I’m not sure there are any tips to help when bringing a child home with clubbed feet after a visiting the doctor for a new set of casts. It’s rough on the kid. And it’s rough on the parents. (Truth be told, probably rougher on the parents!). But there are three tips that we all-too-slowly discovered.
1. Give a dose of Tylenol before the casting appointment. Obviously get your pediatrician’s approval first. You’ll need it for dosing requirements anyway. We found that once we could give Eli Tylenol, it made a huge difference in his behavior during the casting session. He was a lot less likely to scream in holy-terror. He was also a lot less likely to cry uncontrollably at the doctor’s office. This let us actually talk to the doctor and encouraged them to stick around the room longer to answer our questions. (Although they might not actually admit it, no one wants to be in a room with a screaming baby!) It also helped with the next tip we discovered…
2. Casting gives your baby gas. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s all the gulping of air from crying. Maybe there’s special gas intake valves on infants feet that we don’t know about. But whatever the reason, Eli had terrible, terrible gas pains after the castings. It took us three weeks of trying to figure out what was wrong with his casts to discover it wasn’t his casts but his stomach! We gave Eli gas drops
(which you can buy just about anywhere). However we’ve been told they are simply a placebo effect for parents. And while that may be so, it made us feel better and seemed to make Eli feel better. But that’s the irony of a placebo effect - maybe it was all in our heads!
3. Your baby will still cry because he’s hungry, tired, or needs changed. Your baby still has other needs. It’s easy to fall for the temptation to only think of the casts as the problem. But they aren’t. In fact, they likely aren’t the problem. Don’t forget to feed your baby, change her, or burp her. It sounds like this should be obvious, but as a parent you become so sensitized to the casts, that you assume they are the reason for everything. (This is when your brain is your enemy.)
There are probably other tips that can help within the first 24-hours of bringing a baby home from your casting appointments, but these three helped us maintain our sanity. Or at least pretend to maintain our sanity! How about you? What tips have you found useful?