Monday, March 12, 2007


I can't believe it's been almost a month since I have posted. I haven't written about Tyler's plagiocephaly yet on our blog and I really need to. I want to keep everyone up to date as to what is going on, so here's a long one!

Some time around Tyler’s two month check up the doctor noticed a flat spot on the back of his head on the right side and that he was strongly favoring that side. We decided at that appointment we would try “repositioning”, meaning we would do physical therapy with him and do things to help him look to his left instead of his right. I mean, he still looked to his left, but not nearly as much as the right. Sometimes if there was something to his left he would turn just about all the way around to his right so he didn’t have to turn left.

At the four month check up and after our efforts there was no change in the flat spot but his dexterity imporoved greatly to his neck. And now there was a noticeable amount of difference between the symmetry of his ears. They started to become very uneven since the flat spot was pushing his right ear forward. The doctor said it was plagiocephaly, and that it could be corrected with a helmet. Since we already did the repositioning for two months and it didn’t help we decided that we would start the process of getting Tyler a corrective helmet.

We had an appointment at the end of December to see a neurosurgeon to be sure it wasn’t neurological and he checked out just fine. After that we were sent to Gary, the only orthodist in north-central Wisconsin that does the helmets. He took measurements and said that Tyler was in the severe range of plagio and recommended we do the helmet. His ears measured almost an inch difference!

Tyler had an appointment February 2nd to have the molding made. They put a netting over his head and then put big pieces of paper mache like stuff over it. They cut a hole where his nose and mouth are and made some markings where his ears and the middle of his forehead are. Gary had to sit him up to do the back and Tyler woke up a bit but they got it all done. We got to pick from a few designs for the outside of the helmet and chose a blue background with cars, trucks, tractors and that kind of "boy" stuff on it.

I took some pictures of Tyler’s head the day after his molding (Feb 3) to show the “problem” areas so everyone can clearly see what is going on. We’re very lucky that it has only affected his head, forehead and ears. In some kids it actually causes asymmetry in the eyes or cheeks, making one significantly bigger than the other. What has happened with Tyler is he favored his right side so much that when his head was growing it grew more to the right front and even to the left side because there was pressure on that right side where he would lay. Now, with the helmet, the pressure will be on the areas that are already sticking out and as the head grows more it will fill in the spaces left between the flat areas and the helmet.

We picked up Tyler’s helmet on February 21st! We are so blessed to have such a patient and laid back little boy! My mom and dad went along since Josh was at work so Grandpa held him during the appointment. (Probaby a good thing cuz I was nervous and Tyler picks up on that!) Gary brought in the helmet and let Tyler check it out a little bit before he popped it on his head. Tyler didn't care one bit! The helmet itself is cute...the pictures are quite a bit bigger than we expected them to be but it doesn't matter! :-) As long as it's working! We had a schedule to follow for breaking him into it but we didn’t really use it because things went so great! He didn’t seem to mind it one bit so Gary said to just feel our way through the process and if things are going well we can just leave it on him, which is what we did!

His latest appointment was on March 9th and everything is right on track. Gary even said he can see an area on the flat spot that is already starting to pop out!! How awesome!

I guess plagio is getting to be more common now because of all the time babies are spending on their backs due to SIDS. PLEASE educate anyone you know with a little one at home about Plagiocephaly (flat heads!). This is preventable, to an extent. Josh and I had never even heard of this. I read a lot when I was pregnant and never once was it mentioned in a book! We had no idea that his favoring his right side would cause this!

This is cosmetic, not neurological, so having that in our minds makes this a little easier! I almost fell apart the first time I saw him in it. Now, when we take it off for baths or getting dressed he looks weird without it after only two weeks. I did fall apart the first time someone stared at him. Josh and I went for a fish fry with Tyler and this woman was blatantly staring at him. The next thing I knew tears were rolling down my face in the middle of dinner! But that’s the only time (so far!) I’ve really lost it. I told Josh I needed to just get it out of my system! :-)

SO…after a little over two weeks with Tyler’s helmet, he is doing great! I will continue to update his progress!


TummyTime said...

Saw your blog about plagiocephaly, and agree that oftentimes it can be prevented --- and yes, we need to get the word out about plagiocephaly. Here is a link to download a pdf format of a Tummy Time brochure that was developed to help educate people about using Tummy Time as a potential preventative measure for plagiocephaly. You are welcome to download, print, and share the Tummy Time brochure. You can get it at . It would be great to increase awareness! You can also visit for other literature and info.
Your baby is gorgeous in his band!
Best wishes.

Clocks and Flowers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen M said...

I saw your post and wanted to say thanks. My son (who is 3 and a half months) also has the same issue. We are going to an appointment next week at the Children's Hospital (in Ottawa, Canada where we live). I'm not sure if he will need the helmet or not but, like you, I have been trying the repositioning. Glad to hear your son is doing well. I hope I can say the same soon.

Anonymous said...

You are very focused and attentive to your child's needs. Another valuable resource might be Its a positioning pillow for plagiocephaly. I hope things go well for your boy!

Anonymous said...

I was glad to read your post. My little guy who is 2.5 months old has palgiocephaly and I am waiting to see a specialist here in Ottawa. As educated as I was about plagiocephaly I still can't believe it happened to my baby - it happened so fast! He favours looking to the left and has a flat head on the left side. I have tried EVERYTHING to help him look to the right, including physio and chiropractic therapies. I also do everything to keep him off his back, including staying awake with him in the middle of the night and having him sleep on me. Forget repositioning: he is too strong now. I also have bought different sleep positioners, pillows, etc. and nothing has changed. Without a question in my mind he will need a helmet. I am so exhausted as my days are solely focussed on his head and I fee litke sucha terrible mother to have let this happen. I'm just glad this is caught early. Kids are cruel and I want him to have a good qulity of life. Please keep your updates coming!

Plagio UK said...

Great to see someone so positive yet realistic about plagiocephaly. Tyler seems to be doing great! It's so true that word needs to get out there as many parents do not know about this often easily prevented and treatable condition. Here in the UK it is recognised by the NHS and most other health organisations only acknowledge the condition as aesthetic, consequently many parents are not informed or aware that there are solutions.

Here's a site with case studies and more information about plagiocephaly and its treatments.

Good luck with Tyler and thanks again!