Mummy Fail: My baby had a flat head

So I had read all of the literature and heard all of the warnings. I knew that I was supposed to alternate the side I put my little one’s head in the crib to encourage him to look in opposite directions (presuming, of course, that he would want to look towards the door and not the wall). I knew not to keep him in his car seat or bouncer for too long. I knew that he had to have ample amounts of tummy time. I knew it all.

And yet.

I hadn’t anticipated that my little man would be born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. Presumably, it had been there a while and caused my little man to have a fairly severe torticollis. He looked to the right. All. Of. The. Time. It was, effectively, his “resting” position. Probably the position he’d been in for who knows how long before he’d been born.

Worse still, he had a limited range of motion to the left…meaning that when I put him in the crib with the wall to his right in an effort to encourage him to look left…he just looked at the wall. When I started diapering him left-handed* to encourage him to look at me….he continued to look right at the wall. When I put ALL of his toys to his left? He kinda maybe looked left. For a bit.

So obviously, Boo developed a flat spot.

Boo's flat and bald spot

Like many babies, Boo had himself a pretty impressive bald spot where his head rubbed the most….it was also his flat spot (it’s strange how I so thoroughly dislike seeing pictures of that bald spot…I guess it’s a bit of a sore spot for me – pun intended).

I saw it happening. I talked to his doctor about it…but she wasn’t too concerned. She told me that once he managed to flip over on his own, spent more time on his belly and started sitting, it’d resolve itself.

And then one day my husband remarked offhandedly that the right side of Boo’s forehead was protruding more than the left. Like…a lot more. I freaked. I worried that I was deforming my baby. That I wasn’t doing enough to encourage him to look left and increase his range of motion. Which, of course, was poppycock.

By this time we were already seeing a physiotherapist for Boo Boo’s legs and she’d given me tips and exercises for his neck and flat spot, as well. I was already doing everything I was supposed to do. It just wasn’t having an effect yet, and I got worried. So Boo’s doctor gave us a referral to the plagiocephaly clinic at Ste-Justine’s hospital where he got his head measured (by laser, thank God), and a week or so later a custom helmet which was (again, thank God) covered by Medicare.

Boo getting his head measured

To measure his head, the technicians at Ste-Justine’s sat Boo in a Bumbo, put a tight cap on, and then scanned his head with a handheld laser. He looked so cute…kind of like a little garden gnome!

The helmet is a passive solution – the idea is that the inside of it rested flush against the areas of Boo’s head that were (for lack of a better term) misshapen, and left room elsewhere for his head to “grow into”. To accomplish this, he had to wear the helmet for 23 hours a day. His only break from it was bath time, and when I cleaned it with rubbing alcohol about 2-3 times a day.

At first I worried that the helmet was going to bother him and be uncomfortable. Turns out he barely even noticed it. He successfully wore it all day every day for about 3 months, at which point we transitioned him to wearing it at night only for another month. When we went on vacation at the end of July we dispensed with it altogether.

Boo wearing his helmet at the kitchen table

The helmet was so light that Boo Boo barely even noticed it was on….he went about all his usual activities – like trying to gum the kitchen table…

Boo wearing his helmet at his highchair

….and not being at all impressed with my attempts to get him to eat banana bits.

So I guess the million dollar question is….did it work? Maybe.

Boo got the helmet when he was 6 months old. The months following saw some huge leaps and bounds with regards to his mobility and, consequently, the amount of time he spent lying on his back. By the time he stopped wearing the helmet (just before his 10 months anniversary) the only time he ever spent lying on his back was when he was sleeping….and even then he usually turned to sleep on his side or stomach. So he was already providing his head ample opportunity to round itself out.

Boo Boo talking on the phone

Boo chatting on his Fisher Price phone. You can see the velcro closure on the helmet – which wasn’t meant to tighten anything, but rather allowed us to open the helmet up wider to place it on Boo Boo’s head.

Personally I think the helmet, combined with Boo spending less and less time on his head, worked together to get us to where we are today. Is his head perfectly round, then? No. Is it better than before we got the helmet? Absolutely….it’s a rather nice, slightly asymmetrical head shape (perfect symmetry is creepy, anyway).

* A talent I retain to this day…I’m an ambidextrous diaper changer. Yay me!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Friday I’m in Love: Whimsical Pink and Grey

It’s been snowing pretty steadily all week…and though there’s not too much accumulation, it is accumulating, leaving a light white frosting on everything. Which has, of course, snapped me out of my “it’s autumn” reverie, and put me into a more wintery and festive frame of mind.

As a result, I’ve dug out my winter gear and have begun thinking a little more seriously about my Christmas shopping, which still needs doing. And by “still needs doing” I mean that all of it still needs to be done…it’s kind of depressing, really. So as a world class procrastinator, I’ve generally been avoiding the subject altogether.

