2020JanSuccessStoryNov1920191108PMMom557352248_69698872_5BFC8386055F4906900963BE8CA1880A.jpegDylan was born at 29 weeks because I had placenta accreta, and the placenta had eaten through my uterus wall. As a result, Dylan had to be removed early, and unfortunately, he had to stay in the NICU for more than 2 months. The time spent in the incubator caused his head to flatten. It was obvious to me that his head needed work, and I knew I had to find the right clinic to fix his flat. At this point, I went to Instagram @almosttripletsnyc and asked my followers for tips and suggestions on helmet providers. This is how I found Hanger Clinic. They fitted Dylan with a STARband, and off we went.

The first few days were very tricky. We had a weaning process so each day we increased the number of hours he wore it. At first, he was very unhappy and wanted it off. We had to fully distract him because as soon as he remembered it was on, he went right back to trying to get it off. Of course, I teared up multiple times seeing him in so much distress, especially after all the long days and weeks in the NICU. The helmet was just something new but not something painful for him.

Dylan eventually accepted wearing it but his head would get very sweaty underneath the helmet. It’s unfortunate that we were doing this during the summer months, which made it tough for him to be outside. It was also tricky for Dylan to wear his helmet during therapy sessions. We were lucky in that our clinic was very understanding that there were going to be times when it made sense to remove it. It was recommended that Dylan wear it at least 22 hours a day. Due to all the therapy and home exercise programs, I would say he probably wore it at least 18 hours a day. In our particular case, this still led to very positive results. I think it is important for a child’s parents to use their own discretion when it comes to their infant’s tolerance and comfort. You don’t want your child unhappy but you do want to improve their condition – so be smart about the process. As mentioned, we removed Dylan’s helmet during his gym sessions, when it was too hot outside during our outings and activities, and whenever he was sick. He always wore it when he slept, laying on his back and feeling well. Remember, there is no hard-fast rule – especially for preemies! We took this to heart and did what worked for us!

STARband plagiocephaly success story

When we were outside, people would always do a double-take at Dylan. I forget that wearing a helmet is foreign to so many. When you are a NICU mom, it felt like the norm. I had so many parents tell me their preemie child wore one that I thought nothing of it.

Dylan eventually graduated from his helmet! It was a long 6 months but totally worth it. His head looks beautiful!

Dylan had severe brachycephaly, with a starting measurement of 100. His last measurement ended at 92.99, which is about 8% improvement. Dylan did better than expected in spite of his early struggles as a preemie baby. Also, as he continues to grow, the natural growth of his skull will now continue to grow into the nice round shape.

As cute as Dylan looked in his STARband, we are happy to say goodbye!

STARband plagiocephaly success story