Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Sunshine Coast: enjoying some summer sun

As you enter Eastbourne, a sign will greet you saying 'the Sunshine Coast welcomes you' and today it really lived up to its slogan. The local climate for eastbourne is notable for its high sunshine levels, in fact eastbourne holds the record for the highest recorded hours of sunshine in a month! So it was no suprise that today we were basking in glorious sunshine!

This week both daddy and mummy have a week off, so we have been trying to fill our days with some fun activities for the little man. We decided that today would be the day that we reintroduce swimming ( we may have got a bit carried away, I am worried finny may now think he is a fish, more on this later!)

I use to take finny swimming regularly, but when he started his treatment for plagiocephaly, I stopped taking him. Not because he wasn't allowed to go, the helmet comes on and off easily, I guess I was more worried about germs (not from the pool). Having started his treatment in July it was very hot, and I was more worried that I wasn't going to dry his hair enough and the warm damp conditions would be perfect for those nasty germs and time isn't a luxury you have, with the recommendation of 23 hours a day for optimal results you can't leave it off for long to dry, so I just ended up not going and then it was winter and then I was back at work!

Anyway we decided that after an awful day yesterday with tantrums, we thought swimming might entertain him enough to get through a morning without a meltdown...and it worked! We went yo our local the sovereign centre, it doesn't always have the best reviews but we thought why not, it's just down the road. The main pool has a slow slope, separated with some funky yellow spheres. In this area are lots of water sprays and fountains. I have to say I found the pool clean and good enough for a mornings fun. As per his usual self, finny was a bit apprehensive at first but soon he was loving every minute, running, splashing and thoroughly enjoying himself, he even was bold enough to wander down the slope into deeper water ( of course fully supervised). We shall definatley be going again!!

Daddy has recently got a new bike, so while finny slept daddy had a tinker, my old bike came out for a wash and a tinker also, the plan is to purchase a front end bicycle seat for finny so we can ride through the forest and along the seafront, I am actually quite excited by this!

As the sun continued to shine, we dug out the paddling pool we purchased from tesco for £3 ( I love a bargain) finny has yet to use one, so we filled it up with water and toys ready to suprise him when he woke up (I see you can see the fish reference now). His little face was a picture, he spent all afternoon splashing about, I'm not sure the cats were impressed as there favourite sun spot was now being splashed every few seconds! The pool itself was brilliant, quick and easy to put up and gill, and just as easy to empty and is really robust for the price, I'm hoping it last the rest of summer!

So after a long day training as a water baby, finny had his bath.....haha more water, and then tucked himself into the corner of his cot and readily slipped into the land of nod, where he has been and will hopefully stay until at least 7am tomorrow - what a beautiful day we have had!

Friday, 11 July 2014

The BMJ Plagiocephaly study; flaws, limitations and delays in treatment?

Flat Head Syndrome (Plagiocephaly & Brachycephaly) is still a term that is relatively unheard of amongst parents, which is surprising considering just over 46% of infants between 7 -12 weeks show symptoms (Mawji, 2012).  That's almost 1 in 2 or to put it into context,  if you have more than one child, one of those children may very well develop symptoms of Flat Head Syndrome, Shocking when it's put like that and infuriating that parents are still not given any information relating to the condition  prior to or soon after birth.

I will often to be chatting to people about my blog and I am still stunned to hear the response 'oh I have never heard of that!' and I think how can that be? It basically boils down to lack of advice and guidance from our health care professionals, but can we blame them? They follow guidance from above which currently states Flat Head Syndrome as merely a cosmetic issue, that will right itself by the infants 1st birthday and therefore the NHS do not fund corrective treatment.

Where does this advise come from? There has been so little research on the condition in the UK, that as a graduate of a scientific discipline, I find it startling that this advice can be dished out, with very little evidence to back it up. You only have to google 'Flat Head Syndrome' to find many parents with infants coming close to that year mark, that still have noticeable flatness and are desperate to get some help.

