Otis is currently 16 months old and has been graduated from his helmet for a whole 6 months now! The photos above were the day he got his helmet off!! We had a dance party, we went out for sushi, we celebrated our Little Oats that day. It’s wild to think that it’s almost been a year since Otis started wearing his helmet. I wrote very in depth about our helmet journey in a blog post here. Otis wore a cranial helmet from 5 months old to 10 months old (5 months total helmet wear) and I am still to this day so happy we pursued and completed treatment. I realize that I never shared our final thoughts and results from our specialist and wanted to do that for anyone going through the process to see the kind of amazing results you can achieve. Also wanted to remind everyone that I am sharing my experience here from a Mama’s perspective and sharing the feedback from our medical specialist. If you have important questions, please consult your doctors.
I included the exact scans above that our specialist took of Otis’ head. Here you can see from left to right our first scan, progress scan, and then final graduation scan. To see the progress in these 3D renderings is WILD. Especially seeing how flat his head started at initially. As a newborn parent, it can be so overwhelming just learning the ins and outs of taking care of your sweet little baby with sleep, eating, etc and honestly it took us a minute to recognize his flatness. You are so zoned into your baby on the normal day to day. To get technical with the numbers, his initial cephalic ratio, “CR” measured 101.2% where a measurement between 85%-90% is considered normal. Otis’ CR now measures 93.5%. A reduction of a minimum of 5% is considered “clinical success” so we more than hit that accomplishment with treatment. A common question is whether he will worsen after helmet treatment but he will not regress because of his mobility (sitting, rolling, sleeping in different positions) and the thickening of his skull bone. It’s just so amazing to be able to really see what we accomplished in these photos. It’s so incredible and I am honestly just so proud of all of us as a family for doing such a great job as a team to work through this whole treatment process.
ARE WE HAPPY WE DID HELMET TREATMENT?
YES YES YES YES. I would do it again in a heartbeat if we had to. Yes it creates different unique challenges to your everyday life but for the most part the helmet was really just an extension of Otis and an amazing tool to help correct his flat spot. Yes I wish it was not INSANELY expensive. There is a very finite period of time where treatment can really work and be utilized and I know it’s a stressful decision to make in the moment. If you are on the fence and it would really help to benefit your child, don’t be scared. YOU GOT THIS. In the end, I was almost sad to see the helmet go. He was adorable in it, everyone knew his name because of his name decal and there was a little bit of magic in the air when people would walk by us and say, “Hey Otis!” with a smile. A real added benefit to the helmet was that he was wearing it while learning to crawl, pull himself up and walk so it acted as a protective helmet too! But with the Summer months in full swing, it was starting to get hot at home and helmet wear in the Summer can lead to a very sweaty head. So it was perfect timing that he graduated before the super hot part of Summer started.
It’s the little things like being able to kiss Otis on the head, or even easily slip a t-shirt on without removing his helmet. It’s amazing those kind of simple things you take for granted. Today, there is nothing more special than putting Otis to sleep, kissing his head, and just having my heart fill with a smile because of it. If you are on the fence of treatment and scared because you don’t know what to expect, let me be the first to tell you got this!! As overwhelming as it was at the beginning, you quickly move into your own groove and your little one won’t miss a beat. High five to all my fellow helmet parents out there. As always, if you have any questions for me, I am an open book. Please leave me a comment or shoot me an email. Happy to answer any questions that might be helpful to you are your family.
Rena - So happy with you that the helmet worked that fantastic!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
Paige Cassandra Flamm - Yay Otis! What a fun milestone for him! I’m sure he loves letting his head breathe a little more!
Denice quiz - Was it hard for Otis to adjust in the beginning? My daughter has a hard time sleeping on it at night. It has been so tough. Any advice? Thank you.
eat.sleep.wear. - Otis wasn’t affected with sleep luckily but he is also a super solid sleeper to begin with. Otis didn’t struggle too much at the beginning. My best advice would be to not over dress baby at night so they don’t overheat. We avoided socks and made sure to keep him in lighter pjs (or just a onesie and swaddle, or onesie and sleep sack) to make sure he wasn’t hot sleeping since the helmet makes them hotter. The first week is the biggest adjustment but these babies are SO resilient!! Just be patient I know it will get easier. BEST OF LUCK!! You got this mama. xoxo Kim
Olivia - Hello! Thank you for sharing your journey – our son just graduated from his helmet journey as well! Question for you: did Otis have a flat spot at the top back of his head when you were done? If so, has it grown out more since he finished treatment/has gotten older? If not, have you simply seen his head continue to round out as he gets older? Just wondering what to expect!
eat.sleep.wear. - Hi! So Otis will never have the absolute PERFECT round head but because of the helmet his head looks great and continues to look great! His head gets better for sure. I would do the helmet again in a heart beat! xo, Kim