if you start it now and 3-4 monthes would put you in May June-ish….that is better than July August.

  54. says

    My nephew had to wear a “helmet” for almost 9 months. He is just perfect! No problems and it seemed like he didn’t even notice the helmet. He dressed up as an astronaut for Halloween, complete with the helmet! Don’t worry about whisperers. It isn’t any of their business anyway. I don’t think people would whisper anyway. But what do I know, I don’t judge people. I don’t care what people think of me!

  55. Sarah says

    I am sorry you have to go through this! I do not have any children of my own, but I can tell you that my little cousin had to wear one because he had the same problem. He is now 8 years old and perfect!
    I wish you and your family the best! *hugs*

  56. Sara says

    Hayes is SUCH a cutie! I am sure that you will make the right decision. If somebody else judges you for it, that is their problem, not yours. You know in your heart that you are doing what is best for your baby. And that is the only thing that matters. Best wishes to you and your family!

  57. Cathy says

    I know the feeling to hear the words that your sweet baby is not ” perfect”…… Something that seemed so small to everyone else, seemed hugged to me and it would just bring me to tears.
    This is not something that I am familiar with, but go with your heart and ask God to show you the right direction, he made it very clear to me…….sweet Hayes is sooo cute and I know he will appreciate whatever you decided when he is older.

  58. DM says

    I have a friend whose son had to wear a helmet (I think that’s what the docband must be) because his head wasn’t shaping out. She got his helmet airbrushed with his name on it. It was the CUTEST. Why would you worry about people whispering? “Oh, look at that mom, she’s helping her child…” Questions may be inevitable, but I’m sure most people would ask about his improvement because they cared. The most important thing is to stay positive and upbeat when answering.

  59. says

    Hey Erin,
    Wow, what a decision you have to make. While I don’t have any meaningful advice to give you or personal experience, I am in the early intervention field and we talk a lot about positioning, and I have seen many children with the bands. I have only ever heard positive stories about families who have gone through this and ended up wearing the band. The best part is–as hard as it will be for you to go through, Hayes will never remember this time! I will most definitely be praying for your family as you make this very personal decision. 🙂 Lots of love–Kendall

  60. says

    Oh Erin, I know that you & TC will make the best decision for your sweet Hayes. You are fabulous parents and ill be praying for wisdom in your decisions.

  61. says

    I don’t know what you are going through, but there is a little boy in one of my mom groups who has a doc-band and doesn’t seem to be bothered by it whatsoever. His mom has ordered all of these really cute decals for it that she changes up occasionally. One of the decals makes the band look like an Auburn football helmet – really cute. What’s interesting is that none of the other boys in our group notice a thing – they really don’t care. Nobody makes fun of him, nobody laughs at him, nobody thinks poorly of him – I think it would be better to correct the situation now than have him deal with this when he’s older – everybody will be very supportive and will think he is still the cutest little man around!

  62. angela says

    Hello! I came upon your blog a little while back and have enjoyed reading it, though we have never actually met. I have never randomly commented on a blog post but I just have to say that I have a 6 month old baby girl who just got a helmet a few days ago. She has plagiocephaly that I first noticed when she was 2 months old. We tried EVERYTHING to avoid getting a helmet but in the end, decided we had one shot to fix it and that she’d thank us someday for it. It took me a couple of months to get used to the idea. I about broke down and cried when she first had it on and I have to be honest and say that it BROKE MY HEART to see her in it, but every day is getting a little easier and I hope, as everyone told me, that in a little while I won’t really notice it and someday I’ll barely remember she had it. She has had the easiest time adjusting to it and is a healthy baby and that’s all that matters! Even if she is doomed to have a stinky head for the next several months 🙂 Good luck with your decision… like you said, I don’t think you’ll ever regret doing it and you might someday regret NOT doing it when you had the chance. Babies are so resilient, he won’t even blink an eye at it!

  63. says

    Hi sweetness! I wanted to offer you a hug of support and also add that we have close friends who went through this with their baby Ciaran, and he’s doing fabulously now! He had the band and a surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital and both did the trick … I’m happy to pass their information on to you if you’d like to connect with them. Wishing you all the best, Erin!

  64. Katrina says

    I know whatever decision you make will be the best one for Hayes and your family. I’m so glad that it isn’t something that is dangerous or harmful to him. Prayers go out to you as you weigh all the options of this decision.

  65. says

    My cousin’s youngest son wore the doc band for awhile (maybe 9 months) and our God-Daughter had to wear one for about 8 months. At first it was a little for them to get use to but they both made the best out of the situation. My cousin put stickers all over her son’s doc band, everywhere they went, they got a little sticker. And to be honest, this is much more common now but I know this must be a hard decision. Wishing you all the best.

  66. Misty K says

    Ohy what a hard choice! Sometimes the responsibility of being a parent sucks. I have no experience, all I know is that I dont know anyone who is in their mid twenty’s and above that I’ve ever seen and thought ‘ man they have a flat head’. I can definetly see arguments for either side. At the end of the day though I just want to say Thank God that Hayes is healthy!

  67. says

    Hi Erin! I am Blair from Growing May Flowers. My friend (CMC) posted a link to my website up above and I found your blog though my stat counter.

    If you have any questions about the helmet, please feel free to email me (growingmayflowers{at}gmail{dot}com).

    Our oldest should have had a helmet, but the specialist we saw told us her flat spot would correct itself as she grew. Well, not only were they wrong, her flat spot worsened over time. I have such guilt over not getting the helmet for her, and wish I could turn back the clock and get one for her!

    With our son, we didn’t want to take any chances. While his head did get better once he started sitting up, we didn’t want to miss the chance to “perfect” it. With a boy, if he ever joins the army, shaves his head for sport, or goes bald, we wanted his head to be in the best shape it could be.

    Robert has done AMAZING with this helmet. He loves it! In fact, the hour that it is off, he tries to put it back on! Today during his hour he had it off, he bumped his head and cried so many times that I put it back on early. He is so used to having his safety net on that he knocks his head too hard when it is off!

    Again, this is a personal choice, but I would 999 times say DO IT! The transformation we have seen in 1.5 short months is amazing. It is not perfect, but 100x’s better than our oldest’s head.

    Please contact me if you have any specific questions. I would be more than happy to help!

    (PS – my brother and nephew are named Hays. Great name!)

  68. says

    Oh, and about the people will think he is different. Yes, yes they will. Most comments I get are “does he have a brain injury” followed closely by “Oh, I thought you were just protecting his head.” (Though kids think it is 1) awesome and 2) very funny. But kids are really so sweet about it! I have a friend who son is VERY jealous Robert gets to sleep in his football helmet.)

    While it is no fun to have your child labeled as “different” it has changed me as a person more so than it has my son. I am more sympathetic to people who are not the same as me. My son is, in my eyes, perfect – flat spot or no flat spot. And I have come to realize, those who are different than me have a mother who feels the exact same way as me! Their child is perfect, and I have started to treat them that way.

    So yes, in addition to helping my son’s flat spot, his helmet has also helped me better myself in how I treat others. Win, win if you ask me.

  69. says

    We will be praying that God gives you wisdom in this decision. Please know that as a mother, I know my heart goes out to you and I wish I could give you a hug. Hayes is such a precious beautiful baby boy and whatever decision you have to make, remember this is only a season.

  70. Heather says

    Hi Erin,
    I am a regularly reader. Reading about your decision took me back to the same decision we had to make for our daughter just about a year ago for our daughter. We knew having our daughter wear a band to correct her head shape was not neccessary, she too had moderate issues, though she had plagio. She wore a StarBand for 12 weeks and it made a huge difference in the appearance of her head. The process wasn’t difficult, and we got used to seeing her in her band. Keeping it on her 23 hours a day wasn’t bad. We usually had it off for a brief time in the morning and then for a longer time in the evening during bath. You do have to wash their hair daily when they wear the band, since their little heads sweat quite a bit in the band. Good luck making the decision!

  71. Emily Gibbs says

    I know you’ll make the right decision for Hayes and your family, Erin! My thoughts and prayers are with you as you make your decision, and Hayes will be darling with or without the band!

