Why does PerfectNoggin have age and mobility restrictions?
The PerfectNoggin can be used WITHOUT supervision for infants up to age 5 months (adjusted for prematurity) or until your infants begins to roll over to his/her stomach. After this milestone, use can be extended to 6 months or older under direct parental supervision. There are several reasons why we have set this restriction, but it comes down to two main issues- effectiveness and safety. The contoured head surface is designed to accommodate a large range of head sizes (up to 95%) for infants in the age range 0-5 months, but even the largest size will not reliably fit the head of an infant over 6 months of age. Why didn't we just make it bigger? Because studies show that once an infant begins to roll over, usually at 4-6 months of age, flattening of the head effectively stops worsening. In fact, any resting surface modification will be become less effective after this time in development since the baby will not stay on it long enough to have an effect. If your infant begins to roll over while using the PerfectNoggin, the product can still be used up to 6 months of age but only with direct parental supervision. If your child is unable to stay on the product during supervised sleep or awake time, consult your pediatrician to discuss other alternatives. For moderate to severe flattening, a well-made molding helmet can be beneficial in correcting whatever flattening is present.
The second issue is safety. The PerfectNoggin has been used safely for over 15 years and is designed with safety as the first priority. The platform is made of aerated biocompatible materials, with aerated soft closed-cell foam layers, and the base is very broad and stable. To accommodate the head recess, the surface is elevated 3-4 inches off of the bed with a gentle 3.6 degree slope. There is an elevated rim that helps reduce the likelihood of an infant sliding or scooting off the surface. The PerfectNoggin has no straps or restraints, so your infant can move as their motor development permits. There has never been a reported event of an infant being injured from rolling off the PerfectNoggin onto the bed, and it is extremely unlikely that such an event would cause injury even if it were to occur. Nevertheless, we advocate not using the PerfectNoggin unsupervised once an infant exhibits the ability to roll back to belly. Of course the PerfectNoggin should never be used in lieu of or outside of a crib or bassinet, and never carry or lift the device while your infant is positioned on the it. Always relocate your infant to a stable and safe surface before moving or lifting the PerfectNoggin to relocate it, or to change the layers or top cover. If the entire base of the PerfectNoggin does not lay flat onto the resting surface of the crib or bassinet, it should not be used.
While the PerfectNoggin can be used up to 6 months of age with supervision (corrected for prematurity), the best outcomes are obtained when it is started in the first two months of life before the onset of significant head flattening. In rare instances, an unusual head shape may indicate other disorders, such as craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the cranial sutures), that require medical attention and will not respond to any orthotic intervention, including the PerfectNoggin. For this reason, it is imperative that you consult your pediatrician prior to using any type of orthotic or sleep surface alteration.