Helmet Up: Understanding Why Some Babies Need Headgear

Babies are little bundles of joy- sweet, adorable creatures that we just can't get enough of. But every now and then, a baby is born with a slightly misshapen head. Although this may sound alarming, it is actually not uncommon.

Helmet Up: Understanding Why Some Babies Need Headgear

The condition in which an infant's head appears to be misshapen or uneven is known as plagiocephaly. Plagiocephaly usually occurs when a baby's skull bones have not yet fused together completely. This results in flat spots or asymmetry on the back of their heads.

Parents often wonder if their child will outgrow this condition or whether they need to take any action to fix it... Let's dig right into why some babies might need helmets!

What Causes Plagiocephaly?

Plagiocephaly can occur for several reasons:

  1. Positional preference: If an infant regularly sleeps with their head turned to one side, the continued pressure from lying in that position could lead to flattening on one spot.
  2. Prematurity: Infants who are born prematurely often spend extended periods of time lying down due to complications.
  3. Muscular torticollis: A tightening of muscles on one side of the neck causes infants' heads rests mostly on one shoulder resulting in changes over time.
  4. Multiple births/ lack of space before birth contributes towards cranial deformities.

Any combination between these risks factors may occur and cause very significant distortion leading parents seeking consultation regarding correction methods including helmeting.

What Is Cranial Remodeling?

Cranial remodeling involves making changes like re-shaping parts of the skull by applying moderate pressure over specific areas through different types corrective devices used during day and night times which promote growth while molding bone plates gradually shifting toward optimal symmetry allowing differentiation from other severe conditions like positional brachycephalic or syndromic forms.

The process is mostly divided into 4 main stages:

  1. Evaluation: a thorough examination of the infant's head by physicians used for diagnosis and determining if cranial remodeling intervention is needed.
  2. Planning: Including making customized helmets, treatment schedules, measuring progress through regular appointments
  3. Growth monitoring: frequent check-ins to make sure growth progression aligns with doctor recommendations
  4. Follow up care- includes continued monitoring and ensuring hoped-for post-treatment outcomes.

What are Cranial Remodeling Helmets?

In some instances preoperative repositioning can help in positional cases before going straight to corrective helmeting; however indications causing moderate or severe imbalances lead towards helmet usage practices which work best during infancy add medically supervised timely sessions that usually range between two-to-six months based on individual prognosis visits frequently take place every couple of weeks.

Cranial remodeling utilizes custom-made helmets that apply pressure over certain areas (flat spots), leading to more even bone growth as babies grow normalizing their heads while it begins reshaping at the same time like trees growing taller in forests yearly partially thanks to directed sunlight - this comparison makes perfect sense since little one’s need multiple restful sleeps each night giving enough stretches of rest wearing their major appliance solution called 'cranial remolding orthosis' commonly known as a baby helmet other dads might say bowl safety hat but hey that's just funny dad talk.

During these periods parents don't have much opportunity besides appraisals asking them how their child feels about there band style themes design & color they choose helps alleviate anxiety because often times any doubts can be easier when knowing other babies worldwide have shared similar experiences.

Usually worn from shortly after initial diagnosis until desired clinical targets are achieved resulting in comprehensive evaluations conducted throughout treatment durations beginning assessment sets defining severity level prioritizing case assignments ensured follow ups promote ideal neurocognitive functionality preparing infants for toddlerhood by positioning developmental readiness how to ensure overall health preserving cranial correction intervention for the long haul.

Types Of Cranial Remodeling Helmets

There are several types of helmets that can be used in cranial remodeling:

  • Boston Band
  • Starband
  • DOC band

Boston Bands were one of the first helmets developed specifically for use in treating plagiocephaly. Simplicity allows this option to be cost-saving but less patient-centric than their counterparts. They involve a hard outer shell with foam padding providing even pressure over specific areas contributing towards growing and reshaping optimal spaces shifting toward symmetry.

DOC! Another great acronym with exclamation points. Don’t let its lowercase style confused any novice parent: Detail Oriented / Customized (plastic orthotic) has quality written all over it offering computer based scans which leads faster manufacturing process, adjustable options, meaning more efficiency at trying to structure back plate adjustments while babies' heads grow forming improved progress patterns tracked digitally - win-win people!

Last but definitely NOT LEAST: The star-band is another type of helmet made from plastic & some other elements specialized fitting your baby's head perfectly! Means patients can wear this band daily as part of a treatment program tailored exactly WITH unique child-specific details achieved since shape, learning regular sensory feedback often changes higher levels neurotransmitters approaching tolerance limit measured transforming perception what must-have lifestyle change occur utilizing refitting processes perfecting final stature.

Do All Babies With Plagiocephaly Need A Helmet?

Plagiocephaly does not always require helmet therapy or corrective practices; however when cases have moderate-and-severe diagnosed severity levels testifying unsatisfactory developmental aesthetics infant evaluation plays critical decision-making factors monitoring persistency clinically establish set goals sequences initiating standardized techniques making extra noticeable human variable impact though children master movements unaffected but medically necessary defining best-suited corrective tools promoting healthy growth-rate being prerequisites during infancy.

The comorbidity rate between plagiocephaly and other cranial anomalies/developmental delays usually compels pediatricians to seek premier advice from a certified orthotist involving both concerned parent/caregivers together with interdisciplinary team since their role cannot be understated as they offer significant support professionally, knowledgeable referrals ensuring desired satisfaction in patients' outcomes.

How Can You Help Prevent Plagiocephaly In Babies?

There's no guaranteed prevention method for plagiocephaly but luckily many parents following standardizing tips may reduce different factors leading towards one of many causes contributing to head shape complications such as:

  • Regular repositioning during sleep hours
  • "Tummy time" position cutting back on extended use of baby-carriers or swings
  • Initiate changes that encourage your infant looking in alternate directions

Summing it up 'if you can properly demonstrate daily routines and enact best parenting practices illustrating all these strategies even bear-handed (don’t put polar bears near babies) instead merely mumbled through - flattened skull surface troubles decline rapidly giving pro-active advantages higher trajectory quality growing stages.


Cranial Remodeling is an efficient way to help infants overcome the challenges posed by plagiocephaly, however determining if helmet therapy/restructuring is necessary will rely heavily on the individual patient case severity level although having all three types of helmets discussed here broaden options helping medical professionals decide which tools work optimally creating soft & safe pressure compression while aiming proper growth alignment promoting better symmetry simultaneously preventing future developmental disruptions fostering healthier progression achieved before reaching toddlerhood when consistent demands recalibrating posture task-learning exponentially increases decisionifying inclusion early intervention based on consultation feedback advantageous easing parental apprehension increasing success prognosis presenting high functional neurocognitive benefits each child deserves along w/better long-term aesthetic physical goals!

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *