Saturday, December 1


We received our Babyworn upgrade from Cochlear this week. I have been so excited to try this new product. I have to admit its' arrival was a little anti-climatic.

First, the babyworn cord is way too long. There is a lot of extra cord flopping around which Drew likes to play with. He accidentally pulls off his processor and coil all day long, especially in the car. This creates a problem because then he is chewing on his processor and coil. My Mom had to pull her car over after therapy the other day to get the processor out of Drew's mouth!

Second, the babyworn allows a child to use the standard BTE in a way that fits the child. The problem is that the BTE does not have a setting to turn on an audible alert if the coil is not on. With the bodyworn, we would always hear four beeps if Drew's coil would fall off (rolling around on the floor, running into something or just removing it himself). Now we don't have any alert other than the flashing red lights on the processor, which are often hidden by his Hanna Andersson hats. The other night he was attempting to remove all of the ornaments from the Christmas tree. I was saying, "Drew, that's a no-no." He is a very good boy, so usually when we say "no," he stops whatever he is doing. But this time there was no response. He wouldn't respond to his name or anything. I got up from the couch and walked over to him to find that both of his coils had come off. It's a little frustrating to not know exactly when they come off.

I do think that Drew likes the babyworn better and these small issues will go away as Drew gets older. The babyworn is significantly lighter in weight and takes up by far less space on his back than the bodyworn. I think we are going to continue to use the pockets on his clothing to help minimize the amount of cord that is hanging idle on his back. And as he grows, he will be able to tell us exactly when his coils come off, so the audible indicator will not be nearly as important as it is now.

Also in the free upgrade was the Snugfit. I purchased it from Cochlear's website in August, so we already knew what an AWESOME product the sungfit is! I don't know what we would have done without it the past four months! We used the mic-lock for the first month. They were a disaster. The processor was always falling off of Drew's ear.

It's funny what you get used to. I was so against ordering the bodyworn when we placed Drew's equipment order back in April, but our audiologist insisted on it. The babyworn was not available and she was opposed to pinning the processors to Drew's shirt because she felt Drew would not be able to localize sound as well with his ears on his shoulders vs. on his ears. After using the bodyworn for five months, I have to say that I am so thankful we have it. I can not imagine in the early days, when Drew was still so young, rolling on the floor all the time, trying to make sure his processors were on without the audible alert.


Anonymous said...

We are also new at using the babyworn and since Ethan is so much bigger than Drew we are not facing the same problem with the cords. We really miss hearing those beeps when the coil is off though!

We just gave the snugfit a try and it didn't work with Ethan's glasses. His new processor has a different style of ear/retention hook than the first processor. This one is much longer and really does help keep the ear piece in place. We've just been tucking those behind the glasses.

Our audi was also totally against pinning the ear level pieces to his shoulders, yet I think that is the way that Erin wears her "ears" and she has been doing really really well. I'm sure Wendy will attest to that. I'm begining to consider doing that since we have so much stuff on Ethan's head now!

I'll bet you guys are so excited to share Christmas music with Drew this year! It will be a memorable one :-)

Landon's Mom said...

We didn't have much luck with the snugfit. It made Landon's ear lay down too much and would slide off. We've been using the mic lock with toupee tape and that seems to work great - except for when he pulls them off :)

As far as the babyworn, we ended up taking some bodysuits and making little pockets on the back by his shoulders that close with velcro. We also had to find a clip to help pin the wires by the back of his shirt - the grey clips you were using on the bodyworn would probably work good. I tried to get some like that from Cochlear but they said they were actually clips the audiologists use during mappings and weren't available for sale. Our audiologist had a little black clip that seems to be working well. It also helps that the pockets are on an undershirt - his other shirt helps keep the wires under control and out of his sight. It seems to be working really well for Landon. The only time we have trouble with him grabbing them is in the car so we use the pilot caps then. That's pretty much the only time we have to use the caps so we can usually tell pretty easily when his coils fall off.

We were looking forward to getting just BTE's with the babyworn thinking it would be so great but the clips are kind of bulky to use. We also had trouble with them catching on the buggy at the store and popping off. The pockets seem to be doing great. I am glad that it is so much smaller than if we had the bodyworn back there. It sounds like there are positive and negatives with both.

I'm sure it won't take you long to figure out a configuration that will work best for y'all :)


Mom to Toes said...

I am sorry to hear the Babyworn has not been a success so far!

I can understand missing the audible signals that the BTE does not have. I loved the squeal we got when Erin's hearing aid would malfunction. I missed that at first when we stopped using the Bodyworn.

But, we have never had an issue realizing when Erin's coil is off. When she was younger, we pretty quickly realized when she stopped responding. And if not, the 10" coil dangling off her back was usually a pretty good indication. ;) Now that she is older, she tells us when it's off.

We have been using the baby worn holder to hold the processor and controller as one unit, pinning it to Erin's shoulder. I really need to post some pictures.

The holder is not meant to hold both pieces, so over time, the plastic cracked near the top and broke off. So we are now modifying with hairbands again. *sigh*

At the Ohio AG Bell conference, Dad to Toes gave the Cochlear reps a piece of his mind on that. But, I had to remind him that we are not exactly following manufacturer's recommendations by using it the way we are. ;)

Erin's audi was not thrilled at first when we opted to pin the units to her shoulder. But she is pleased with Erin's progress and has even suggested our method to other parents when they have issues keeping the equipment on. I can't imagine her at daycare without this method.

Families just need to play with all of their options until they find what works best for them and their audiologists.

These early years go by so quickly. Before we know it, our kids will be wearing everything at ear level. The technology never ceases to amaze me.