I am beyond thrilled to share the following post from published author Betsy Miller!
Thanks for having me as a guest at Russell’s Feet. Today, I’d like to share some ideas about how to cope with sleep issues that sometimes surface for babies and children who wear a clubfoot brace.
For those readers who are new to the world of clubfoot treatment, let me explain how brace wear works. After a child’s foot has been corrected, he or she wears a brace to maintain the correction. By the time a child is of walking age, the brace is worn only at nighttime or during naps. Most children wear the brace at night until they are four or five years old.
I’ve put together some tips here from my book The Parents’ Guide to Clubfoot. These suggestions are based on advice from doctors who specialize in clubfoot and from parents, who are after all the ones who deal with the sleep issues most of the time.
To help your child sleep:
- Create a bedtime routine for your child that includes putting on the brace. For example, after your child has a bath, put on pajamas and the brace, and then read a story.
- Carefully check the socks to make sure they are smooth without any wrinkles before you put on the shoes or boots.
- For a baby sleeping on his or her back, use pillows or rolled up blankets beneath the knees.
- Try a sleep sack at night instead of pajamas. For children who sleep in a crib, this helps to protect the slats of the crib from damage. HALO SleepSacks are wide enough at the bottom to fit over a clubfoot brace.
- Check the fit of the brace. Even if the size of the shoes is right, the width of the bar is also important. For the Ponseti brace, the bar should be a little wider than the width of the child’s shoulders.
- Carefully check the skin on your child’s feet for blisters or sore spots.
- If your child has recently learned to walk, he or she might wake up more at night and want to practice this new skill. If that happens, it will resolve on its own.
If your child used to sleep well, and is now having a hard time:
If you are having a hard time getting your child to wear the brace, don’t give up. Contact your child’s doctor or orthotist for help. Wearing the brace is the best way to prevent a relapse. And remember to enjoy all the wonderful things about your child that have nothing to do with clubfoot!
Once again – thanks Betsy for this post! If you are interested in reading more from Betsy, her book The Parent’s Guide to Clubfoot contains a wealth of information on many aspects beyond sleep.
Stay tuned for more information on an exciting product give away with Clubfoot babies and parents in mind.