Round Heads and Healthy Babies

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Are you dying to see what Lexi’s birthday party looked like? How adorable she was? And how her first taste of sugar via smash cake was?  I am absolutely dying to share, so it’s killing me not being able to. Fingers crossed my laptop should be back Wednesday/Thursday and I can post by the end of the week.

In the meantime…

A few days ago I got a newsletter in my inbox about a new product that I thought I’d share with you since I can’t write about much else at the moment while I wait on my laptop.

It’s a baby beanie that helps prevent and treat Flat Head Syndrome. It’s crazy that FHS affects 48% of all babies 0-6 months old.

I remember when Lexi was little and wouldn’t sleep no matter what, we tried everything known to man to help her sleep. Every single device (aside from a hammock) was purchased. Most of them were the kind of seat/bed that would cause issues if a baby stays there for too long.

I know how many people use and swear by an RNP, but it is, as well as many other seats, a real danger to babies’ heads, if used a lot.

So this Tortle beanie was designed by a pediatrician and is meant to be worn by an infant when lying down or nursing. It’s not something that I knew about or was available at the time, but I would have definitely gotten it as I had concerns about messing up Lexi’s gorgeous round head. One of the first things we noticed about her in ultrasounds was how perfectly round her head was. It still is.

Not every baby is so lucky and I know quite a few people who had issues with that, so I think it’s important to spread a tiny bit of awareness. For more info, watch this video:

If you have a newborn, check it out to see if it’s something you’d like to use. Almost 1 in 2 babies develop Flat Head Syndrome, which is crazy, because it can totally be prevented now.

And here’s roundheaded Lexster for you. {sorry about the ugly watermark, I am on my desktop without any fonts available. boo}

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  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Wow, I wish I had known about this a few months ago!! When my daughter started sleeping in her crib around 2 months, the right side of her head became flat so quickly due to her preference to turn her head to the right. We tried flipping her head to the other end of the crib so she would have to look to the left to see out, nothing worked and it just kept getting worse!! We finally broke down and spent almost $100 on a Mimos pillow. After a lot of research, we found it was the safest and best one available. We do think it worked, she is 7 months now and her head has rounded out very nicely. I just wish I had been more conscious of it happening before it got so flat, and something like this beanie may have prevented it in the first place. File this one away for my next baby in a few years!!

    PS – Your daughter is adorable, I love the little curls!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Interesting! I always worried about that as well. My younger daughter had terrible reflux and I had to use everything to get her to sleep and I always worried about her head too! I moved her around a ton, knowing I had to put her in items that might cause her head to be misshaped and she ended up being okay, but I can see how easily it can happen. Definitely looking into this if we have another little one.

  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    that is actually pretty cool! we used to just roll a thin receiving blanket under her side.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Do you think there’s a correlation between Lexi’s round head and the fact that she rarely goes (or went) very long at any one time sleeping, especially during those early months when the skull is still so malleable?

    • Reply
      February 19, 2013 at 12:34 AM

      (I ask because my kid also has an incredibly round [and large] head, and she didn’t sleep through the night until 9-10 months.)

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      February 19, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      No, honestly I don’t. She had a very round had in the womb as well. Not sleeping simply helped her keep it.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    “She had a very round had in the womb as well. Not sleeping simply helped her keep it.”

    Almost babies have “round” heads in the womb (unless they have torticollis from positioning in the womb at the very end of pregnancy). Usually it’s pushing through the vaginal canal that can result in misshapen heads, which is very normal, and babies will slowly regain a more rounded shape over time. So Lexi’s “round” head in the ultrasound was normal and expected. Since you didn’t push for very long or have a hard delivery, Lexi’s skull shape was maintained. My daughter was the same way, I pushed for less than 45 minutes so her skull maintained its shape (although “round” doesn’t really describe it; she doesn’t have a Charley Brown head! That would be odd looking. She has a “normal” shaped head.).

    And I would be careful with products like this, as the APP specifically recommends against using any sleeping positioners (including those used to help with positional plagiocephaly) as they are a SIDS risk.

    • Reply
      February 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      I was wondering about SIDS risk too. I remember reading that babies need to be able to move their heads independantly in order to escape the buildup of carbon dioxide the occurs when they sleep (as it settles by their heads). Also why fans and open sided cribs are recommended, and one of the other reasons besides suffication that bumpers aren’t recommended as they block airflow around the bebe.

      My son also has a very round/large head and did in the womb as well, as has every single ultrasound picture I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a pic of a non-round head in an U/S picture, unless, like Grace said, there’s somethign else going on (I srsly love how round those heads always are in pics!!!). I had a c-section so his round head didn’t get messed up by birth.

      Was this a sponsored post, or did you just get the newsletter and thought it sounded interesting? Just curious. You’re usually really good about saying that you got a product to review but was wondering about this one since Lexi is too big for it.