So I was excited when I came across an a study carried out in the Netherlands recently and published by the BMJ on plagiocephaly treatment and the effectiveness of corrective helmets, and compared a group of infants with moderate head deformities in treated and non treated groups. I read it straight away and soon my excitement turned to disappointment not only did the report conclude there being little difference between results of the two groups, I was sure the report had major flaws and would put corrective helmet treatment in a negative light, when it is actually an extremely safe and highly effective form of treatment. Articles like this can really influence parents and I fear some may end up delaying treatment due to this conclusion. So I did a bit of digging to see if others thought the same.

Technology in motion, Finnys Helmet Provider had already responded to the article here and concluded that the problems with the report were:  
  • unsound selection of protocols
  • Flawed Treatment regimes
  • High drop out rate of the treated Group
  • selective reporting of data
  • combining of data regarding different head shapes
  • averaging the data, that mask individual achievements
Ill fitting helmet in Netherlands Report
Snug Fitting Tim Band
It was great to know that it wasn't just me that had worries about this study and I would highly recommend reading their response. I would like to say that I don't disagree with this study because it doesn't reflect the result I would like to see, rather it worries me that the flaws in the study are portraying the treatment in the incorrect light. Studies like his one are in urgent need and should be welcomed with open arms, however they should not contain flaws and biases - this is not good scientific practise and can jeopardise the treatment of any future infants due to flawed unsupervised methods. In order for this treatment to be effective and for the study to be scientifically sound the helmet must fit correctly and be worn for 23 hours a day. The groups were not monitored to ensure this happened and helmets were removed due to the babies being uncomfortable. Now when you look at the image above taken from the study, it is obvious the helmets did not fit correctly and of course were uncomfortable - How can this give correct results?
Finnys Improvement after only 2 weeks
I would like to take this opportunity as a mother of an infant who has graduated corrective helmet therapy, that we gained amazing results after only 101 days in treatment. Finnys head is visually rounder and his facial features are now aligned. This is after almost 180 days of 'natural' treatment (repositioning) having minimal effect during the time period when the infants heads are most pliable and repositioning to be at its most effective. We saw an instant reduction of 4mm within the first two weeks of treatment alone. We followed treatment methods 100% which saw Finny wearing his helmet comfortably for 23 hours a day. He showed no signs of discomfort or sores as described in the study, as the helmet fitted perfectly and was adjusted as he grew and his head changed shape. Technology in motion provide honest first class advice and treatment, only 70% of infants they see require corrective helmet treatment and they advocate repositioning as a first means of treatment. Of the 70% that do require treatment 95% go on to achieve excellent correction and I have yet to hear or meet anyone who has been anything but happy with their treatment.

Ddisclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, all views regarding TiM are based on my own personal experience.

Related Post:

  • Unsound selection protocols
  • Flawed treatment regimes
  • High drop-out rate for the treated group (66% to 73% which continued to be reported as a treated group)
  • Selective reporting of data
  • Combining of data regarding different head shapes
  • Averaging of the data, which masks the individual improvement that infants may have achieved
  • - See more at: http://www.technologyinmotion.com/blog/bmj-plagiocephaly-study-severely-flawed/#sthash.NtQx9j3c.lQS6dzzb.dpuf

  • Unsound selection protocols
  • Flawed treatment regimes
  • High drop-out rate for the treated group (66% to 73% which continued to be reported as a treated group)
  • Selective reporting of data
  • Combining of data regarding different head shapes
  • Averaging of the data, which masks the individual improvement that infants may have achieved
  • - See more at: http://www.technologyinmotion.com/blog/bmj-plagiocephaly-study-severely-flawed/#sthash.NtQx9j3c.lQS6dzzb.dpuf

  • Unsound selection protocols
  • Flawed treatment regimes
  • High drop-out rate for the treated group (66% to 73% which continued to be reported as a treated group)
  • Selective reporting of data
  • Combining of data regarding different head shapes
  • Averaging of the data, which masks the individual improvement that infants may have achieved
  • - See more at: http://www.technologyinmotion.com/blog/bmj-plagiocephaly-study-severely-flawed/#sthash.NtQx9j3c.lQS6dzzb.dpufSo

    Friday, 27 June 2014

    Has it honestly been a week already? Britmums Live 2014 I was there!!!

