The first few weeks with a newborn is a magical time. It can also be a challenge for some parents, when there is prolonged crying and you have no idea how to soothe and calm your baby. Babies have different cries to communicate their needs and wants, but prolonged crying for 3 hours at a time, is a sign that something more serious may be going on with your babies’ health. Colic is not detrimental to the health of a baby, but it can place a great deal of stress on the parents and other family members. About 10-20% of infants, less than 4 months of age, suffer from infantile colic.
The term ‘Colic’ is usually used to describe any healthy, well-fed infant who cries more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. A Colicky baby will be a fussy baby who is preoccupied with unpleasant bodily and sensory experiences, rather than openly taking in and exploring their environment. A baby that is able to explore their environment and take in sensory information is a baby who is experiencing brain development and growth. A baby with colic can be under a constant state of neurological stress, which does not allow the brain to absorb 100% of environmental information for growth. Some research has even found that many children diagnosed with autism were colicky as babies.
Possible causes for colic have included too much gas in the intestine, dietary problems and birth trauma. Up to 85% of infants can experience some degree of birth trauma. Birth trauma can contribute to misalignment in the skull and/or spine, primarily at the top of the neck. Misalignments at the top of the neck or skull affect the vagus nerve, which can be a direct cause of colic and reflux. One of the main areas of control by the vagus nerve is the digestive tract. Irritation of the digestive tract can be directly associated with colic symptoms, reflux, constipation, gas, discomfort and crying for an infant.
Chiropractic care for babies offers a safe, gentle and natural way to correct the underlying causes of colic. In a study of 132 infants with colic, 91% of the parents reported a huge improvement in symptoms, which occurred after an average of two to three adjustments, within a week of starting treatment. A chiropractic adjustment can remove misalignment of the baby’s spine and allow the vagus nerve to relax and allow for proper function and control of the digestive tract.
At New Leaf Chiropractic in Longmont, we as Chiropractors see a lot of babies, for many different reasons. Colic is one of the most common reasons that parents will bring their infants in for care. It’s always a joy to not only see these babies transform into healthier, happier babies, but to also see the parents transform into more relaxed and restful beings. Healthy babies are happy babies and chiropractic can help your baby be a happy bundle of joy.