How to Help Your Baby Adjust to a Cranial Remolding Helmet

Healthcare professionals recommend a cranial remolding helmet to combat a variety of cranial deformities in babies such as flat head syndrome, plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly.

Picture: Jimmy Conover 

Healthcare professionals recommend cranial remolding helmets to combat a variety of cranial deformities in babies such as flat head syndrome, plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and scaphocephaly. These conditions can be caused by many things, such as congenital conditions, narrow space in the womb, and premature birth, and many can be permanent if early intervention and head shaping aren’t carried out. 

It’s only natural to be worried about your baby wearing a helmet for 23 hours a day, but the adjustment process can often be much more straightforward than you think. Help your baby be as comfortable as possible by doing some of the following things. 

Keep Them Cool

Depending on the time of the year your baby receives their cranial remolding helmets, you may find yourself worrying about temperature regulation. Babies adjust within a short space of time, but there’s no harm in changing how they sleep and what they wear to ensure they’re as comfortable as possible. If they seem too hot, remove their socks and shoes to allow their feet to breathe, and dress them in cotton clothing rather than fleece, unless wintry conditions allow for more layers. Many parents also see the value in using ceiling and portable fans in warm weather. 

Maintain Their Routine

Most babies adjust to cranial remolding helmets within one to two weeks, but it can be a significant adjustment for some. Try to keep to their same routine as much as possible to potentially prevent them from being overwhelmed by too much change. This can involve keeping up with the same close-contact bottle or breastfeeding routine, even if it means using a nursing pillow to keep your arm comfortable against the hardness of the helmet. 

Make It Fun

Babies aren’t going to remember their time in a cranial remolding helmet, but you will. Make the experience fun by decorating their helmet with your orthotics provider’s permission or having one created with a pre-set graphic. While some orthotics providers offer plain white helmets, others allow you to choose patterns, colors, and themes to make the experience fun when it can otherwise be a challenging time for parents. 

Maintain Physical Activities

Tummy time, sitting up, and other physical therapy activities are essential for your baby to achieve their physical milestones. While it might seem uncomfortable for them to have tummy time with a helmet on their head, your baby won’t know any difference after wearing their helmet for 23 hours a day. Keep up with those physical activities, and you might find that they still enjoy the freedom of movement as much as they did before they had to wear a helmet. 

Keep Their Head Clean

It’s not uncommon for parents to notice that their child’s head starts to smell after spending so much time in a cranial remolding helmet. As you are able to remove your baby’s helmet for an hour every day, use the time to bathe them and clean their head to combat the smell. 

Adjusting to a cranial remolding helmet isn’t always easy, but babies can generally adjust much easier than their parents. Take note of these tips below, and you might be surprised by how comfortable and relaxed your baby is while wearing their new helmet. 

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