    I can't believe it was a week ago I was joining in the hustle and Bustle of Britmums Live - Time Flies (I have been especially busy putting to use all those tips I gained from the event to good use).

    It was my first time a Britmums and I felt ever so nervous, a teeny bit unorganised and really not having a clue what to expect. I tried to explain to my friends and family what Brit mums was, but I couldn't really because I dint have a clue myself. Roll on a week, I still cant explain. To the non blogger it's really hard! What I can say though is its amazing, I loved it so much! I would like to say thanks to my Sponsor Purflo for letting me represent them as a brand ambassador and allowing to experience Britmums

    So here goes a little snippet of my two day (you can check out more on the Britmums Linky, although I am sad to say i didn't take enough photos (lesson 1 learned!) but hopefully you can get a small idea from what I do have.

    So I arrived in London slightly early to meet my sponsor and other blogger girls at the hotel. A s a seasoned traveller in London, I didn't expect to many problems getting to the hotel. I was extremely nervous, but having found everyone I shouldn't have worried. A couple of girls had a few places they needed to go, but the rest of us took a slow walk to the Brewery - that's when the fun began!! I think I must have looked like a rabbit in head lights. I never do anything like this on my own, I picked up my tag, and made my through the hall - not really knowing what to do or where to go, i was greeted by a hum and loads and loads and loads of stands, brands and bloggers - oh god please help me! That's when I bumped into Michelle from 'what mummy thinks' and we spent the next few days together being silly, stealing (by accident and then returning) props, entering competitions, destroying stalls (again by accident) and most importantly learning how to develop our blogs!

    Theres so many fantastic talks to choose from and at times I found it really difficult to pick, but as a newbis(ish) beginner, my choices were based really around how to begin, so I decided to attend the following:
    • Writing a Pitch: How to work with brands you love
    •  Design tips to make your blog look gorgeous
    •  How To Be an Agent of Change: Advocacy and charity campaigns
    •  Pinterest: How to be a power pinner
    •  Collaboration: Working together for bigger traffic and larger impact
    •  Beginning blogging: What every beginner and post-beginner needs to know, in simple and clear teaching
    •  How to Instagram Better: Take gorgeous snaps, build followers, be part of the community
    I spent the Friday evening with my Sponsor Stacey from Purflo and they other Brand ambassadors, we had a lovely meal together and shattered we headed back to the hotel for some much needed shut eye!! I had been so busy taking everything in that I hadn't expected how much it would wear me out (I have been quite poorly recently so it doesn't take much!)

    The second day was pretty much the same as the first, talks, food, tea and being silly again. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Britmums and I am already looking forward to next year. I would say to any newbies thinking of going in 2015 don't worry, your have lots of fun, here's some of my top tips:

    • Wear comfy shoes - lots of walking!
    • If you haven't got any make some cards with your blog  and contact details to hand out
    • Drink - I was so busy i forgot to have enough water and had a little headache
    • Take lots of pictures - i didn't take enough :(
    • Take a big bag with wheels - you get given lots of bits and bobs, my bag was too small and I ended up carrying about 3 full bags through London.
    • Relax - everyones friendly, your have a brilliant time!
    My Favourite Moment: The Keynote Speach from Benjamin Brooks Dutton - although it brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion, he is a true inspiration, pop over to his blog Life as a Widower to follow his story.

    Wednesday, 18 June 2014

    Were going to BritMums Live!

    Well as the title says I'm going to London on Friday to "BritMums Live" a social media conference and blogging event where lifestyle bloggers and social influencers gather to meet and socialise, network with brands, improve their skills, and fire their creativity .

    I'm very excited and Very Nervous all at the same time, This is the first time I have ever been to anything like this and I'm not the best social Butterfly so I'm really hoping my nerves don't get the better of me! 