  72. Lindsay says

    Years ago, I had a second job babysitting a set of twins (I am now good friends with their mother, though I no longer work for them). They were 10 months old when I first met them, and Jack (the boy half of the set) had just been fitted for a band b/c his head was so flat in the back. He wore it 23 hours of the day – we took it off for his bath time, and for a little while in the afternoon. He never seemed to mind the band at all. It was very light. In fact, we even joked that he would probably get hurt more when he no longer had it, because it protected him from a lot of those normal bumps babies will get from coffee table / stairs / other random pieces of furniture. I think he wore it for 4 months, and it worked!

  73. Becky says

    Hello! I have never commented on your blog, but so enjoy reading it! My son, who is 8 1/2 now, had plagiocephally. He was helmeted at 9 months. We too did not have insurance that covered the helmet and had a 2 hour drive each way. I have no regrets at all! He was the cutest thing in that helmet. His actualy looked like a football helmet because he was still coned at the time. It felt like the end of the world and I hated for him to have to wear that thing! I remember taking him in public for the first time and a security officer came up to us and thought he was being kind, but was horribly rude and had no idea what he was talking about.
    It was amazing how fast we saw improvements in his measurements! Like within days of having it on we thought we saw improvements and at our follow up appt. confirmed it. I actually ended up loving that helmet. It protected his head when he was learing to pull up and walk!
    I know it is a hard decision to make, but I have no regrets. I look back on his baby pics when he had on his helmet and they just melt my heart! He was the cutest happiest thing ever….actually several older kids at the time loved it and thought it was a football helmet! About a year after he was finished with his helmet we got a check in the mail from the insurance company reimbursing us for the helmet. We had appealed it when the insurance denied us and never dreamed we would get a check in the mail!

  74. says

    Hi Erin! I absolutely adore your blog and the little men in your life. I have a little bit of experience with this and I want to thank you for blogging about it. Not only for your own situation but to raise awareness for other new moms who don’t get enough information about these kinds of things!

    Before I was pregnant, I had a friend who went through this with her little girl. It was so easy for me to tell her… Be thankful that this is the problem you’re dealing with because there are so many other things out there that you can’t do something about. This is something you can actually “fix”.

    Well… a couple years later I had a baby of my own and my little girl, like Hayes, LOVED sleeping on her back. She was also a great sleeper so she would spend 10-12 hours on her back and would tend to lay on one side more than the other. At around 4 months her pediatrician referred us to a specialist and my husband and I were faced with these exact same decisions. The specialist also labelled her measurements as moderate to severe. It was much harder to experience this with my own baby than watching a friend go through it so I totally understand what you are feeling! Brianna responded very well to repositioning and began sleeping on her side so that worked in our favor. We decided to go forward with some physical therapy to make sure a tightened muscle wasn’t causing her to sleep more on one side than the other and we chose not to move forward with the band. Brianna has inherited my thick curly hair so that along with some improvements in her measurements have made it very manageable and I don’t regret not banding (she is going to be 1 year old next week).

    I will be praying for your family and the decisions ahead of you. Hayes is so blessed to have you as his parents. You can see his happiness shine through in that little twinkle in his eyes. You are doing a wonderful job!

    One resource that I did use when going through all of this that helped read about some common questions and other experience was a yahoo message board that I joined on plagiocephaly. It helped some.

    Good luck!

  75. LMC1971 says

    Hi honey, I say go for it, while your guy is still young enough…it’ll correct the problem and you’ll feel better about having made the right decision. Don’t worry about what other people think, it’s your family and that’s all you have to be concerned about…don’t even let the rest bother you. A friend of mine has twin boys and only one had to have this treatment…she said after a few days they get used to it and it’s just a part of their day. Trust me Hayes won’t feel embarrased or ackward…plus he’ll be so thankful when he’s older.
    Hoping it all works out!
    Best, Lisa

  76. coastalsouthern says

    I’m so happy to hear that Hayes is otherwise healthy. I would absolutely do it if it were my son. Hayes is so young that he will adjust very well and not be embarrassed. Best of luck in your decision! He is so cute!

  77. Mariya says

    My friend had to make the same decision for her son a year ago. She decided to think of it like braces. They don’t look good on, they’re uncomfortable right after the tightenings, but the results are good for life. People do ask some silly questions when they don’t know what the helmet is for, but it’s worth it in the end. Also, it gave her an excuse to buy some adorable hats for her little guy.

  78. says

    I have triplets and one of my boys wears a helmet. I did not want to do it at all but my mom and the doctor talked me into it. I’m glad they did. It really doesn’t bother me or Knox at all! My only complaint is the smell, but I found a solution for that! Make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. It completely gets rid of the sweaty smell. The doctor compared the helmet to braces. He said he put braces on his kids so they would have the prettiest smile they could and he would put a helmet on them if they needed it so they would have the best shaped head possible. I was worried about what people would think when they saw it but I think it is becoming so common people don’t even wonder what it is! I also have triplets so I’m use to people staring at us when we are out and about. Oh, and it has helped! He has worn it for about 3 months and I can tell a big difference. I think I might make him wear it one more month and then we will be done with it. Hope this helps!

  79. says

    Erin- I will continue to pray for you and your family while you make this decision!! Though I’ve never personally had to make this decision, as a nurse I have seen many families have to make this decision and many of them went with the bands because they hoped that if they could help make their baby’s head appear more “normal” then they would be less likely to be ridiculed in the later years. I am so sorry you’re faced with such a difficult decision but I know that you are a fantastic mother and you will follow your heart to do what you feel is best for Hayes!! Sending hugs and prayers!!

  80. Laurie says

    My daughter is just a few weeks younger than Hayes and has been wearing a helmet for two months. I HATED it at first, now it’s just a part of our lives. It used to bother me to go out in public, because I didn’t want people to stare. Honestly I don’t even think about it any more. I would definitely say do it. Her head was categorized as severe. My husband and I were just talking tonight about how beautifully rounded her head was getting. We’ve got about six weeks left. It is sooo worth it!!

  81. CampDallas says

    For what it’s worth…I have a friend with a 9-year old who was recommended to wear a doc band when he was an infant, and they opted not to do it. Shortly after I had my son last year, she brought her experience up to me for the first time, and all these years later, I could sense regret in her voice and words. It’s hard to completely understand when I’m just on the outside looking in, but I agree with the last sentence your post said: you won’t ever regret doing the treatment, but you could could regret not doing it. Saying a little prayer for you and your family as you make this decision for your sweet Hayes.

  82. Susannah says

    Thank you so much for blogging about this. I can’t even express how much I appreciate your honesty. My daughter, Annabella, will get a helmet on Thursday. She is 9 months old and still sleeps on her back (flattened head). I am anxious about how she will react to the helmet, and worry about if it will be worth it. I’m trusting the Lord to guide use on this journery. He is always faithful. I pray he calms both of our hearts and guides us as we make these decisions.
    You are such a wonderful mom, and Hayes is absolutely beautiful.

  83. Gela says

    Hi Erin,
    Our youngest son wore a Starband for 3.5 months due to his flat head, and we were so impressed with the difference it made! His head went from entirely flat at the back from the neck up, to looking completely normal. The hardest part of the entire experience was for my husband and I, we felt self conscious for our son (he adjusted to it immediately and didn’t seem to care in the least). Our feeling self conscious went away after a week or so, and I am glad that we did not let that hold us back, as I would hugely regret not getting the Starband for our son. We did get the occasional mis-informed question about the band, but for the most part, people knew what it was for, as they are just common enough that a lot of people have already seen them
    good luck!

  84. says

    We went through this as well! Our pedi suggested a helmet not a band. We did all that we could with changing his swing and things to different sides of the room so he would look in a different direction. We never got the helmet and his head is fine now ( 18 mos) Not sure when it started shaping differently as it was gradual but it was scary. Sorry girl! I know that is a tough spot to be in but I know he will be OK with either decision you make!

  85. AbsoluteMom says

    When I don’t want to answer a question from someone, no matter the origin of their intention, I give a brief non-answer with shiny eyes and a big smile. I finish with a big “Thank you for asking!!” which clearly signifies that I ain’t sayin’ one more thing about it, and this conversation has ended. It’s your choice to tell them what you want, but that phrase is a good, pleasant way to let them know you aren’t discussing it any further. I’m glad so many have chimed in with their experiences to give you more resources as you move toward a decision. God bless you all, and all who have contributes so many kind thoughts on this post.

