Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sawyer's 1st 4th!

A few days before the 4th Charlie, Ginni, Casey & I went out on the boat for a little bit and ate dinner and then watched the fireworks that were shot off from the harbor! It was fun being on the boat at night and seeing the fireworks :)
Sawyer was pretty patriotic on her first 4th of July! We spent the entire day with Charlie and Ginni doing various activities including, but not limited to a festive, red, white, & blue pancake breakfast, 4th of July parade, a late lunch at El Fenix, fireworks, and playing with sparklers!
at the parade in Charlie & Ginni's neighborhood!
the theme of the parade was vintage (or something like that) and so there were a lot of people in old cars or on bicycles, etc. It was pretty cute! We joked about just jumping at the end of the parade because there were a lot of walkers at the end and we were nearly as dressed up as they were! Plus half the people in the parade stopped to comment on Sawyer - she could have been an attraction in the parade! Haha!
super cute - LOVE this picture of her :)
Ginni had gifts for us - she thinks of everything!
Casey looks a little funny because he had Poison Ivey on his face :(
cutie pie :)
our cute breakfast table
the tags on our gift bags from Ginni :)
our fun group! :)
yummy pancakes with strawberries, bananas, and blueberries (also red, white, & blue!)
Our festive pancakes :)
I thought this was a pretty cool pic that I took with instagram!
Fireworks at Harry Meyers Park in Rockwall!
Casey had trouble opening his eyes during the flash so we had many retakes...
Lots of firework pictures….
playing with sparklers later in the backyard!
I am standing kind of funny because I get scared of them! haha!
We had a great fourth of July this year with our new baby girl! :)

Friday, July 29, 2011


If you see me very often, then I've probably told you that we have taken Sawyer to a cranial remolding clinic.

There is a "new" outbreak happening in babies since the "back to sleep" campaign launched by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992 to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). This outbreak is called plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. If you have a baby right now you've probably heard these terms. However, those who put their babies to sleep on their tummies (before '92) are pretty clueless about this new problem. 

Plagiocephaly is otherwise known as "flat head syndrome." Basically, babies are not only laid on their backs to sleep, but they are also put on their backs in car seats, bouncers, and swings, etc. Parents are warned against putting their babies on their tummy except for monitored "tummy time." 

Because of this, many babies heads are becoming flat in the back or on one side. Plagiocephaly is characterized by flattening on side of the back of the head and flatter on one side of the front of the head forming an almost oblique shape. Brachycephaly is where the head is disproportionally wide compared to the depth of the head. 

This is a random example of both Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly that I found online. 
You can see that Plagio is the oblong shape, while Brachy is the flattening in the back.
Sawyer has a very slight mixture of the two, but is much more mild than these 2 pictures.
Many believe that torticollis is partially to blame (as well as the "Back to Sleep" campaign). Torticollis is where the muscles on one side of the neck may be tighter than the muscles on the other side of the neck causing the baby to "prefer" to turn their head one way more than the other (or have a dominant side). Because Sawyer had such a difficult delivery and had to pulled using forceps, she has a slight tightening in the muscles on the right side of her neck. She has always preferred laying on the back left of her head and turning her head more to the left than to the right. Since going to the cranial remolding clinic we have done some exercises with her each day to help loosen the muscles in her neck. She has never had a problem holding her head up or with tummy time, but it is obvious that when we lay her down she switches to her preferred side. She can turn her neck both ways, but it is obvious that she doesn't want to. So, we will continue with the stretches…which she doesn't really seem to mind.

As soon as we brought Sawyer home from the hospital we did tummy time. She has had "tummy time" everyday of her life. However, one website I did research on suggests that half of a baby's awake time should be spent on their tummy. While I knew the importance of tummy time, I had no idea that she should be on her tummy that much. 

Anyway, when she was about 7 weeks old I noticed that the back of her head was starting to flatten. I was aware of this because I knew someone else who's baby had to seek treatment for this problem. I asked Sawyer's pediatrician about it at her 2 month appointment and again when she was sick at 3 months. At the 3 months he gave us the referral to take her to the cranial clinic to get a free evaluation and possibly a cranial remolding orthosis also known as the DOC Band or Star Band. 

Sawyer has a mild mixture of Plagiocephaly and Brachycephaly. Although her case is mild, we are probably going to move forward with getting the StarBand. She will wear it anywhere from 1 month to 4 months, depending on how fast her head grows. Appointments will take place almost weekly to see how the shape of her head is improving and to shave the inside of the band to allow for more head growth.

Here are Sawyer's head pictures…
From the top of the head you can see that the front right side and the back left side are a little flatter than their opposites. Looking up at her head, you can see that the tightening in her neck is causing her left (your right) ear to be a little more forward than the other…As well as her left eye and cheek.
 From the sides you can tell that the back of her head is a bit flat and she has a sloped forehead which is a result of a flattened head.
 Heehee, she's so cute here :) You can see looking straight on that there is a bit of a bulge above both ears due to the widening of the head. You can also tell that the left side of her head (your right) is flatter than the other side. You can tell from the back as well.
Here is what a 3 month old's head should look like…But isn't Sawyer so much cuter still? :)
notice there is no bulging above the ears and the head is 1/3 longer than it is wide.
Also there is a nice curve in the back instead of going straight down. 

I know their are many questions about how the band works…Contrary to popular belief, the band does not squeeze the head into a more desirable shape, but instead the band allows more space for the parts of the head that we want to see "fill in." So you can see that it is not a complete helmet, but an actual band since parts are left open.

I know that treating your child's flat head with a helmet/band can be controversial…especially to those who do not know much about plagiocephaly and cranial remolding. However, Sawyer belongs to Casey and I, and we are doing our best and will make a decision based on what we believe is best for her and for our family. We appreciate your love and support! :)

Here are a couple of educational videos on plagio and the band!

Click here to watch another video to reduce the risk of flat head syndrome and see the importance of tummy time!

You can click on this link to see how to check your child's head for plagiocephaly without making an appointment.