    So After having a nosy I found a Britmums Introduce yourself so here goes:

    Name: Heidi Brown
    Blog: My Little Head
    Twitter ID: @my_little_head
    Height: 5ft 2
    Hair: Brown
    Eyes: Greeny Brown
    Is this your first blogging conference?
    It is I'm excited and Nervous!!
    Are you attending both days?
    Yes, although I may have to leave slightly early on Saturday depending on train times
    What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2014?
     I'm looking forward to meeting all the other bloggers and my sponsors
    What are you wearing?
    Typically last minute, I haven't got a clue, something comfy, I will try a steer away from my usual jeans and T.
    What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2014?
    I'm quite new to blogging and having been a bit absent, I'm really looking forward to gaining some good tips how to get the blog up and running properly
    Do you have any tips to pass on to others who may not have been before?
    I've not been before so not yet!!
    I also want to take this opportunity to thank my wonderful sponsors Purflo for enabling me to experience BritMums, and to congratulate them as their PurFlo SleepSac has been awarded Gold for Nursery Accessory of the year by Prima Baby & Pregnancy Awards 2014!! We have recently reviewed the sleepsac and we loved it so its no surprise why!

    Welcome Back and Welcome to the World Lexi!!

    After a little Hiatus we are back!! I hadn't intentionally meant to ignore the blog, I've had so many ideas in my head, but since the new year I haven't been very well. I'm still unsure what I have, I'm guessing I have just had a Virus or Post Viral Fatigue. I came down with a really bad bout of Flu in January and since then I have had illness after illness after illness, I feel I have been ill every other week this year and on top of that it has left with with such little energy I want to be in bed at 8pm every night. I feel the thing is its not that obviously how unwell I've been feeling because all these things have been mild, but they knock me out for a good while and just when I recover, I come down with something else. The doctors thought it was Glandular Fever but I haven't had anything conclusive back and was told if it was there is little they can do for it, Anyway I have been feeling slightly better recently (until I caught whatever Fin had a few days ago) so I'm hoping the warm weather will help knock this on the head once and for all!

    So apart from illness, so much has happened in the last few months, Finny had his 1st Birthday in February!! I think Im gonna have to get a photo log up, one per month for all the months we've been away so you can see how much he has grown!!

    We have three new little friends Mila, Jasper and Lily - Mae all born in the last few months and Finnys little cousin Lexi made an appearance 2 weeks early Born on 10th June weighing 7lb 9oz - welcome to the world Lexi!!!

    Friday, 24 January 2014

    REVIEW: Purflo Embroidered Sleep Sac

    Manufacturers Description:

    The beautifully soft & comfortable PufFlo SleepSac is the most anti-allergenic,anti-bacterial, sleeping bag on the market
    • 100% Bamboo Dream lining
    • Environmentally friendly Bamboo fabric is 60% more absorbent than cotton & has natural anti-bacterial properties
    • Anti-allergenic Amicor filling, prevents build up of bacteria and dispels dust mites that are linked to Asthma and Eczema
    • 100% cotton outer
    • Detachable sleeves
    • Integrated scratch mit to keep hands warm and protect against scratching (sizes 0-3 month & 3-9 months only)
    • Full zip open front for easy access night time nappy changing
    • Zip guard to prevent the zip scratching babies skin


    As with the Koo-di products I have been reviewing, I was really really excited to also be reviewing the PurFlo Sleep Sac! The Purflo brand is one that I really truly love, creating products based upon science about how to reduce the risk of SIDS and overheating as well as using anti allergenic and breathable materials. PurFlo really do know how to help us parents worry less!

    The sleep sac arrived a little later than the other items and I was peering out the window every half hour or so anticipating its arrival. We have used sleep sacs quite a lot as Finny is such a wriggler, but we have always had to go for budget options. When this arrived - wow! The quality of the materials is amazing. I'm not saying that budget options are bad options, I love some of our budget buys, but this sleep sac just feels lovely and you can tell the materials are of the highest quality. I would be happy to sleep in this if I fitted - which is probably not far of as there is so much room in this for growing little babies!!

    The design of this sac is beautiful, really simple, but really lovely. The particular sac we were sent had a cute little giraffe sown onto front - Its as if they Knew that Finnys Nursery is Animal themed, with Giraffes everywhere, so it really fitted in well with us! There is also a lovely little embroidered Purflo logo on the chest which fits in nicely with the design of the sac rather than looking out of place. The colour we were given was a nice neutral beige and white. However there are lots of other designs and colours to choose from so there is bound to be something for everyone!

