How to Be the Happiest Baby Helmet Mom
Braces, casts, glasses and other impeding childhood annoyances often becomes badges of honor to children if mom has the right attitude. How? When you decorate a plain white cast or better yet get a blue or red one, suddenly, your child becomes admired for their originality. Plain old brown rubber band braces have been replaced with color coordinated themes. Red, white and blue bands for the fourth of July, baseball team colors in the spring, and hockey and football teams in the fall all add up to be the coolest kid in school. Baby glasses with different colors become objects of compliments instead of pity. The same goes for your baby’s new helmet. Why only start making your child feel cool in school? You can have the coolest baby in town with a baby helmet today.
Did your older neighbor feel sorry for you the other day and say, “I’m so sorry that you have a child with special needs, I’ll pray for her?” This is an extreme reaction. You as a mom of a baby with a cranial helmet should be an advocate for all helmet babies. Are you getting tired of explaining the reason for the helmet? Does a personally decorated helmet sound crazy to you or too expensive? Then visit a website like Etsy and look at the amazing decals that they are selling for reasonable prices. I’m sure you’ve seen decals in Michaels or other craft stores, that you can decorate your baby’s room with instead of costly wallpaper. There are decals with different themes, butterflies and fairies for girls and sports figures for boys. The same holds true with decorating your baby’s helmet. Etsy has decals for about twenty-five dollars that describe what the helmet is for, so you will be able to stop repeating your song over and over again about how your baby is going to have the most perfectly shaped head in a few short months and therefore there is really no need to feel sorry for her.
This is just one example of the stickers sold online. I know it looks like the decorations are painted on, but they are merely stickers. I can almost guarantee that no one will feel sorry for you and your baby with embellishments such as the baby helmet below.
If you are a mom who is indeed upset about this new development in your adorable baby’s life, you may say to yourself, “This is serious stuff, why make a joke about it?” Especially if you have other children at home, this will be a lesson in life. You know the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Ornamenting your baby’s helmet will not only make others smile, but you and your family will have a different take on this temporary infringement on your lives.
If your budget allows, there are people who will decorate your baby’s helmet individually.
These are, of course, more costly than the stickers and I personally feel this major purchase unnecessary. Sometimes, however, the time spent with the artist and the thought process involved will be very therapeutic for the mom herself. Women are by nature creative and love colors and crafting, and you can be the creator of the most original piece of artwork in your home. I wouldn’t be surprised that when the time is up and the helmet is no longer needed, you will still preserve it as a keepsake along with your baby’s first pacifier, first haircut hair and other mementos.
The main thing in the next few months, is keeping your baby comfortable as well as yourself.
What do I mean by keeping the mom comfortable? Well, from the blogs I have been reading, it seems that the moms are having a harder time than the babies in adjusting to the helmets. How could this be true? Here are some scenarios that go through a mom’s head. What it would be like to sleep with a hockey helmet on and wear it for twenty-three out of twenty-four hours of the day? Babies are so tenacious, and your baby will surprise you. Within a few days, you will see that your baby has adjusted to the helmet. The more she wears it, the more she will get used to it. First of all, the orthotic advisor will give you a schedule of increasing daily usage. So, your baby will not be wearing the helmet all day at the beginning.
Each orthotic lab will have their own individual timetable. Here is an example of a typical plan.
Day 1: Wear it for one hour three times a day. It’s best to take the baby outside or in the car or keep the baby busy with toys. Check for any signs of redness, which should disappear after 30 minutes.
Day 2: Wear it for two hours three times a day. Again, check for signs of redness.
Day 3: Wear it for three hours a day three times a day. Again, Check for signs of redness.
Day 4: Wear it for four hours three times a day and check for redness. If all is good, let your child try sleeping overnight with the helmet. This will already get your child to the goal of twenty- two hours a day. Some orthotic labs require twenty-three hours a day with one hour off.
Checking your baby’s head for redness or a rash
Checking for redness is required to make sure that the helmet has the exact correct pressure adjustment. If redness remains for more than thirty minutes, you should discontinue helmet use until you go to the orthotic office for a possible helmet adjustment.
How can the mom comprehend what it feels like to be a new baby helmet wearer? Why not compare it to wearing a hat indoors? For the first few days your child will probably have heat issues. Like hats, helmets hold body heat. Keeping the baby cool the first few days will help alleviate these heat issues. You should dress the baby in light clothes and pull the covers back a bit. Use a fan in the baby’s room. Do not keep the baby outside in the hot summer for more than fifteen minutes. After that make sure you get to an air-conditioned venue. Of course, if your baby develops a temperature, remove the flat head helmet.
Another concern of the mom’s is how to dress the baby while she is wearing her helmet. One mom recommends buying clothes that can be put on from the feet up and this way you do not have to remove the helmet each time. Using clothing made of cotton is advantageous as are onesies and stretchies without feet. In the summer it could take a week or two to find the most comfortable way to dress your baby. Most of these instructions are common sense ones, and always feel free to call the orthotist for any questions you may have.
A football mom said that all she could think about was her precious baby’s helmet getting stinky.
“My older son’s football helmet gets stinky after a few hours of growling play, how will my poor baby’s helmet smell after almost twenty hours of wear?”
She has a valid concern. The first few days of helmet wear, you baby sweats a lot up there. The helmet can get quite smelly. But wait don’t panic! There are ways to clean the helmet. The professionals claim that once a day cleaning is enough. Many moms disagree claiming that twice a day cleaning is necessary until the baby’s body temperature adjusts to the helmet. You will fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spray the inside of the helmet until it is wet. Allow the helmet to dry, and using a damp washcloth, gently scrub the inside with a bit of baby shampoo and then wipe away the shampoo with a wet washcloth. You are better off wiping out the helmet with a dry towel because using a blow dryer can melt the foam. While the helmet is drying, wash your baby’s hair with the same baby shampoo. Your baby’s hair should be completely dry before you put the helmet back on. (At your next orthotic lab visit you can inquire about drilling holes in the helmet if your baby is sweating profusely.)
Are you the kissiest, huggiest mom of all times? Are you crying your eyes out for the limited one or two hours a day that you will be able to hug and kiss your darling? One mom commented, ”I never thought it would happen, but there have been many days where I almost forgot to take off my baby’s helmet for a break. Snuggle right into that helmet and give kisses as you would to your baby’s head. If you are breastfeeding, get yourself the nurse pillow. This will keep both mom and baby comfortable.”
The last and most important piece of advice is to smile. I don’t mean only at your helmet baby.
Smile at the world. When one of your friends gives you that worried feel sorry for you look, be confident and give that person a big smile letting the world know that your don’t care. You can take this opportunity to teach and explain and even educate another parent about the wonderful invention of the baby helmet. – )
Cranial Therapy Centers is the only early interventions cranial center in the United States which provides both helmet and manual therapy treatment. We are American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Facility. Visit us in Lakewood NJ, at 1352 River Ave Unit 14, Lakewood NJ, 08701 or in Teaneck NJ at 1086 Teaneck Road Suite 3F, Teaneck, NJ 07666. You can also email us firstname.lastname@example.org
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