Fun Cochlear Implant Accessories for Summer

Sonya wears RubyBands Swim Band

Lately, Sonya has been loving her Ruby Bands cochlear implant swim head band. It has the same design as the other Ruby Band cochlear implant headbands, which we adore, but is made from swim suit fabric and the pockets are slightly larger to accommodate the waterproof sleeves. (Note – if you are going to use the headband with a swim hat, be sure to choose a back tie). Sonya is wearing the front tie option above. We will definitely be using this on our trip to Italy next week!

You might notice that we are no longer using the waterproof sleeves. I talked about our struggles with it here. The sleeves are just too bulky and huge – and they don’t fit when coupled with the compact batteries we use for Sonya. We decided that it was more important that Sonya hear comfortably when doing water activities rather than struggle with heavy equipment that she ultimately refuses to wear and winds up swimming without sound. So far (fingers crossed) we haven’t had any issues without the sleeves. The cochlear implants (Nucleus 6 in our case) is water resistant. Since her water activity is relatively light, we simply place the damp processors in our Zephyr dryer overnight. They are fine the next morning.

In addition to the swim headband, Sonya has worn (and stained) her Polarn O. Pyret baseball cap. It fits snuggly on her head and keeps her processors in place on days when she just doesn’t feel like wearing a headband (and I just don’t feel like freaking out over a lost processor somewhere between our house and Central Park). Plus, she probably thinks she looks as cool as I do in my Yankees cap 🙂

IMG_1096IMG_1086IMG_1506

P.S. Some additional fashionable cochlear implant / hearing aid solutions and travel tips for kids and babies with cochlear implants and hearing aids. Also, check out the wonderful book Sonya is holding in her hand in the top picture above: Harmony Hears a Hoot . It was written by a speech pathologist and is a great resource for kids and parents on how to address hearing loss in a mainstream school setting. We love it!

 

Fashionable Hearing Aid Solutions

One of the most challenging aspects of having a baby who wears hearing aids was how to keep them on her head! Like most babies, Sonya must put everything in her mouth. Hearing aids included.

It is critical that Sonya keep her aids on, however, for as much of the day as possible. We were left scratching our heads as to how this could be accomplished? It sometimes took up to five minutes just to get them on her only for her to quickly take them out and stick them in her mouth. Adorable, and yet extremely frustrating.

Our speech therapists and audiologists had the following suggestions:

Option 1: In our hearing aid kit provided by Early Intervention (EI) we received Phonak Leo the Lion kids clip, which is a cord that attaches to the hearing aids and clips on to the back of Sonya’s shirt. Sonya didn’t love the clip. She noticed the cords when she turned her head and immediately pulled at it. I also didn’t love the look of it. Bright green with a lion cartoon on the clip. Cute – but also drew attention to her hearing aids. The quality also seemed to be lacking a bit.

Option 2: Phonak Stick ‘n Stay hearing aid stickers. We also received a pack of 30 pairs of clear sticky pads, which hold the hearing aids to Sonya’s ears. I used these for a good month – and they seemed to help initially. However, once Sonya learned to take them off, they lost their effectiveness as they were no longer sticky once removed. I also found the packaging frustrating to open and the stickers were time consuming to apply. The upside is this tape is a more sensitive solution for baby’s ears, leaving no residue and can be easily applied and removed. A good – but not perfect solution.

Option 3: Pilot caps. I for the record thought Sonya looked like a cute little aviator in these baby pilot caps we purchased at Hanna Anderson. Perfect for Spring, they held the hearing aids in place. She never bothered with them. Style-wise, they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. My sister-in-law thought it looked like a swim cap. Nonetheless they worked. Polarn O. Pyret also sells a similar version.

IMG_0047

Option 4: Crochet baby headbands. By far my favorite. Sonya looks adorable with these vibrant headbands which are comfortable to wear and hold the hearing aids firmly in place. I bought a pack of 30 for $15 through Amazon Prime. We have one that matches pretty much every outfit Sonya owns. She gets tons of compliments when she wears them. Win-win!

IMG_3074

Option 5: With the summer months upon us, Sonya typically wears her sunhat everywhere we go – and I have found this to be a great option as well. The best kind tie under the chin and have UV protection. Polarn O. Pyret makes a great one with an elastic band that holds the hat in place around the head and a slightly wider brim in the back to protect the shoulders and back. The hat also keeps her hearing aids in place without a problem.

IMG_0143

Do you have any other ideas? Feel free to let me know! I’ll be interested in hearing about any options that will work particularly well with Sonya’s new cochlear implants.