      • Reply
        Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
        February 19, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        I can’t imagine this beanie would pose a SIDS risk but it’s not up to me to decide.

        And yes I have seen non round u/s images, but that could be from distortion.

        Not a sponsored post (I’d mark it if it was). Just got a newsletter and thought it was a worthwhile thing to mention for anyone with a newborn. I would face wanted to know about this.

  • Reply
    February 19, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    Hi! I just discovered your blog while looking for attachment parenting resources, I love all of your posts about organic and natural baby resources! Lexi is too cute! Have you written on your blog about her strabismus? My sister’s little boy has it and I’m always excited when I find resources on the internet to send to her. Does Lexi need glasses yet? That has been a really interesting experience for my sister, dealing with glasses for a baby, but luckily they seem to be working for him so far.
    I’m due with DD #2 and I’ll totally check out the beanie – a very cool idea!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      February 20, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      Hey, Heather! Glad you find the blog useful.
      To answer your question: Lexi doesn’t have strabismus, so you won’t find any resources here, sorry. She’s been checked out every few months since birth by a specialist. It’s a illusion that camera catches once in a while (doc thinks it has to do with how her inner eyelids are less open creating that illusion in certain situations. As her eye lids grow (since the eye itself is the adult size at birth) and reveal more of the eyes from that side, the illusion will disappear.
      She does have a bit of nearsidedness that might or might not correct itself with age, so she’ll probably need glasses eventually, since the whole side of my husband’s family wore glasses early on as kids.

      • Reply
        February 20, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        There is nothing cuter than babies wearing glasses! How do you know that she’s nearsighted? I didn’t know that you could tell this young, just curious.

        • Reply
          Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
          February 20, 2013 at 4:12 PM

          Most parents don’t know their kids have any vision problems till school age because they are not routinely screened for nearsightedness.
          However because we had to go in to an ophthalmologist when she was 6 months and appeared crossed eyed in some pictures (never in real life), he dilated her eyes. There were no issues with strabismus. But He saw that she had some astigmatism (blurry vision). He told us most likely it will disappear Then We went for a follow up. Astigmatism did in fact disappear but he said that she’s slightly nearsighted (about same degree as I am right now and I don’t have to wear glasses except when driving at night).
          Again he was not concerned and told us that because babies’ eye change sooo much and become farsighted between 2 and 5 so it’s likely to correct itself. If not shell need glasses by school age.
          Sorry for such a long winded answer but basically the answer to everything is “it might change” lol

  • Reply
    February 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Hey Elena! What newsletter did you see this in? I love subscribing to email newsletters because it gives me something to read while nursing. I’m always looking for more.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      February 20, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      It was some email blast, the kind I gets hundreds of a week, mostly about products or services. It just caught my attention.
      But if you’re looking for something good to read, sign up for Daily Mom. It’s coming out Feb 28th.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    My kids are 8,8, 10, and 13, but if I remember correctly, infants are NOT supposed to sleep in hats of any kind. Our ped’s office has a sign up about SIDS, and one of the things on that list is NO HATS or headcovering of any kind while sleeping. I’d avoid this product, to be quite honest. I know you don’t want to be promoting anything that could possibly contribute to tragedy. Lots of baby and infant products that are sold are just money-making junk, with no real science behind them.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      February 20, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      I don’t really know much about the product aside from what I mentioned. But according to their website:

      Is It Safe?
      Tortle is an FDA-cleared Class I medical device to help prevent flat head syndrome. It’s a natural way to encourage healthy head and neck motion, without any of the suffocation risks of repositioning pillows or wedges.

      Either way parents should always be the ones to decide what’s good for their kid.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      I fully agree. One of the most important factors in preventing SIDS is overheating. Babies should NOT have their heads covered when sleeping. They should be only be covered in blankets up to their shoulders. The only downside of the SIDS awareness campaign is that more babies have slightly flattened skulls, from being laid on their backs. Which can be worrying for the parents (particularly in these image obsessed days), but in the long run doesn’t do any harm. (They almost always even themselves out anyway).

  • Reply
    February 20, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Class 1 medical devices are subject to the LEAST control of any device approved (think: bandages), so that’s not a very good way to advertise one’s product. Of course, most people see FDA and assume it’s a safe product, which we all know from watching the news is not the case.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Elana I read too many blogs. I will admit this! And I have never read like comments like I see on your blog. Some of your readers need to seriously think before they write. And you deserve an award for not telling them where to go!!!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      One of the things that I find really refreshing about Elena’s blog is that her posts often illicit such interesting discussion and debate about what we think is best for our children. Of course, I cant speak on behalf of Elena, but I’m fairly sure that she doesn’t expect her readers to slavishly follow her way of doing things, without ever thinking for ourselves! I’ve never read a disrespectful or offensive comment, all I see is mature discussion.

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