This baby beanie may look a little different and have a funny name but there is no funny business to what it can do for your baby.
The Tortle is a lightweight, snug beanie that is a cost-effective, preventative solution to flat head syndrome. Did you know positional plagiocephaly (or “flat head syndrome”) is up nearly 600% from 20 years ago? I didn’t know that but it makes sense since the Back To Sleep campaign now has most babies sleeping on their backs for safety which can ultimately lead to a flat head if the child always sleeps the same way.
According to the company, “It is estimated that flat head syndrome now affects 1 in 3 babies by the age of 5 months. A reason for the increase in the condition is that babies are spending much of their day and night in cribs, infant car seats and strollers, frequently up to 20 hours per day. If the parent doesn’t actively reposition the infant’s head from one side to another, flat head syndrome develops rapidly. If the problem is not addressed and corrected by the age of 5-6 months, expensive and unpleasant treatment options can include physical therapy and custom helmets which can exceed total costs of $5,000.”
Another use for the Tortle is for babies with torticollis, or unbalanced neck muscles. This is condition in when the child has a twisted neck in which the head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other*. My second child had torticollis and since his neck was very stiff on one side causing him to always lay with his head tilted to one direction, I was always worried about flat head syndrome. His head was huge (off the charts according to the doctor!) so I was super worried about his big noggin getting flat on one side. I was vigilant about always stuffing blankets, bibs, toys or whatever I could find on that side of his head when he was in his car seat, bouncy chair or swing in an attempt to force his head to the other side in hopes of stretching out those muscles. If only this simple little Tortle beanie was available 6 years ago when my son was born.
So, how does Tortle work? It’s simple – it is a snug beanie that is actually a FDA-cleared, Class 1 medical device whose use is as easy as a hat. The beanie is designed with a firm support roll on one side that can be positioned to encourage a healthy range of head motion while keeping baby’s head from flattening. In other words, it prevents your baby from turning their head to the side and leaving it there. The support roll is firm enough so baby won’t roll over, and soft enough to encourage natural, comfortable movement. The Tortle can be worn whenever the infant is resting in a crib, car seat, bouncer or swing. So the Tortle does exactly what I was looking for those receiving blankets, toys and bibs that I would stuff next to my son’s head to do only to have him eventually grab them out of place.
The Tortle was designed by Dr. Jane Scott, a Colorado-based, board certified neonatologist, pediatrician and mother of four to offer an easy and affordable way to help prevent a completely avoidable problem. Clearly she knows babies! Tortle is offered in two fun designs, Pink Flower and Elephant and in two solid colors, Cocoa and White and retails for $19.99.
For more information or to purchase a Tortle, visit their website at: http://www.tortle.com
UPDATE 2/26/14: The Tortle is now available at Babies R Us, BuyBuyBaby and Target.com.