    What I really liked about the purflo sleep sac is that it comes with removable arms, so on really cold nights they can really snuggle up all nice and warm. Our house remains quite warm, so I took the sleeves off to prevent Finny getting too hot. They are attached by Zips, and they remove really easily. I thought I better try and get them back on to see how fiddly it was, but again, the popped back on really easily. Its really nice to know that we have these in the draws if the temperature does suddenly drop - I'm sure people keep mention snow is due!!

    I gave the job to Chris of getting Finny in the sleep sac, and he had no problems at all. The sac does up from the top, through the centre, down to the side and around the bottom. So you can lay the sac on the floor completely open, place your baby in it and quickly zip them up again - before they escape!! Finny looked so comfy in his cot , drinking his bedtime milk, I would highly recommend this sleep sac to anyone, and even more so if your baby has sensitive skin, brilliant design, brilliant product!

    The Embroidered Sleep Sac is available on the Purflo website and comes in sizes 0 - 3, 3 - 9, 9 - 18 & 18 Months +. You have a choice or 1 or 2.5 tog and comes in various colours and designs. Priced  £29.95 - £49.95 (Dependant on size, colour, tog and design).


    Sunday, 19 January 2014

    10 Flat Head Syndrome Facts!!

    Its been awhile since I updated anything Plagiocephaly related - so here's some interesting Flat Head Syndrome Facts for you!!

    1.   Babies develop Flat Heads because there skulls are soft and pliable!

    2.   There are 3 types of Flat Head syndrome, depending on the shape/position of flatness:
    • Plagiocephaly - left or right side flattening
    • Brachycephaly - back Flattening
    • Scaphocephaly - long Narrow Head

    (L-R: Brachycephaly, Plagiocephaly and Scaphocephaly)
    (Finnys Plagiocepahly at 4.5 Months characterises by the flattening to the back right side and the blossoming to the front right side)
    3.   47% of babies now develop the condition to some degree - That's almost 1 in 2!

    4.   Your baby is more likely to develop Flat Head Syndrome if:
    • its your first baby
    • your baby is a boy
    • your baby was breech
    • you baby is a twin (or multiple)
    • your was premature
    • your baby has reflux
    • your baby has Hip Dyslapsia
    5. You can decrease the risk of your baby developing Flat head syndrome with simple techniques such as:
    • baby wearing - slings rather than pushchairs
    • limit the amount of time in baby rockers
    • plenty of tummy time 
    6.   Flat Head Syndrome in babies younger than 5 months can be treatable with repositioning techniques!!

          If you notice your baby is developing a flatness, keep the pressure of the spot for as long as   possible during the day, lots of tummy time, reduce time in bouncer and carry your baby in a sling while you do your day to day activities (they will love this!!) It can be reversed at this age in many cases!!

    7.   Cranial Osteopathy can really help reduce flatness in babies under 5 months!

    8.   Cranial Remoulding Helmets help treat babies from 5 - 14 months of age!

    After 5 months of age a babies skull begins to harden, and repositioning is less responsive, Between 5 and 14 months the skull has enough growth and softness to have significant improvement with helmet treatment, after 14 months the babies skull has had its major growth and has hardened significantly that even cranial helmets will not improve the condition.

    (Finny shortly after having his helmet fitted at 5 months)
    9.   The NHS does not fund Cranial Helmet Therapy as they deem the condition to be cosmetic only,   however, there are numerous reports associating Flat head syndrome with a number of issues:
    • A high risk for learning delays and developmental delay
    • Increased need for special services when the child reaches school age
    • Orthodontic and TMJ issues
    • Scoliosis
    • Visual disturbances including visual field defects, and astigmatism
    • auditory problems and infections
    • Psychological/social issues

    10.   Treatment is available Privately at a cost of about £2000 at clinics such as: 
    • Technology in Motion 
    • Doc band
    • Steeper clinic
    The Charity Headstart4babies.org can offer financial assistance to some families.
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