After our diagnosis and referral from Dell Children’s Hospital, we were given 3 options for cranial helmet clinics. Our 3 options were Hanger, Cranial Tech, and StarBand. We were also told “we have no recommendation, its totally up to you.” Yikes. Ok.
Here’s what I can tell you about the difference in the 3 of them. Nothing. It’s like saying “Do you want a hamburger from McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s. They’re all virtually the same, it just depends on your preference, who will accept your money, and how far you want to drive on a regular basis. Also, there may be other clinics out there as well, but these were the 3 that were offered to us and from what I can tell, the three most popular/recognized clinics. Also, you will see a specialized technician. They are specifically trained in helmeting.
We wound up choosing StarBand because it was In-Network for our insurance, and also was considerably closer to us than the other locations. And, when you will have to be going back frequently for check-ups and adjustments, a 30 minute drive is a lot better than an hour!
I was extremely nervous when we went for RAD’s initial scanning. I had NO idea what to expect. Y’all. It’s so simple! The put this little stocking on him, which honestly makes him looks like he’s about to rob a bank. You (Yes, you are with him the WHOLE time) lay him down in the scanner. It takes all of about 10 seconds and you get a full 3D image of your baby’s head on the computer. They will take a few pictures. And that’s it. Really!!
We went over his measurements and the technician agreed that he needed a helmet. Something else that I was not aware of is that the FDA strictly monitors these cranial helmets. WOW! Once you have the scans done, you only have 2 days to place the order because the baby’s head grows so much! Of course, you can take your time to discuss if you want to order, you will just have to rescan if it is over 2 days. We already knew that we wanted to proceed, so it was a no brainer to order it right away. Once you order it, they have 12 days to get the helmet on your baby. Crazy, but reassuring.
They also have SEVERAL designs you can order. For boys and girls. We decided to go with plain white because we will be getting his helmet painted! I found SO MANY people that are willing to paint these helmets or vinyl wraps too. Whatever your preference is. Some will even do them for free! Such a blessing. I was told to reach out to local painters, tattoo shops, etc.
So that’s it! That’s all there is to scanning, fitting, and ordering the band. Not scary at all! What’s scary is the unknown, and that’s ok. But this is so much easier than I thought it would be. Have no fear mamas and dadas. it will be ok!
Here is a video of what the scanning looks like. In the beginning it shows putting little “stickys” on the baby’s face. This was not part of our experience, so I don’t know what they’re for. Other than that, this is basically what our experience was like!