Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eli's Determination to Remain Flat-Headed

When Eli's grown and wondering why the shape of his head doesn't match up with the heads around him, I will read this blog post to him. 

There are several ways to combat a flat head. These ways include:
Avoid laying baby directly on back as much as possible
Have flat-headed baby alternate sides when sleeping
Hold baby
Tummy time

Now here's what Eli's been doing to combat the ways to combat a flat head:
Constant back laying - It seems that every week Eli chooses a new position that makes him happy. The first couple of weeks he was pretty mellow and liked being held. Then he only liked being held with his face burrowed into the person holding him. Then he insisted on making the person holding him walk around while he was facing outward. One week at my parents' house, I was trying all his favorite holds and nothing was doing the trick. I decided to lay him down to change his clothes and I got an instant smile out of him the moment he was flat on his back. For the past month, Eli will scream until we lay him down.

Sleep habits - Eli was doing so good at putting himself to bed. We could lay him in his crib wide awake and he would quietly fall asleep on his own. Then we were told to shift him from side to side and ever since then, sleeping has been a nightmare. The past few weeks have included a midnight battle. I feed Eli, then I lay him on his back to fall asleep. Then I stare at him, so tired, dying to crawl back in bed, but I have to wait for him to fall asleep so I can shift him onto his side. His heavy eyes finally close. So I slowly lift half of his body onto a rolled blanket. He wakes up. Screams. It's an endless cycle.

If I do succeed in subtly shoving a blanket under him, when I go to get him in the morning, I see he has managed to wiggle flat on his back anyway, so I can't help but feel all my midnight efforts are in vain.

Hold baby - Eli doesn't really like to be held anymore. Like I said before, he is happiest laying on his back. And it's such a double edged sword. I love that Eli's happy laying down and doing his own thing. I don't want to hold him all the time and train him to always want to be held. But I don't want him to be forever flat-headed either!

Tummy time - We tried that one...then he learned to roll over...onto his back.

In the midst of my constant battle with Eli's flat head, I often wonder, is it really worth it? When I'm waiting for him to drift off at 3:00 in the morning, when I have a screaming baby that would be happy as can be if I just laid him down, when his little neck has had it with tummy time, and I'm not seeing any reward for my efforts. His head is still flat, and I am finding it harder and harder to convince myself it needs to be round. Who says heads are supposed to be round anyway? My dear old dad has lived his whole life with a flat head and he's doing just fine.

So Eli, if you're reading this 20 years down the road, know that we tried.


Rebecca said...

Bring on the helmet.

jlthomas said...

A helmet isn't so bad. Here's evidence:

(Note--I'm amazed I found this. I was thinking it would be great if I could find something like that and I can't believe I found the most perfect pictures ever).

Kim said...

Okay, Jacob, I'll give it to you that your helmet reference made me laugh.

Another great post, Sarah. And, yes, your father has lived with his flat head all his life and it hasn't seemed to bother him at all. Cheers to all the flat-headed people in this world. Who knows--maybe Eli will turn out to be left-handed, too.

Glen said...

I think I could see helping him have a helmet like that picture. Maybe we start the thought process early.

I actually like my flat head, don't all of us need to have our unique feature. If you can't have a buff body or great looks, you can always have a flat head....

jlthomas said...

How many defining features do you need? Thomas nose, Withering big toe nail, Flat head...