Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tips for Babies With Club Feet

What I Wish I Had Known Beforehand

I got a call today from a dear friend whose baby will be born with clubfeet and I was spouting off tons of tips for them and realized I should just make a blog post about it for others to read.

There are three main phases to the clubfoot process, the casting phase, the bracing phase 23 hours a day for 3 months, and the brace at night till baby is 5 years old phase

Clothes:

Casting Phase

What you will never use:

-Zip up sleepers and snap sleepers with feet
Your baby isn't ever going to wear a zip up sleeper...ever. Don't buy them- if you get them as gifts return them ASAP.  (remember they are going to be braced till they are five years old at night so a zip up sleeper would be torture to take on and off if they have an accident at night).

-Pants or shorts (trust me you wont want to deal with these during the casting phase a)

What you will need lots of
-Onesies and leg warmers
Buy at least three pairs of leg warmers that are the larger size not the newborn size
(you can also just use stretchy socks)
The purpose of the legwarmers and socks is to put them over the casts up to the top to make sure that poop doesn't get on the casts. It happened to us and trust me it is stinky and poop doesn't come off.

-Layettes are a lifesaver. They work brilliantly with the casting process and fantastic with the bracing process too.  I highly recommend just buying like two really nice ones that are really soft like the ones from Kickee Pants (they are pricey but so nice)

Bracing Phase All Day

What are a pain to use
-any sort of pants, bloomers, shorts, etc
They aren't impossible to use it is just that you have to unclip the ponseti bar every time you want to change the baby, by all means if you want to deal with it then go for it.

-zip of sleepers (forget it)

What you will need lots of
-onesies and legwarmers
now you want to own some newborn sized legwarmers. I love the ones by baby legs. This is just my preference but I love the kimono style onesies (the kind you snap around and don't pull over the head like the one below)



-if you have a girl I highly recommend dresses and cute skirts to put over onesies, for boys just rock the onesie and legwarmers
-snap one piece outfits without feet (if you find one you love with feet just cut the feet off the bottom)
-Layettes are a lifesaver. They work brilliantly with the casting process and fantastic with the bracing process too.  I highly recommend just buying like two really nice ones that are really soft like the ones from Kickee Pants (they are pricey but so nice)

Swaddling during Casting and Bracing

Halo Sleep Sacks
You are gonna need 2 newborn sizes and 2 next size up.  Make sure they can swaddle your baby and once they out-grow the swaddle you can just buy the sleep sack without the swaddle part.

Baby Gear

Sleeping
mamaRoo Blue Plush
The casts and braces are really heavy and babies can use them as leverage to flip themselves over onto their face.  Because of this I don't feel comfortable letting Vi sleep flat on her back until she is able to roll over face to back and back to front with the brace on.  I have her sleep in the MamaRoo which I think is a brilliant thing. It works as a bassinett, swing in one.  At night I just snap her in by placing her in her layette, then the halo sleep sack over that, swaddle her arms and then I cut a hole on the back of the sleep sack down below her bottom and unzip the front of the sleep sack and pull the snap restraint through the hole. She is snapped in all night and I don't have to worry about her rolling in her sleep.  She will sleep in this until she wont need to be swaddled anymore and when she can rollover with the brace on.  The MamaRoo is also nice because it adjusts in positioning it can sit the  baby way up or lay the baby down.  I have it lightly rock her all night while she sleeps and many nights she sleeps 7 hours straight.  I realize we will have a hard transition to crib, but with these braces it didn't want to chance her rolling onto her face while sleeping.

Baby Bouncer (find one with a wide base)

Car Seat
I would almost recommend going straight to the all in one car seat and skip the infant bucket seat because until they get bigger the brace can get stuck on the sides and they can use the car seat as leverage to pull their feet out of the brace.  The problem is then you have to always transfer your baby from car seat to baby carrier or a laydown stroller every time you want to run an errand. If you do do the bucket seat I recommend putting some padding under the babies feet and try to prop them forward in the carseat so they can't get their feet stuck.

Convertible car seat with a flat bottom like this from Buy Buy Baby




Diono RadianRXT Convertible Car Seat from Birth to Booster Child Seat - Daytona

Baby Carrier
Can't use a sling
Moby Wrap works well
Baby Bjorn works well
Ergos put their feet out too wide so can't work with brace or cast

As I think of more things I will add to this

Reference my other posts Here and Here and Here



 

8 comments:

Gexton said...

I got a call today from a dear friend whose baby will be born with clubfeet and I was spouting off tons of tips for them and realized I should just make a blog post about it for others to read.
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Heather said...

Hi Leah! I was hoping you would be willing to answer a quick question about your blog! My name is Heather and my email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail.com :-)

Amanda Canovi said...

Thank you for these tips! Just found out today our baby will have clubbed feet, I didn't even know where to begin asking questions about what they need. So helpful!

Amanda Canovi said...

Thank you for these tips! Just found out today our baby will have clubbed feet, I didn't even know where to begin asking questions about what they need. So helpful!

Brianne Heape said...

Thank you for sharing this! At our 20 week anatomy scan, our sweet girl was diagnosed with bilateral clubfoot. Since receiving the diagnosis about a week ago, I've been looking for other moms to connect with - so that I can better prepare for when my girl gets here! This post has been very helpful.

Hollie Tirrell said...

I found this post and am so thankful for your info on dealing with babies with clubfoot. I am 29 weeks pregnant and found out our baby will have bilateral club foot. Thank you for your advice. It was very helpful and practical!

Unknown said...

Thank you for your post! Can you update some of your links, they come blank...TIA!

gina B said...

Thank you for your post! Can you update some of your links, they come blank...TIA!