Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your baby still has flat head syndrome and you are thinking about getting a baby helmet (cranial orthosis). First and foremost – don’t feel guilty or blame yourself. Plagiocephaly is very common and it IS fixable. A baby can tolerate the plagiocephaly helmet very well and soon, it will be off and that head will be beautiful!

A helmet/band/orthosis is a custom-made device the baby wears all day, taking it off only for bath time. It provides a gentle force (baby doesn’t feel it) to reshape the head back to a more normal shape. It directs your baby’s normal head growth to the area of flattening. (You can almost think of it as reversing the process of what the bed surface did.) The average treatment time with a baby helmet is 2-4 months, although this may vary depending on which product you choose. Sometimes your provider may recommend a second helmet if there are still asymmetries that need to be addressed. Plagiocephaly helmet therapy is very well tolerated by the baby, which is such a relief to all parents! The cost and insurance coverage varies by region and policy specifics.
Most infant helmet providers offer a consultation where they will take measurements, pictures and offer their recommendations.

Here are a few questions you can ask when you go in. After you have the information, go home and try to look at everything objectively (not emotionally) before making a final decision.

  • How many helmets do you do each month?
  • Do you have some before and after pictures of previous patients that look like my baby?
  • How long would you expect him/her to be in treatment? Do you think we would need a second infant helmet?
  • What do the measurements tell you about my baby’s head? (Be sure to get a copy of the measurements.)
  • Can you explain how the baby helmet works and how my baby would be fitted?
  • Do you have someone that can show me neck stretches, if we need them?
  • How much does a baby helmet cost and how much will my insurance cover?
  • Do you have any parents that have been through the process that I could talk to?
Good luck!