Ever see a baby wearing a helmet and think, "Poor little guy, I hope my baby doesn't have to wear one of those"? Good news, Mom! Helmet therapy, which is supposed to improve the shape of a child's head, may not be necessary after all. Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have found the practice has no added benefits for a baby.
The study, published in the BMJ, shows that those expensive and uncomfortable custom-made helmets have essentially no effect on reshaping an infant's head. And they also found that parents have complained about multiple side effects from the bulky head gear.
From skin irritation, unpleasant smell, sweating, and pain for the baby to feeling unable to properly cuddle their child, parents reported negative reactions to the popular helmets.
According to experts, approximately one in five babies younger than 6 months has some form of skull deformity. Most of these babies have "flat head," which comes from sleeping on their backs (which is recommended by doctors to prevent SIDS). However, what this new study really shows us is that the highly costly (most of these helmets start at around $1,300, and babies often will need more than one) and very uncomfortable gear is actually fairly useless.
Great news, moms! No longer do you have to worry about subjecting your baby to the awkward and clunky headgear. You don't have to fret over shelling out thousands of dollars for a helmet that, let's face it, they'll grow out of in a few months.
And best of all, it turns out that the au naturel route is the way to go. Your baby's head shape will be just as adorable without that unwieldy bucket. Let them do their thing as they grow and their skulls develop and shape themselves. And chances are, you'll be very happy with their lil' noggins.
Did your child wear one of these helmets? Was is useful?
Image via Arielle Calderon/Flickr