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Key Points

  • Your baby should wear the CranioCap® 22–23 hours per day
  • All red marks from pressure should fade within 30 minutes after removing the CranioCap®
  • Two-week follow-up appointments are critical for successful treatment
  • If your baby has a fever, do not wear the CranioCap®

Your willingness to participate with your baby in using the CranioCap® orthosis is the single most important factor in successful treatment
of deformational plagiocephaly. To achieve the best result in the shortest amount of time, your baby should wear the CranioCap® full-time, or 22–23 hours per day. In our experience, babies who wear the CranioCap® full-time experience fewer skin problems, have a better-fitting orthosis throughout treatment, and have a more symmetrical/proportional head shape at the end of treatment when compared with babies who only wear the CranioCap® part of the time.

Here are some guidelines to using and caring for the CranioCap®.


Applying the CranioCap®

The CranioCap® is designed to fit snugly on your baby’s head. Adjust the Velcro strap so the CranioCap® is snug, but not tight.


Follow-Up Care

Once a CranioCap® has been fitted, your baby will be seen by an orthotist about every two weeks. Follow-up care with an orthotist is very important to make sure the CranioCap® always fits properly as your baby grows. The follow-up care is included in the cost of the CranioCap®.



Wash the CranioCap® once or twice a day using your baby’s usual shampoo. The padding inside the CranioCap® is closed-cell foam, which means that it is safe to get wet. Wipe the padding with a damp washcloth and a small amount of the shampoo to remove dirt, oil and sweat from the padding. Then wipe the padding thoroughly again, this time with a clean, damp washcloth to completely remove the soap. Do not soak the CranioCap®. Once a week, wipe the inside of the CranioCap® with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water for additional cleaning. Make sure your baby’s head and the CranioCap® are completely dry before putting it back on.


Wearing Schedule

Once your baby has completed the Break-In Wearing Schedule (see back of this handout), he/she should wear the CranioCap® for 22–23 hours each day. Your baby should take 2–4 breaks throughout the day, each lasting approximately 30 minutes.


Break-In Wearing Schedule

Day 1

This is the first day your baby will wear the CranioCap®. Begin by having your baby wear it for 1 hour and then take a 30-minute break. Continue this schedule throughout the day. Remember to check for redness at each break. All redness should fade within 30 minutes. Your baby should not wear the CranioCap® during naps or at night on this first day.

Day 2

Increase your baby’s wearing time to 1 1/2 hours with a 30-minute break. Continue this schedule throughout the second day, always checking for redness at the breaks. Try to have your baby wear the CranioCap® at naptime, but not at night.

Day 3

Increase your baby’s wearing time to 2 hours at a time with a 30-minute break. Continue this schedule throughout the day. Try to keep the CranioCap® on during your baby’s nap, and start nighttime wear.

Day 4

You may now begin a full-time wearing schedule, which is 22–23 hours per day. Your baby should wear the orthosis during naptime and all night. (NOTE: Your baby does not need to take a 30-minute break during the night.) It is important to give your baby 2–4 breaks during the day that last for 30 minutes each. Again,
remember to check for redness at each break.



Always check for redness on your baby’s skin after each wearing period. Redness may occur as your baby’s head grows and changes.

There are typically two types of redness that you may see:

1) Pressure

Redness from pressure usually looks solid in appearance and should fade within 30 minutes of removing the CranioCap®. If redness from pressure lasts longer than 30 minutes, try using a petroleum product such as Aquaphor to reduce friction on your baby’s skin. Apply a tiny amount to the reddened/pressure area of your baby’s scalp and continue regular use of the CranioCap®. If the redness, dry skin or chafing does not improve after using Aquaphor, call Gillette’s Orthotics, Prosthetics and Seating department (OPS) for possible adjustments at 651-229-3800.

2) Rash

Redness from a rash may look raised, spotted, blotchy and/or asymmetrical. This type of redness tends to last longer then redness from pressure. The rash could be caused by heat, a virus, bacteria, a fungus or allergies. Daily cleaning is essential in reducing the chance of a rash developing.

Tips to prevent a rash:

  • Clean the CranioCap® at least once a day
  • Dress your baby in cool clothing, even at night

Keep your baby inside on hot, humid days. (If you plan an outdoor activity on a hot day, your baby does not need to wear the CranioCap® outside.) Give your baby the recommended amount of time out of the CranioCap® each day (2–4 breaks lasting 30 minutes each)

If your baby’s rash does not resolve after following the tips above, contact Gillette’s OPS department for possible adjustments. If your baby has a fever with a rash, contact your baby’s pediatrician and stop using the CranioCap® until the fever is resolved.

If your baby’s rash is caused by eczema, see your pediatrician for recommendations.



Your baby may experience more sweating than usual during CranioCap® treatment. In most cases, the sweating improves after 1–2 weeks of wear.



If your baby ever has a temperature higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, stop using the CranioCap® until the fever goes away, even if it means not wearing the CranioCap® for several days.


Cradle Cap

If your baby has cradle cap (soft, yellow, crusted spots on the scalp), gently scrub your baby’s scalp with a brush every time you shampoo. Be sure to watch for any signs of infection in this area, such as redness, tenderness and drainage. If any of these occur, notify your baby’s pediatrician.

For questions/concerns regarding the Craniocap, call 651-290-8707 to make an appointment or ask to speak with an orthotist.


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This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.