BB has been cast free now for almost four months and I still remember the terrifying feeling when she was diagnosed with DDH and the overwhelming worry about how we would cope and what we would need to cope.
For anyone who is facing a future with a child with DDH here is an idea of what you will need.
- First and foremost a rear facing car seat, once in a spica cast your child won’t be able to fit in a ‘normal’ seat as the cast will make their body too wide. The rear facing seats are often flat and are actually up to five times safer for your child.
- A wide cot or toddler bed. Owing to the weight of the cast trying to bend to life your child from their cot can prove backbreaking for you and you are no use to a spica child with a bad back. We moved BB to a bed safe in the knowledge that she wouldn’t fall out and following removal of the spica cast she has stayed in it and still doesn’t climb out independently.
- A camera (at all times) your baby/toddler is going to amaze you with what she can do in spica and you don’t want to miss it.
- Nappies: lots of them and varying sizes. If you have a open reduction your child will be swollen in spica immediately afterwards and newborn nappies are the best to insert inside the cast and then a size bigger to go over the cast. As the swelling reduces you can normally insert a normal sized nappy inside the cast and a size bigger over. My friend Emma managed to put a normal nappy inside the cast and fasten it up!
- A beanbag, comfiest seat in town for spica kids.
- A relaxed approach to television: Mr Tumble and Baby Jake were my best friends when BB was in cast, as soon as he came out and started moving she was far too busy to worry about watching CBeebies.
- A wide high chair or totseat. Spica children tend not to fit in regular seats because of the width of the cast. Totseat are fantastic as they adapt to any seat so you can pack them and take them anywhere, cushions and pillows can be used to make the child more comfortable.
- A sense of humour: how else will you cope when you have your first cast poo explosion?
- Lots of sleek tape (available from hospital) it attaches around the cast edges and around the nappy area which helps keep the cast stain free and dry.
- A spica table – you can buy specially adapted chairs or attempt to make your own if you are handy with a hammer; the Steps website has hints on this, also ex – spica parents are always happy to lend and support. If not improvise…
- Lots of dresses for the girls, BB wasn’t that wide following a Pemberton osteomony and I didnt need to change sizes, but this was uncommon, normally parents advise to go up one size in clothes but like most things you can wait until post op to go shopping.
- Leg warmers – cute as can be, dress up that spica!
- Bibs and wipes – the longer the cast stays clean the better.
- And finally, painkillers for baby and gin for you and a gentle reminder that it will all be ok in the end!
Any other hints and tips from past and present spica parents please add in comments and will edit into the post.