I get so many questions about plagiocephaly and the doc band that my little man wore that I decided a blog post was the best way to address them all! This was actually my second experience with the doc band, as my first child also had one! She was born with torticollis (which caused her to have flattening more on one side) and had to have PT for it as well as the doc band to help correct the head shape. I am going to format this post as a frequently asked questions post seeing as these are the questions I most receive. If you don’t see your question answered here, just add it to the comments and I will add it into this post once I have a free moment! 🙂
Plagiocephaly and the Doc Band® // FAQs
1.) How did you know that your child needed the doc band?
My best friend is actually an Occupational Therapist for Cranial Technologies and she was the one who first pointed out to me (with my first child) and once I had my second and third children, I knew what to look for. You will most likely see flattening on one OR both sides of your child’s head and this can actually affect the symmetry of the face, ears, etc. If you want to see the before & after results of my little man’s doc band® – head to my saved Instagram story highlights and watch “Baby/Kids” and you’ll get a better idea of what to look for!
2.) How old was he when he got it? How long did he have it on for?
He was 4.5 months when he got it (my first was younger – around 3.5 months) and had it for 8 weeks. The length of time depends on the severity of the head shape. Typical length of time when they are younger is 6-8 weeks. It is better to get it when they are younger since the head shape changes faster when they are younger, so it decreases the amount of time that they will need to wear the doc band®.
3.) Is it covered by insurance?
Ours was covered 90% because we met all of our deductibles for the year. He was born in August which means that we paid for all of the hospital bills and hence the reason why this was 90% covered 🙂
4.) Did it bother your baby at all to wear it?
NOT at all. He slept the same! Same with my first.
5.) How often does it need to be worn?
23 hours a day. We took it off for bath time!
6.) “My pediatrician said that we don’t need to worry about my baby’s head shape but I am still concerned. What other steps can I take?”
I have found this to be very typical. With our second baby, it was actually suggested that we put a doc band on her too but we didn’t because we thought, ” Once she is sitting up and not on her head as much, it will correct itself”. Truth is, it didn’t and when her hair is wet, you can see the abnormality in her head shape. I wish we got it for her too!
If you are worried, I highly suggest checking out Cranial Technologies (NO THIS ISN’T SPONSORED) to see if you have one near you. They have free consultations. There are also other companies that have devices that are similar to this but I am not aware of their names, you could probably google for one!
7.) What does the process entail? How often do I need to go to appointments?
At months and younger, you will go once per week to get an adjustment in the band (they adjust for head growth) and after 6 months of age, you go every 2 weeks (since the head grows at a slower pace after 6 months of age)
8.) Will it hinder my baby’s ability to reach milestones?
Not at all! At least not in my experience.
9.) Is this MY fault?
100% NO. So many mothers feel extreme guilt when hearing that their baby needs a doc band. This is NOT in your control. Ever since the back to sleep campaign that advocates for babies to sleep on their back at night and during naps, the rise of plagiocephaly has increased drastically and there is nothing you could have done to prevent it. Yes, there are products out there that claim to help with head flattening but I have tried quite a few of them with no success. I even supervised my son’s naps on his belly until he was 4 months and it didn’t do a thing. SO, with all of that being said, some babies are more prone to flattening than others and you do NOT need to feel guilty about that!
10.) Are there babies that are more at risk than others?
As mentioned above, yes there is! Twins are much more at risk as well as babies born prematurely that spend quite a bit of time in the NICU. In our case, our babies have heads in the 99th percentile and they just like to flatten out like pancakes 😉
Any other questions, please list them in the comments below and I will add them here!