By Heather O.
This is a guest post from Melinda, and she is wondering if anybody else has ever had this experience.
My baby was born with a lopsided head. The right side is so flat it is nearly concave, and the right side of his skull is higher than the left side. His head shape affects his face shape; his right eye opens wider, and his cheeks look different. It isn’t incredibly obvious, especially if you see his good side. But you do notice it if you do more than glance at him.
At his two month checkup, the nurse-practitioner who examined him kept using the word “torticollis” (dictionary: a fixed twisting of the neck resulting in an abnormal carriage of the head) and said he needed to strengthen his neck muscles. The nurse said his neck muscles were cramped, and that caused the constant lean to the right, the funny shape to his head, and the curved spine.
The nurse said I am supposed to turn his head to the left frequently in order to stretch the cramped muscles that always pull him to the right. I am also supposed to give my baby lots of tummy time to make him hold his head up and strengthen his neck muscles. (I hadn’t been putting him on his tummy because of his umbilical hernia, but the nurse said not to worry about his hernia and start putting him on his tummy.)
The nurse said these activities should reshape his head. We’ve been doing them regularly for the two weeks since his appointment, and I’ve noticed his neck muscles are a lot stronger and he holds his head up much better. He also doesn’t slump much anymore, and his back is much straighter.
The nurse said if the exercises don’t reshape his head, they might look into putting him into a helmet to get the job done. His head is shaped oddly enough that there would be both medical and cosmetic reasons to reshape his head. The helmet evaluation is several months away. I hope we just have to do the exercises.
Has anyone else had a baby with a head shaped so funny that the medical people said he had to do exercises? Did the exercises take care of the problem? If your baby had to wear a helmet, how was that for him and you?