|Image from Here with tons of info for the medical people.||A more severe version go here and for the same things||I'm saying but in doctor speak, go here.|
I have been promising this post for awhile and have finally gotten to it! YEAHHH to having interwebs again!
Now I have to start off with some basic info.... I am NOT a medical professional, but I am the Mom of a NICU grad. A long term NICU resident. We were in the NICU for 5.5 months (figured out the other day.. 170+ days). In our NICU plagiocphaly was EXTREMELY common. The fact that we managed to leave the NICU with a "normal" skull shape was amazing to many of the medical professionals there, and has inspired some changes in our NICU.
|The first signs of NICU head. Lil'C was only a few days old.|
A parent gives a unique perspective on the medical interventions. A parent will notice if their child's head has been in the same spot over 24hrs, which you should point out to your nurse(nicely!).
Even when we were barely allowed to touch him we could still make sure his head got turned side to side daily. We even got center when we started to notice him showing signs of NICU head, which is when we got really serious about finding out how to avoid it.
|The blanket roll method|
|The blanket roll method with an extra light sheld|
The blanket roll method requires many receiving blankets. We used two as sheets to cover the mattress in the isolate. One rolled into a tube on either side another rolled at his feet. Another blanket was laid over the top of all of these creating a little nest. A cloth diaper and/or scrap of faux fir was placed under his head as a pillow.
The idea was to basically swaddle him/mimic the confinement of the womb as much as we could since he missed those last 3 months in utero. We baised this idea off of
In the beginning we were barely be able to touch him, so the great thing about the blanket roll method is that the nurses were able to do it whenever they had to change his bed anyway. That way he wasn't disturbed unnecessarily.
|Christopher with his EI happies. Froggy pillow under his head and snugglie wrapped around him|
|Kangaroo care is the BEST! This was my favorite day, first day happy holding.|
Once we finally got home kangroo care morphed into baby wearing, which I highly suggest for all parents whither you had NICU time or not. Wearing him in a wrap and later a sling allowed him to be nearby, kept him calm and relaxing for me. I only retired my sling about a month ago when it got uncomfortable with my pregnancy bump. He was 19mo and 17lbs. My sister comfortably wears her much heavier (aka healthy normal termie) 1 year old.
The Plagiocehaly is becoming common in termies is due to the "bucket baby" mentality. A bucket baby is when parents keep their baby in containers such as the baby carrier/car seat, swings, bouncy seats, strollers and cribs. I firmly believe that car seats should stay in the car... my sister isn't as strict as I am about that. She has no issues but my niece isn't a bucket baby, a true bucket baby is almost always in some bucket device. Babywearing is a great way to keep that from being an issue and is easier on mom and baby.
Now I'm not saying these devices are bad. Christopher loved his swing in the NICU and loved it some at home. The trick is to use these things sparingly. Ok... getting off my soap box.
Soo how does his head look after 5.5 months in the NICU? You would never know he spent months in a bed.
|No NICU head. The ears are genetic.. both sides, he didn't have a chance. :P|