If you’re new here, our son wore his Docbands for 170+ days due to severe braccephaly caused by his position inutero (more on that later). Today I’m sharing 3 tips for navigating your kid’s cranial band.
1. Buy alcohol spray and Fresh Wave
I will tell you with 100% certainty, you’d kid’s helmet will smell. It will also turn a gross yellowish brown color on the inside. I don’t care how many times you clean it or how often you let it sit in the sunshine to kill germs. It will still smell. I tried to make my own odor-neutralizing spray with essential oils and witch hazel. It didn’t work. This spray is the only thing that actually somewhat tackles the stench.
2. Decorate it with removable vinyl
With our son’s first helmet, I made the rookie mistake of trying to paint it. I read on some random blog that you should sand it before painting. Don’t. Trust me. It came out okay, but no matter how many coats of Modpodge I put on, it still seemed to peel. What I didn’t realize is that using removable vinyl is the way to go! I changed out the design on Benny’s second helmet multiple times during the fall and winter. It was actually quite fun to deck it out for fall and Christmas. I used my Cricut to cut out the designs, but you can order pre-cut vinyl on Etsy. After placing them on, I used three coats of Modpodge to seal it. When I wanted to remove the design, I simply used a little rubbing alcohol to melt the Modpodge and the vinyl came right off.
3. Join the Docband Parent Facebook Group
It’s not your fault, and it’s going to be okay. Well, in our case, I guess it kind of is my fault. Benny’s cranial deformation was caused by his positioning during pregnancy. Benny tried to make an appearance at 24w5d due to my cervical insufficiency. Thanks to medicine, God, the universe, and luck, all the interventions worked and he was born safely at term at 37 weeks. So that meant our guy spent about 3.5 months shoved in the birth canal pushing his way out and crushing his little noggin. I spent the entire time on bedrest blaming myself, because I’m learning that’s what mothers do. Clearly his deformed head is also something I take credit for, too. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter what caused it to happen. We do our best.
It’s going to be okay. (Now, I say this with the realization that not all Docband babies are in it for simple skull deformations. Some babies where the band after serious cranial surgery or have more severe medical conditions. Please know my commentary is not intended to be insensitive towards you <3). Here’s the thing, if your baby is in the band for the reason most babies are in the band, it is going to be just fine. I don’t say this to belittle your feelings of worry or anxiousness, because they are valid. Truly, I don’t want to be insensitive. I say this, once you’ve wallowed for a bit if you choose, please try to maintain perspective. It is just a funny-looking hat that makes for a great story when they’re older. I wore weighted orthotics as a toddler, and I am okay.
That being said, connecting with other parents who have babies in a Docband was super helpful. There is a Facebook parent group where you can ask questions and get support. The people in there are awesome and able to answer tons of questions. It is an incredibly supportive environment.