Having one or both of your babies fitted for a cranial band does not truly fall under the area of pregnancy complications, but it is a topic that frequently comes up with twins and can be a concern for parents.
Twins are often candidates for cranial bands because multiples typically are squished and crowded in the womb. In addition, it is recommended that to prevent SIDS newborns sleep on their back; this sleeping position may be linked to “flat-headedness.”
A cranial band in the simplest of terms is a custom cast designed to reshape a baby’s head by utilizing growth points advantageously. As the brain grows, the cast “holds” positions that do not need growth and redirects the growth into the more spacious areas of the cast where rounding out is desired.
As a dear friend once put it, “It’s akin to braces for your child’s head.” In many ways, that is a very good comparison. And thinking of it that way begs the question “Is it necessary?” For all but severe cases, a cranial band is generally considered cosmetic and because of that is rarely covered by insurance.
There is much to weigh when considering whether to use a cranial band. Often, your parental gut instincts will (and should) help you decide. It is also important to talk it over with your partner and discuss the pros and cons.
My daughter, Celeste, wore a cranial band for 14 weeks. Here is my advice:
- It’s always okay to get a second opinion before making any medical decision for your child. Do so if you are debating it at all.
- If you decide to use a cranial band, the most difficult part is probably when your child goes through the 3-D imaging process to make his or her mold. It is recommended that both parents attend that appointment if possible so that they can be there for one another.
- The cranial band itself will hurt you more than it hurts your child. Children do not seem fazed by the band at all. (In some instances, it can even act as a protective helmet during spills!) It is very lightweight and does not cause any noticeable distress for them. It will hurt you in that it is a visual reminder that something is “wrong” with your little one’s head. And you must get over that—it’s not your fault, and it will be okay! Rest assured that the weeks will go by very quickly.
- Strictly enforce your child’s wearing of the band for the recommended time each day. It’s a waste of money if you do not follow the instructions.
- Follow the cleaning instructions for the band to the letter. The band can get stinky if not cleaned properly.
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Please Note: The information contained on The Twin Source is not intended for medical diagnosis. Any medical information found on this site should be discussed with your health care professional. Always consult your doctor for any medical advice.