When I started this blog, my first entries were about Little Man's two month well baby visit and the fact that he was diagnosed with Torticollis and Positional Plagiocephaly. When I went to his three month visit (with another pediatrician in the practice) I brought it up and how his head shape hadn't changed. That doctor suggested I take Little Man for an assessment at Cranial Technologies, who makes the DOC band for reshaping babies' heads.
I had a feeling that my son would need a helmet and I even figured out what type of head shape my baby had. It was confirmed that Little Man has Brachycephaly and, to my surprise, a technically severe case. I say technically since he looks like a moderate case (if you click on the link and view the photos) but by his measurements—100%, which means his head is as wide as it is tall and it should be 1/3 taller than wide—his case is severe. So a DOC Band was recommended.
I'm now waiting for their insurance coordinator to contact me. The chances of our insurance covering this band is pretty slim, especially considering our policy has an exclusion for orthotic devices for reshaping purposes. And that really sucks since the cost for one helmet is $3600 and sometimes babies need two. But I'm praying that our son will only need the one and will only have to wear it for 2-3 months.
It's so weird saying 2-3 months when he isn't even 4 months old! He'll be wearing a DOC band until he is 7 months old (give or take) and that will be about half his life. But for his future well-being, my husband and I will be going ahead with this, regardless of what our insurance does or does not cover.
Apparently babies with untreated brachycephaly have increased risk for ear infections, TMJ and often do not fit into bicycle helmets (or football helmets). It's very difficult to reposition a baby with this type of plagiocephaly and, thus, banding is very often recommended. Add to the mix Little Man's Torticollis... well, it's a long road ahead of us.
So in the coming weeks, I'll probably blog a lot about the process of getting a helmet and my financial woes as a result. But I'm doing what's best for my son and his future head shape. I hope he won't be too irritated by the helmet once he gets it.