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Friday, August 05, 2011

Flat Headed Baby

Caleb had his 2 month check up today, and I over-estimated his weight by about 2 lbs -- he weighed in at 13 lbs, 4 oz -- but dangit, that kid feels heavier to me!  And clearly "my" version of weighing him at home (ie, I step on the scale without him, then pick him up and see what the difference is) is a flawed procedure.  Aside from gaining a few pounds, he also grew about an inch and is 24 inches long now.  Both height and weight put him in the 80th percentile.  Just above average.

Aside from those digits, he checks out healthy, but he's developing a distinct flat spot on the back right of his head.  See, his head has always tilted naturally to the right, and he has some scrinched up neck muscles that make him favor a certain head position (the pediatrician had noted this before and said he was probably positioned this way in the womb), so he always lays the same way when he sleeps.  The result?  A flat spot.

So, the pediatrician referred us to a baby head specialist (the dr. actually has some fancier sounding specialist title but it's too long and technical for me to remember), and we have to try and rotate his head while he sleeps, as well as alternate how we put him down to bed.  Hopefully, the specialist just gives us a special positioning pillow, and instructs us further on some PT for him.  Otherwise, he could become "Helmet Baby."  Which isn't a huge deal -- I see a lot of Helmet Babies these days (supposedly the whole back-to-sleep thing has saved lots of babies from SIDS but has caused a lot of flat headedness as a result) -- but it'd be nice to avoid one.

If he does have to get a baby helmet, Jerry says he'll "trick it out" with cool graphics and stuff.  So, we'll make an appointment with the baby head dr.  and hope there's no need for a helmet.  But, if he does get one, I guess Jerry will ensure that he'll at least be a cool Helmet Baby!

16 comments:

Mandy said...

My oldest daughte developed a flat head when she was a baby, and our doctor refered us to the "helmet people" as he called them. However, since it was going to be purely cosmetic, my husband and I decided never to take her. At almost 3 her head is perfect! It worked itself out. Just wanted to share that in case you do have to see the helmet people!

Marlene said...

Aw, I hope his little head doesn't need a helmet - though I'm sure it would be cute!

The Mommy said...

I'm sure you already were told this, but increase his tummy time too. That'll build his neck/shoulder strength therefore making it easier for him to turn his head the other direction, while also eliminating some of the time he spends with his head down and turned to the right.

JojaJogger said...

While I hope Caleb doesn't have to wear a helmet, a small part of me would like to see a Jerry-tricked-out-helmet.

Viper said...

Can't you just take a putty knife or something and round that out? Probably be a huckuva lot cheaper. A beer bottle would probably work too. Cheers!

bethy said...

My son's head was always turning one way. We were given instructions on stretching at each diaper change with was fun (yeah, right) I also found a chiropractor that saw babies who and it seemed to help a great bit getting the tight side to loosen up. Just my two cents. We did not have to do any PT or helmet. Plus the baby really liked it.

Anonymous said...

My son (now 17 months) had a natural tilt to his head when he slept, and a resulting distinct flat (and bold) spot. I always put him down for a nap on his belly in order to give the back of his head a little break. Belly sleeping felt safe during his naps, since I was around and checking on him regularly. At 4 months he learned to turn over and had more mobility in his sleep, and his head rounded off nicely. He's as perfect as could be! ;)

Erin said...

Hopefully he won't be a helmet head but you know if he needs one, the competition at work for ideas on how to trick it out will be fierce. I foresee flames, skulls, cars, trucks, etc. Maybe you could get sponsorships. LOL!

Like everyone else posted, he will be fine. He's already an adorable monkey. And he's only 2 months old! Lots of time for growing and changing.

lee said...

I have a cousin who's son wore a helmet for a while. Now he's like 4 and his head is fine.

Robin said...

Your at-home baby weighing system is the same as mine. LOL--I never seem to get it right either :)

Hope Caleb doesn't need the helmet, but if so, I agree there is no big deal. You are totally right about the back to sleep campaign.

N.D. said...

I do the same thing for the weighing :)

Krissy said...

I had a friend who worked it out on her own by rotating the baby quit a bit but a tricked out helmet ain't all that bad!

Nobel4Lit said...

Hmmm, he'll hate you if you let him grow up with a flat head? J/k!

lifestudent said...

I've known a lot of helmet babies. You can trick out the helmet quite a bit ... and it keeps the kid safe anyway :) Can't have a head injury when you are already wearing protective headgear!

Neely said...

Jess, see if you can locate a Cranial-Sacral therapist in your area who's trained at Level II (I think) that has a specific baby protocol. It's really non-invasive and subtle but can have dramatic positive impact on head roundness and releasing other womb/birth issues in the soft tissues. I've seen it work wonders in very little time!

Cassie McKenney said...

I have a baby girl about the same age, she also favors her right side and is getting a flat spot! Our MD gave us stretches to do with diaper changes. I'm glad to hear we're not the only ones battling the flat head! I just started a running/new mommy blog, you should check it out... http://runwithmaeve.wordpress.com/. I really enjoy reading your blog!