  86. says

    Hey Erin, I have been reading your blog for a while now. I also have 2 kids. I have a one year old and a three year old. My daughter had to get a DOC band at 8 months. It was probably harder on us than on her. She had one day where she didn’t sleep great. She wore it for 3 months, they thought she could maybe use a second one, but we were fine with the progress she made. I did also worry about the stares, but I actually had more moms come up to me and say that their kid had one and it worked beautifully. It is all a distant memory and you can decorate them really cute too!! It was explained to us that the brain is lazy and as it grows, it keeps growing the way it always has and the DOC band holds the spots where it doesn’t need to grow. So because the brain doesn’t want to work very hard, it will grow where there is room. (i.e the space that gets carved out on the DOC band), therefore pushing the back of the head into a circular shape. It may change slightly on it’s own, but you just never know. It is a tough decision and I wish you and your family the best.

  87. says

    Not a whole lot of input from me… but a couple kids at Warren’s daycare have had to wear them. (I’m assuming it’s the same thing) I was just going to let you know there’s were ‘hokie’ and it looked like they came that way – not ‘home bedazzled’. So you could probably get a gamecocks one for Hayes! 🙂 Too bad it’s not during football season.

    And *hugs* cause all mommy/daddy decisions are tough!

  88. Michelle says

    Hi Erin. I enjoy your blog! My son (now 10) also wore a helmet for plagiocephaly, caused by torticollis. We checked into the DOC band, but didn’t have access to a clinic nearby. He wore a Starband. I remember your exact concerns. Ours was not covered by insurance either. In the end, I was happy that we chose to have him wear the helmet, as I would have felt terrible if his head shape was noticeable and we didn’t try to do something to correct it. His head looks fine, although he still has a bit of a flat spot on the side, as he started wearing the helmet a little late. The kids adjust quickly, and now (years later!) it just doesn’t seem like it was that big of a deal. Good luck with your decision — I wish you the best!

  89. Nicole Berry says

    Hi…i love your blog and read it all the time…i dont blog ( i say im too busy with two little girls- but i sure have enough time to read several of them 🙂 I just wanted to tell you that my little girl Lyla had the same thing…she is now three. We didnt do the band, partly because our pediatrician is on the board against the band, but partly because of all the research he showed us. The thing that most got us that most kids at the age of three start rounding out there heads naturally. I wish i could show you a picture…her head is the exact same as my older daughters. Now, it did take a while….she has really, really blonde hair and it is fine and thin…so that really didnt help much. I just wanted to give you my experience. Im not against the band at all…im kinda one of those “whatever works for you moms” hope everything turns out well…your family is precious!

  90. Charissa says

    Your baby is adorable! I just saw a helmet recently that said “Just Fixin’ My Flat” on the back. I about died laughing. I hope you have peace about your decision. You’re a strong, powerful and good Mommy!!

  91. Christy says

    I don’t comment much on your blog, but wanted to let you know we had a helmet for our son. Our story sounds exactly like yours. We finally made the decision to get it (without insurance — United Healthcare was making it hard for us and making us jump through hoops so we decided against the hassle.)

    I was embarrassed to get funny stares too, so when we would need to run into the store I would just take it off. I felt like what could 30 min possibly do, right? This worked for us, he did wear it at all other times and it rounded out our son’s head beautifully. Jackson’s case was seen as “cosmetic”, but it was noticeable. He had a flat spot because he is a thumb sucker and didn’t move around at all at night.

    Our office was just around the corner, which helped because the 1st few weeks we were having to go back 2-3 times a week because it wasn’t fitting correctly. You’ll notice a big difference right away and then the last month or so, the shifting tapers off.

