a doc band update- the final stretch

It has been such a long time since I’ve updated on Hayes’s doc band experience and progress. The only reason for that is that it has become such a normal part of our lives that I often forget he’s even wearing it.

In the first two weeks that he had his band, I was really self-conscious about it anytime we’d go out in public. I wanted to shield him from people that might stare too long at church or a restaurant. If I was shopping, I knew that someone would stop and ask. And really, in those first couple of weeks, I was not only the most self-conscious, but that’s also when the most people actually asked about it.

The only negative experience I had was when we were walking at the State House grounds one day and we passed by a group of 3rd or 4th graders on a field trip. A little girl shouted to her classmates, “Look at that baby’s head! What’s the matter with him?!” And my mama bear protective instincts really started to kick in. I wanted to say something to her, but I just looked at her and smiled. I wanted to say, “Where is your mother so I can have a chat with her?” But I didn’t.

And that was the only negative thing I’ve heard anyone say. We’ve had a lot of curious little children come up to me and just ask what the “helmet” is for and I try to explain the best way I can.

But after a couple of weeks, I stopped even remembering that he was wearing it. I didn’t worry about what people thought, because I didn’t even notice it. It’s just a part of him right now.

Our experience with the kind folks at Cranial Technologies has been wonderful. We got the doc band in the beginning of March. For two months, every two weeks, Hayes and I (sometimes Hudson, too) would drive up to Charlotte very early in the morning for Hayes’s appointment. We were always seen within 5 minutes of arriving and when just doing adjustments, the visits were very quick. We were in and out in twenty minutes. And I’d always stop at the drive through Starbucks in Fort Mill, SC on the way back to Columbia while Hayes napped in his car seat.

At the end of April, we were notified that Cranial Technologies was opening a small satellite office in Lexington, SC, which is just down the road from us. So our two visits this month have been just ten minutes away from our house as opposed to the 90 minute drive we had to Charlotte every two weeks.

At our visit on Tuesday morning, we found out that Hayes just has 2-4 weeks left with his doc band! I’m so excited. His head has grown 3 centimeters over the last three months. I can tell a very noticeable difference and I can’t wait to share the “before” and “after.”

For the most part, Hayes doesn’t mind his band a bit. It doesn’t bother him to sleep in it and it has served as a great “crash helmet” as he has learned to walk. The only downside at this point is the heat. So whenever we go on a walk in the middle of the 90 degree day, I usually use that time for him to get a break from it.

If I notice that he’s sweaty underneath, I’ll take it off to let him cool off. When we went to the aquarium and the zoo and spent a lot of time outside in the heat, I left the doc band in the bottom of the stroller, so Hayes didn’t get too hot. He has had a few little episodes of heat rash on his forehead, but it goes away within a few hours. We were told to leave the band off when he has some heat rash.

It really has been a wonderful experience. I’m eager to see the final results. The time flew by and I’m so impressed with my little trooper who wasn’t even fazed by it. His hair is a little funny right now and sticks up at the top of his head, but when the occupational therapists slick his hair down, I can really see how symmetrical and round his head is looking.

I hope that our story will encourage other mamas who are having to decide whether or not to do this. We’re thankful that insurance ended up covering it because that was truly our biggest concern. But we’re in the final stretch and I’m really proud of how well my happy baby boy has done.

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  1. says

    He makes that DocBand look adorable.. They seem to be all the rage these days.. so he fits in perfectly!! He is Presh and that Hudson..enough said!!

  2. says

    I am so glad the doc band does not bother him at all. How exciting that y’all can see results and he is in the home stretch.

    Hayes and Hudson are just too adorable for words.

    I think it helps (your Momma heart) when you don’t have a lot of negative backlash to having your child wearing something. My daughter wears hand braces and I was worried at first what others would say. But nothing to bad. 😉

  3. erin says

    My daughter wore a helmet and I was also bothered at the beginning with all of the stares and comments. The best comment, by far, was by an elderly man. He said, “well look at that, they now make safety helmets for strollers!” It made me laugh out loud! Whenever I see babies in helmets, I always make a point to tell the parents that my child wore one and it made such a big difference! Glad Hayes is almost finished with his DocBand 🙂

  4. says

    I like his helmet! 🙂 My daughter wore a hip brace for about two months as a newborn due to hip dysplacia and we decorated it up.