Instead I’ve started dreaming about a slightly whimsical and festive ensemble that I could wear…somewhere…over the holidays. Nothing too fancy (it’s not my thing), but with just a little touch of fun, pretty, and an element of the impractical:

Pink and Grey Ensemble

earrings | bracelet | shrug | necklace | boots

There’s no Christmas-y red or green to be seen anywhere in the above. I think my inspiration might be more along the lines of early pink sunsets cast against (dirty grey?) snow….who says you have to dress like a Christmas tree for the holidays, anyway?

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Lately No. 7

It’s felt a little slow around here. Probably because I had a cold, which brought everything other than the essentials to a grinding halt. Thankfully I am now mostly over it and feeling much better.

I’ve been working a few hours a week from home for the last month or so, and am happily awaiting my first paycheque this week. As a consultant I know that being paid net 30 days is standard…but ouch! Waiting for that very first cheque can be difficult. It’s been a little over two months since my maternity leave ended, and my bank account is looking forward to a deposit.

Boo Boo, of course, continues to be the sweetest and cutest thing ever. He amazes me everyday….though admittedly my amazement isn’t always positive (he’s still getting far too much enjoyment from hitting his head against, well, everything…).

Boo looking through Dada's legs

My little man likes to find the most direct route to what he wants…in this case, Daddy’s attention!

Boo Boo's top tooth

Boo Boo has been smiling a lot lately…giving us a much better look at his three teeth. I’m in love with that lone top tooth.

Boo Boo gazes at Cookie Monster

Boo sneaks a peek at Cookie Monster.

Mama's uniform

Working from home has its perks…these are pretty much my work clothes.

Boo Boo practices with his spoon

Boo Boo is still totally uninterested in feeding himself. But, he is making progress figuring out how spoons work.

Andrea's odometer

So yeah…while we’ve been busy marking all of Boo Boo’s milestones, Erica (…my car…don’t you name your car? My gal goes by the name Erica Echo) hit her own! She also, quite evidently, needs to be dusted.

Boo's hair

I’ve stopped combing Boo’s hair after his bath…because if I leave it be, I’ve noticed that the top layer is starting to curl as it dries. And I love it.

Boo Boo and Dada just hanging around.

Just hanging around with Daddy! I don’t know who’s having more fun in this picture – they’re both so cute :)

Rocky Road Cupcake

We had my in-laws over for my MIL’s birthday this past weekend. The husband went overboard for dessert – a (delicious) key lime pie AND cupcakes (all purchased from here, and oh so good).

Family shot

While the in-laws were over we managed to get another family shot…we need to make an effort to get more of these. In better lighting, too!

I believe we’re having the in-laws back for dinner next weekend, this time for their anniversary. It’s a big one!!

In the meantime, I’ve got to get started on my Christmas shopping. I think this is the first year in which I have absolutely no idea what to get anyone….and a list about as long as my arm of stuff I’d like. Terrible, isn’t it? How are you progressing with your holiday shopping? Have you started? Finished? Want to do mine?

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

Friday I’m in Love: Orange Hues

The pretty part of Fall is over in Montreal. Except for a few stragglers the trees are mostly bare, lawns are covered in dead leaves, and we’re even getting a few flurries here and there.

Notwithstanding the slow but inevitable shift towards winter, I’m still in a Fall state of mind. Maybe it’s because our neighbours to the south have yet to celebrate their Thanksgiving….which, admittedly, I’ve been known to celebrate as well (hello? two opportunities to have Thanksgiving turkey?). Which might explain why I’m still being drawn to oranges and browns (and pinks!) rather than to something more wintery.

Here’s what I’ve been dreaming of wearing these days:

InLoveOrange

scarf | cloche | knit sweater | clutch | glasses | fox pumps

So yeah…..a number of these items are crazy expensive. I did mention I was just dreaming, right?

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0

I love Sesame Street (4) – Updated

After calling Bert a weirdo last time, I thought I ought to give him another chance, and spent some time with Boo listening to the Best of Bert – a compilation of some of the very best Sesame Street songs featuring our unibrowed friend.

My conclusion?

I still think he’s a weirdo. Especially after hearing the song I Want to Hold Your Ear – which is sung by Bert on the album, but was apparently originally (or also?) sung by some puppet named Maurice in a bizarre Mr. Potato Head-type creepy sketch where the object of Maurice’s affections gets her face pulled off piece by piece. Ugh.

That being said, Bert does have a few winners….among them, the National Association of W Lovers. Have a listen:

Gotta love a little word play….especially the line “A fine word like waffle would turn out just awful…”

So what do you think about Bert? Is he a loveable dork? Is he a bore? A creep? Misunderstood? In need of an esthetician to divvy up his eyebrow?

::::: UPDATE :::::

So shortly after posting the above, I fell upon Bert’s song I’m square. Effectively answering my big “what is Bert” question. Square is most definitely the answer.

He’s still weird, though. Who else thinks emptying ashtrays is fun?

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter
0