    Just wanted to share my feedback with you, hope it helps! 🙂

  92. Beverly Steinhaus says

    We struggled with having to make the same decision for Jack. That first appointment was so hard. My husband cried the whole way home….and he NEVER cries! It was so hard to watch them draw on Jacks photos and point out what was wrong, but I must say that it actually made me more confident that we were making the right decision and that there really was a problem that needed fixing. Jack was 7 months old when he got his band, and he wore it four months….during the hottest part of summer! But, it never bothered him.
    i would suggest that you not make your appointment to get the band on a Friday.Jack got his on a Friday and then experienced redness the first night. There was nothing I could do but take it off of him for the entire weekend and wait for them to adjust it that Monday. That was the ONLY negative thing that happened the entire time! Who is your technician! We had Lisa, and she was awesome! And, since we were from out of town, they would play with jack in the office and let me run to the restroom, etc. before we got back on the road. I would also take bottle warmer and woumake heat up Jack’s bottle during his appointment and stay in the room and feed him afterwards. We loved a place called Dillworth Neighborhood Grill just down the street. Yummy!
    i was so nervous about how people would react to seeing Jack in his band. Honestly, I was nervous about how I would react as well. How would he look? Would i still be able to snuggle him? But, the moment they put it on his head it was no big deal. He was still my cute little butter bean, helmet and all! And, To my excitement, I could still get good snuggles from my sweet boy. As far as the general public, I never had any bad experiences. In fact, people went out of their way to be kind to us. Since Jack had his name on his band, strangers would say “hey Jack!” when were out running errands. He loved all the attention! And, Lots of folks would actually come up and say their children had had one or that they knew someone that had a helmet. I was stunned at all the sweet folks that went out of their way to be kind! I did hear a few children ask their parents why “that baby is wearing a helmet.” But, the parents always reacted appropriately….even though their answers weren’t always accurate. Did they seriously think I made my child wear it because he fell down a lot?! Several adults did ask me why he was wearing it in a polite way. Everyone was eager to understand and was very respectful. No negatives here! In fact, it was more of a shock when he got the band off and wasn’t getting the attention anymore! Ha!
    We were so happy with the results….only wish we would have put it on him sooner so that we could have had more correction time before his skull hardened. But, we are thrilled with the changes it made to his head shape and would do it again if faced with the same problem with another baby in the future. Oh, and even though insurance initially denied covering, we got a check back for all but $45 of the $3,000 we paid. We were pleasantly STUNNED!
    Sending prayers to you and your sweet baby! I know that the weight on your shoulders is a heavy one…I’ve been there. Just know that you are making the best decision possible for sweet Hayes!

  93. says

    Hey Erin 🙂

    I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers as you make the decision on what us best for Hayes. It’s only normal as a parent to voice your fears and concerns, and I would feel the same way about feelings of not wanting people to wonder why my baby was wearing the band. I read a blog The Frazier Four and here are the links where her son, Gavin had the cranial band and then after he got to remove it and it shows what improvement. I hope this helps.



    Continuing to pray 🙂

  94. says

    Hi Erin, My friend sent me your website because my daughter is getting ready to get a Doc Band. I really enjoyed reading what you had to say and other people’s comments. I too struggled with the decision about blogging about it, but my husband and I have had such mixed feelings about the situation that it felt good to share my thoughts.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  95. Melissa says

    I have been going thru the same thing for over a month now! I just got the approval Thursday. My son Brenton is five an a half months old he has been for his consultation already,he has to go for the measurements in the morning at 8:00 we are about 50 minutes away and it is 3:50 am now I have been up all night reading also trying to find a design to make this whole experience better and cuter for him!! I also worry as to what I’m going to hear people say about “MY PERFECT” child!! I know in my heart and mind we making the right decision and what is in his best interest for his future!!!! We have been told that there is a chance even after approval from insurance that they will not cover it so I’m prepared to fight the battle all the way!!! We also have a 9 year old son and he is concerned for his brother but I have put it in Gods hands and I know this is the best decision for him!! He is just the perfect content baby also!!!!!!! Thanks for your blog it has helped me tonight to be at peace reading all the comments and I hope everything is ok with the decision you made for your child!!!!!! Thanks!!!

  96. Beth says

    My heart aches for you. I just found your site and while it’s about a year after you posted this, I found it still. We’re going through the same thing right now. Our little mans head is severe too, and he has positional plagiocephaly. I completely have the same emotions as you. It doesn’t seem like as big of a deal to other people but to me my heart hurts for him. For the exact reasons you stated. While we are also grateful it is something that can be fixed. I too fear the looks and stares from unwanted and rude people. If for no other reason I have a whole new outlook and empathy for the parents of little babies in helmets. Before it was no big deal, but now they’re just so adorable. My son is just over 3 months and we’re going to Cranial Tech today. We’ve been doing pt for over 6 weeks and repositioning and his head is still bad. Thanks for the encouragement I need it!!

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