My daughter wears a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA), which is held on by a soft headband, called a “softband.” Her hearing aid came with 1 softband. But she needed more options than just one color softband. What if that one softband gets dirty or wet? But to purchase a second band from the hearing aid manufacturer cost around $70. Not to mention manufacturer’s softbands looks very hospital-ish and most kids complain they are uncomfortable.
The Birth of DIY Headbands
Forwerd’s “Button Block Connector” was originally designed “for Drew”. Drew spelled backwards is “Werd” so “Forwerd” is a backwards / forwards play on words (do you like my pun?). There are two different shapes of Connectors designed to hold either a Cochlear Baha or Oticon Ponto hearing aid. The Connector fits inside a flexible O-ring which is built into a softband. This innovation made it possible for Mamas to make their own headbands for their children. But some Mamas said, “I’m not very crafty, can someone make softbands for my child?” So some crafty ladies started making and selling softbands to help other families.
Custom Softbands are usually made using 5/8 FOE (fold over elastic), backed with a second layer of FOE to make them sturdy and durable. There’s a slide adjuster (similar to a bra strap), so these bands are one-size-fits all, and will continue to fit as the child grows. They are made with a flexible O-ring to hold the Connector. Softbands can be made bilateral with 2 o-rings to hold 2 Connectors to hold 2 hearing aids, and has 2 slide adjusters to ensure a perfect fit. Here are instructions on how to make your own softband for Ponto or Baha.
3 Places to Buy Custom Softbands and Accessories for Oticon Ponto or Cochlear Baha.
There are a few places to purchase custom softbands, depending on which Continent you live on.
All 3 sell through Etsy’s user-friendly shopping experience where you can easily see the available colors and patterns, as well as customization options, and prices for the various options.
BAHA Accessories UK, as its name states, is located in the UK. They sell Custom made Elastic Softbands, Button Block Connectors, DIY materials, Hats with a hole for the Baha, Safety lines, and Toy Baha or Toy Ponto on a softband custom sized to fit your doll or stuffed animal.
Here is the description on their FB page:
“I have been making homemade BAHA headbands for my God-daughter for quite some time now. The historic challenge has been that they’ve only been available for sale outside the UK and therefore with postage costs, quite expensive! I’m taking my experience and knowledge from helping my God-daughter and selling some great items.”
Ciel Miel Apparel is located in Australia and sells Custom made Elastic Softbands, Cloth Covers for over the manufactures softband, Safety lines, Hats with a hole for the Baha, Storage Box for Baha,
Here is the description from their Etsy profile,
“When I became a mum to my darling little girl, I realised just how fast babies grow and outgrow clothes! So when I got a new sewing machine, the first thing I did was create outfits for my little girl!
Then I wanted to co-ordinate her headbands with the outfits, and I soon realised the options in the existing market for Bone-Conduction hearing devices were limited (and expensive), so I came up with some unique designs for covers that go on top of the manufacturer’s standard-issue headbands – rather than replace the headband – compatible with Cochlear BAHA, Oticon Ponto, Med-el Adhear, and Contact-Mini. Then, coming into winter I created knitted beanies that have a space for the hearing devices.
I decided to share my creations with the world and open my own Etsy shop”
Baha Bowtique is located in the USA and sells Custom made Elastic Softbands, Button Block Connector, DIY materials, DIY Safety Line Kit and Toy Baha or Toy Ponto on a softband custom sized to fit your doll or stuffed animal.
Custom made Elastic Softbands are made with 5/8 inch Fold Over Elastic (FOE) and lined with your choice of a second layer of elastic, or non-slip velvet elastic. Either option usually stays on better than the manufacture softbands. Velvet stays on extra well, but is bit thicker.
The Baha Bowtique specializes in high quality softbands, which are sturdy and durable, as well as aesthetically pleasing. I aim to provide a quick response time and fast turn-over. Softbands are usually made and shipped within 2 days of purchase.
If you do not see what you are looking for, you can request a custom order of specific colors, patterns, backing, or other customizations.
Baha Bowtique has regular sales and you can sign up to receive coupon-codes via e-mail.
Full Disclosure: I am the owner of The Baha Bowtique. This section has the most details, because I know the most about my own brand. If it sounds like my own headbands are my favorite, that is true. I do my best to create high quality products.