  5. step moMster says

    oh erin! i can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by. it seems like just yesterday that you shared with us that you and todd had been praying about this decision. things seem to have just lined up and fallen into place….from the satellite office opening, to hayes adjusting so well to it (and looking adorable in it to boot!). i must thank you for educating ME on this topic. now when i see kids in docbands, i know exactly what’s up. now i can educate my stepdaughter and anyone else who might wonder.


  6. says

    I am so glad to hear this experience has been (mostly) positive for you! It’s an encouragement to anyone who is or might be in your situation! Thanks for sharing your story!

  7. says

    Erin, we took off my Hudson’s band this weekend and put it under the stroller during a church picnic. Then we forgot to take it out and smooshed it beyond repair :/ At least we got almost 10 weeks out of it and Hudson’s head looks great! Thanks for introducing us to Cranial Tech, they are awesome!

  8. says

    So glad to hear that Hayes has been doing so well with his band! Our daughter has had hers for about 5 weeks now, and we already see great improvements. We’ve definitely gotten some comments and staring, but for the most part people are very kind and just seem curious about it. I am a little jealous that you have an office so close to you now! We drive 2.5 hours every two weeks to reach the office in NJ. I just try to make it worth my while with a little stop at Trader Joe’s on the way home 🙂

  9. Alison Bulson says

    Thank you for taking the time (even at just the beginning) to explain the Doc Band to curious onlookers. They are becoming more and more prevalent and your patience will make it easier for little ones who need one in the future!

  10. says

    I’m so glad the band is working for him! I can’t believe it’s already almost time for him to be done with it, that went fast! I look forward to the before and after pics. Not that my opinion matters, but when you were posting about making this decision, I always thought you should go for the band and I’m glad you did 🙂

    I can see why kids would be curious since it’s not every day that they see a baby with something like that on his head, but that little girl’s parents need to teach her more polite ways to ask instead of “what’s wrong with him?”

  11. Elisabeth A. says

    Glad it’s going well! And I love Hudson’s Mini Boden shirt! I’m a bit of a Mini Boden addict. 🙂

  12. Carrie says

    I’m glad to know it’s worked so well for Hayes. Like many others have said, I wasn’t familiar with a DocBand until you started posting about it. I’m sure you’re glad to be in the final stretch now with summer just around the corner. Love the pictures of Hayes . . . he’s cute as a button!!! 🙂 The last one of Hudson driving Hayes is too cute for words!

  13. says

    You know what? I don’t ever notice his doc band in your photos. I see Hayes’ beautiful eyes and bright smile. Thank you for documenting this difficult time for you and Hayes. Working in early intervention,I know so many people are unaware about docbands, and you have so many readers I KNOW you have made people more aware and to be kinder in their thoughts and words. 🙂

  14. says

    teehee. wil punkin! and the best part is there’s a starbucks in lexington too! i have NO idea where your satellite office is, but the sbux is on 378 across from walmart (well catty-corner across. it’s hard to spot, but it’s there! it’s a stand-alone and has a drive thru).

    of course that’s not really the best part. so happy it provided such excellent results, and relieved for you and that sweet child that it’s almost over!

  15. says

    As a parent, that would be my worst nightmare to have my child say something inconsiderate about another child. You did the right thing to let it go. She’s just a kid; I’m sure her mother would have been horrified.

  16. says

    I know I haven’t commented since your initial post about Hayes’s noggin, but I’ve continued to read and just wanted to say congratulations for making it to the home stretch! It sounds like your experience has been very similar to ours with Porter. Isn’t it crazy how you really do forget the helmet is there after a while? There have been times since Porter got his off that I wish he was wearing it again, just to protect his head from nasty falls! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve seen such improvement and absolutely can’t wait to see the before and after. You are such a fantastic mommy, and I just love peeking into your life with your handsome boys!

  17. says

    I am so grateful that you have written about this–my little one may need one and it’s the first “big, hard, scary” mommy decision I’m having to make. Reading this makes me feel much more relaxed and like this won’t be the end of the world, no matter what happens.

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