Our Story with Plagiocephaly



Alexander a Twin Brother (Twin A)

Alexander is a twin brother. He was born on April 25th, 2008 weighting 6.6 pounds. His head's shape at birth was normal and symmetric, same as his twin brother. As weeks went on, we noticed that his head didn't have a normal shape anymore, now on the right back part of his head you could notice a flattened area. At that point we realized that he always lied and turned his head only to one side when he was laying down. Even though we tried to change his head position, he turned it again to his "favorite" position. He was going to have his two months check up soon, so we decided to wait to bring this up to our pediatrician and find out what we should do. Finally, at the appointment, our pediatrician informed us that this condition was very common in babies because they spend almost all the time laying down. He told us we should do more tummy time and change his position frequently so that he received less pressure on the flattened side of this head. He said that doing this, within some months, his head shape would be corrected.




Example of an infant head with plagiocephaly

Photo by: CranialTech





helmet to treat plagiocephaly

Alexander suffered from torticollis

At three and a half months we noticed that tummy time and changing his position were not enough to correct his head's shape. At that point we decided to ask our pediatrician a referral for physical therapy. Alexander's main problem was torticollis. The lack of enough space in my uterus (twins) caused his head to tilt to one side and that was why he always turned his head to that side when sleeping, or on the bouncer, swing, etc. The constant pressure on that side of his head caused the flattened area on the back of his head (plagiocephaly). Alexander's torticollis was not severe and only four physical therapy sessions were enough for him to turn comfortably his head to both sides. Torticollis was corrected, but now we had to fix his head shape.


Our Experience with Cranial Technologies and DocBand®

We started to do some research and we found out that this flattened head condition was called plagiocephaly. We found on the Internet information about DocBand®, a cranial helmet that helps to correct head shapes in babies. According to what we researched, the younger the baby the faster the head shape improves because it is when a baby's head grows more. Our pediatrician recommended us Cranial Technologies as a cranial helmet provider and even though we researched and looked for other providers and options, we couldn't find any at that point in Dallas, Texas.

Infant head with plagiocephaly before and after picture

Photo by: CranialTech

In September 2008 we took Alexander to a free appointment at Cranial Technologies to have a diagnosis and see if he was a candidate for the helmet. The diagnosis was plagiocephaly and he started using the cranial helmet at four and a half months. He had to wear it for 23 hours a day for six weeks. The service at Cranial Technologies was always good. The complete treatment cost us US$3,600 and it included all the visits, pictures, measurements, mold and adjustments. They didn't take medical insurances (not sure now). We had to pay that amount the first time and then make a claim for reimbursement to our medical insurance. After six weeks using the helmet, Alexander could not use it anymore because it was too small for his head. The shape of his head was not totally corrected yet. Cranial Technologies' answer was that his head was within the normal percentage of the rest of the population. Personally, we are not 100% satisfied with the results. We think that Cranial Technologies more than anybody should know that babies with the same head shape and measures as Alexander's most of the time take more weeks to correct it than the time indicated and helmets should be bigger to be used for more weeks or they should offer other options to parents. Cranial Technologies never told us that if Alexander's head grew up and the shape of his head was not corrected and the helmet was too small for him at that point, the only way we could continue with treatment was if we paid for another helmet and that was going to be another US$3,600!!!
It is very important that we leave clear that from week one to three using the helmet, we noticed a huge improvement and we thought his head shape was going to be normal after six weeks as they indicated but unfortunately it was not. Due to Cranial Technologies' response on treatment results, we decided to wait and see if with time and growth, his head achieved a normal shape. Today, four months after finishing DocBand® treatment, his head shape is still not perfect but we hope that with more time it will improve more.


See Alexander's photos before and after DocBand® treatment


Infant head with plagiocephaly before and after picture

Photo by: CranialTech

Infant head with plagiocephaly before and after picture

Photo by: CranialTech

Infant head with plagiocephaly before and after picture

Photo by: CranialTech

Infant head with plagiocephaly before and after picture

Photo by: CranialTech

Infant head with plagiocephaly before and after picture

Photo by: CranialTech

Infant head with plagiocephaly before and after picture

Photo by: CranialTech


*** Please, read carefully our story ***

If you think your baby has this condition, contact your pediatrician right away with this concern! Find out what other services or helmet providers are out there before starting treatment with one. Check with your health insurance what options they have for you but always, always do what your heart tells you.