Option #1 - Cochlear Babyworn System: Where it all started ...
What you need:
1) Nucleus Freedom BTE (separate processor and controller)
2) 6" coil (what we use anyway)
3) Babyworn Accessory Pack - This consists of two retention cases to hold the controller which is held onto clothing using either the ONE alligator clip or the ONE safety pin that comes with the pack. Oh yeah, and it comes with a hook and loop fabric panel too ... no clue what it is or how to use it.
4) Snug-fit (or you can use longer ear hooks, I like the snug-fit for this setup) - Adjustable upper and lower earhook to help the processor stay on the ear. The trick I learned from Drew's mommy is to adjust it to the right fit, then LEAVE IT! It's so hard to try and fit it on an active baby each and every time you put the processor on. Exhausting.
5) 10" cable to connect the processor (on the ear) to the controller (clipped/pinned to the clothes)
6) Wig tape - Christian's mommy recommended I use Topps. I'd tried the generic brands in the very beginning and they just don't work as well as the Topps. It does help keep the processor on, but once it's ripped off, it usually doesn't stick again and has to be replaced with new tape.
7) Oh yeah, and a whole lot of patience.
Check out the complete diagram here on the Cochlear website and below on Aiden's ears.
I love this because the processor, which houses the microphones, sits on the ear. This provides better sound localization, gets Aiden used to wearing the device on his ear, and allows for transition to the full behind the ear (BTE) setup, which you'll see in the third option below.
I don't like this setup because of all the cords, but that's little compared to what it does for him.
Aiden constantly pulled the processor off his ear in the beginning and this is how it always ended up ...
2) Something to hold the BTE on the shoulder. We use the retention cases for now, but as you can see HERE, "Toes" mom uses hairbands and a safety pin, which we'll be going to once all of our retention cases break.
3) A longer coil cord. Since it has to reach from the shoulder to the head, we traded in our 6" coils for 10" ones.
4) Patience. The coil still falls off ... he's a VERY active baby, it's going to happen. Plus he still rips the coils off his head, yanks on them hard enough to tear the BTE from the retention case and then uses it as a teether or as a whip on the cats. Yes ... LOTS of patience.
From behind (you can see that nothing sits on his ears) and from the front you see the BTE pinned to his shoulders and the wires connecting the coil, but nothing on his ears.Again, lots of wires and you have to be careful not to cover up the processors (i.e. with a jacket) since the microphones need to be exposed to process the best sound quality.
(check out that bedhead!)
What I love about this set up is that the only wire is the coil. Aiden actually didn't mess with this as much as the babyworn set up, but this seems so heavy on his ears and I find myself constantly replacing the wig tape, because once the BTE falls off, the tape is done and you don't have the snugfit to help keep it on the ear. This is hard to do when you're out and about, which with three kids, is ALL the time.
PLUS, if it falls off his ear, and I don't see it fall off, there's no retention case holding it to his clothes ... very scary when these things are worth more than my husband's Harley!
So there you have it. Three ways we've tried wearing the Cochlear Freedom. If anyone else has any other suggestions, please, please chime in! Options are always a good thing!