When my second baby was born, he had a pronounced flat spot on the side of his head. He was a chunker at birth, nine pounds 13 ounces at 38 weeks. The doctor shrugged when she pointed out the flat spot, “He was probably pretty squished up in there,” she said. “It’ll more than likely round out in a few weeks, just be sure not to lay him down too much.”
We took our flat-headed sweetie home and, despite his literally never being out of our arms or the carrier except to sleep at night, his flat spot stayed flat.
Around the same time as my baby’s birth, my three-year-old developed a fascination with other people. Seeing his baby brother come into this world sparked a knowledge that all people come from somewhere and so, he began to ask questions. He asked the barista who her mother was and the grocery clerk how old he was. He inquired about why people looked like they did and whether they had children at home. Balancing a desire not to snub out his burdening curiosity with lessons on what sort of questions are okay to ask often left me feeling unsure of how to respond and at least a little bit embarrassed.
At my baby’s 12 week check up, the same one where I turned red when my thee-year-old asked the nurse if she was a teenager, the pediatrician noted that his flat spot was still very flat. Due to the severity of the spot, the doctor recommended that my little one visit the nearby cranial banding office for a consultation. The cranial banding office was happy to give my boy a super-official scan that showed what we all could see – my kid’s head was, indeed, super flat. We gasped at the price tag, put it on credit, and got my cutie fitted with the cranial band that would round his skull into perfection.
While I’ve seen other parents describe their helmet experience as if it were somehow traumatic, the only traumatizing thing about our experience (beyond the hefty price-tag) was the stink the helmet would acquire if we forgot to clean it with rubbing alcohol a couple times per day. Overall, my baby didn’t seem to mind his new accessory and…