Monday, June 10, 2013

Plagiocephaly Appointment #2: Fitting

This is the fourth in a short series of posts about what to expect when getting a helmet. Here's links to the full series.
What to expect when getting a helmet
Appointment #1: Measuring
Appointment #2: Fitting
Appointment #3: Fine tuning
Sorry this post has been so long coming. I had it all written, published, I went to add one more link and the computer messed up and lost it all. It was not the best day already, so I was really frustrated and needed to step back and write about other things for a couple weeks. So I did and now I'm fine.

A week or so after the measuring appointment we went back in for the initial fitting. Between the appointments the company that makes the helmets had taken the 3D computer model of my daughters head and used that to make a styrofoam type model exactly her size and shape. They had then added what looked like plaster over the model to make the model head nice and round. They then used the improved model to make the helmet.

This process makes sure that the helmet is not smaller than the baby's head. Her doctor told me over and over, the helmet works with the baby's growth. It won't squish the too big parts back into place. Instead it sits right up against the too big parts and has extra space inside over the too small parts. When the head grows it will fill in where there is extra space instead of trying to push out everywhere else.

We went in and the doctor had the custom helmet all ready for us. Also that head model for us to see.

The first time the doctor put it on it was way too long over the forehead and down the neck and it didn't have big enough holes for the ears. They do that on purpose. It's much easier to cut off extra than to add more. He made marks to tell him where to trim it and went to the back room.

He repeated the process a few times. He'd try it on, make marks, and trim it down some more until he was satisfied.

During the process my little one was a little annoyed. She didn't know what was going on and a stranger was looking at her and touching her and putting something on and taking it off. She fussed a little bit, but my husband and I worked out a system where one of us would hold her sitting upright out on our knees and the other one would be near her face talking to her and holding up her bottle. That calmed her down quite a bit and gave the doctor space to work and see all the way around her head.

When he was satisfied that it was fitting better he drilled some little holes for ventilation and we were done.

She didn't go straight to wearing it all day. We had a schedule to ease her into it during the day. It went something like this:
Day 1: 1 hour on, 1 hour off
Day 2: 2 hours on, 1 hour off
Day 3: 4 hours on, 1 hour off, start wearing it for naps, but not overnight
Day 4: 8 hours on, 1 hour off, wear it overnight
Day 5: start normal schedule, 23 hours on

We were sent home with instructions to check her head every time we took the helmet off for red spots and to see how long it took to go away while the helmet was off. If anything was rubbing wrong we could schedule an appointment for him to fix it right away, but if things were going well the next appointment would be in a week.

From day 1 she disliked getting the helmet on or off just liked she dislikes getting dressed. She doesn't want someone to hold her still and mess with her.

Once the helmet is on though, she is completely fine with it. We never had a problem. That picture with the title was taken during the first week with the helmet and you can see she is happy with it.
Some kids might have a harder time, but usually the parents mind a lot more than the kids do.

Also the helmet looks great with steampunk costume goggles.

Friday, June 7, 2013

DIY Formula To Go Packets

Enfamil makes these great little to go packs. I got some samples in the mail and I loved them, they are so convenient! I would stick a few in my diaper bag and go. It was great. Once I used up the samples I would buy a box special each time we were going on a trip.

I would fill the bottles with the right amount of water before leaving the house. When there were needed I was ready. I just had to pour the formula in and shake. No measuring, no hunting for a drinking fountain. I had everything I needed right there.

View this product on Amazon (also this picture is from Amazon)

I have not found anything wrong with the Enfamil packets. In fact, i would highly recommend them. They're great, but there are a lot of reasons to DIY.

Maybe you need a specific type of formula or are loyal to a specific brand or want to be able to buy whatever is on sale. Maybe your child needs more or less than the 4oz at a time. Maybe you just like having options. Mostly I got sick of running out of them and carrying extra trash in the diaper bag. I wanted an option that I could refill.

One day I mentioned to a friend that I would love some resealable pouches about that size. A few days later she sent me a link to a site that makes baggies for making your own ice pops. Brilliant!

Zipcicles were a good option. ((Plus there are some delicious looking recipes on that website.)) They can be reused, but I wanted something that was specifically made to be reused. Still, this was a big step in the right direction. That got me thinking and searching around looking specifically for ice pop supplies to solve my problem.

After considering different options I chose a silicone ice pop making set from Norpro. The thing that really sold me on this set is that they are dishwasher safe! Hand washing dishes is probably my least favorite chore. Handwashing tiny baggies sounds even worse. Anything that can get me out of that is a win in my book.

These little silicone molds are a little bit bigger than I expected, but not enough to cause problems for me. Each tube holds easily enough powder for a 6oz bottle and would probably hold enough for an 8oz bottle, but I haven't tried it yet. The mouth is wide enough that if I'm careful I can scoop the formula in without having to use a funnel.

The silicone is flexible, but sturdy enough that it makes it really easy to pour powder from the mold into the bottle. Once we are grown out having to bring formula and bottles everywhere, we can make ice pops! This is not another single use item to be packed away with all the other baby things in a couple months. Also dishwasher safe. I'm so excited about that feature that I had to say it again.

The lids pop off really easily and I was afraid they'd pop off in the diaper bag, but I just squeeze the extra air out while I'm putting the lid on and I've never had a problem. I've been using them for a month or two and I've had no powder spills in the bag.

I mentioned this solution to my mom. She told me that when I was little people used to use tubes from Mini M&Ms the same way! Clever!

Whether you use Enfamil, the Zipsicles, the Silicone Molds, or the M&M tubes, you can have the convenience of premeasured powder to go and the convenience of choosing your own formula! Let me know if you have another solution.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Life Hacks: How to Eat Chips

I like potato chips. I like them a lot. I think I got that from my Dad.

I also like bopping around on the Internet. I think I got that from my Mom.

Those two things do not always go together so well. I wind up with greasy fingers and then worse. I wind up with a greasy keyboard or tablet screen.

One day I was at my best friend's house. Her husband (a charming and clever man responsible for some amazing work including these flash mobs) pulled out a bag of chips and started doing something unusual with them. He was eating them with chopsticks while he worked on the computer. At first I thought it was odd. Then I realized it was brilliant! Your fingers never touch the grease!

I've been copying that idea ever since. In fact, I was eating chips as I began this post and my tablet screen is completely clean! It's a miracle!

Chopsticks can take a little while to master, but it is definitely a skill worth knowing. Not only can you look like a boss eating Chinese food, but you can use them for life hacks anywhere you need finger-like precision but don't want to use your fingers.



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