Colic

An unusual amount of crying in very young infants is a symptom of a condition known as colic. While crying, infants may draw arms and legs in toward their bodies. They may appear to be in pain and may even turn a bright red. Typically appearing between the third and sixth weeks of life, colic is usually resolved by the age of three months.

Chiropractic Baby Care

Gentle chiropractic adjustments can improve such colic symptoms as unusual amounts of crying.

Some Factors Contributing to Colic

Although the causes of colic are uncertain, there are a number of factors that seem to contribute:

  • An immature and irritated nervous system
  • Food sensitivities
  • Gastrointestinal upset

The fact that there are often improvements following gentle chiropractic adjustments lends strength to the theory that an irritated spine may contribute to colic. The neck of a newborn is severely stressed during birth, so it is very common for there to be several subluxations in the neck and back; these may irritate a baby’s tiny, delicate nervous system.

It has also been observed that colicky babies do better with more attention and are more sensitive to their surroundings than other babies – again pointing to neurological differences.

The diet of both mother and baby can be an important factor, with one of the greatest offenders being cow’s milk. Cow’s milk contains a form of sugar called lactose which many newborn babies cannot digest very well, and may not until two or even three years of age. In addition, cow’s milk contains many proteins that are not good for the infant digestive system.

The mother’s diet while breastfeeding may also contribute to infant colic. A rather bland, but high-protein, diet that excludes dairy is probably best – at least during the first three or four months of breastfeeding.¬†Foods to avoid during this early period are:

  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Excessive intake of any one particular food

What Can a Parent Do?

Here are some things you can do to help, if your baby suffers from colic:

  • Seek regular chiropractic care, especially during the first four months.
  • A warm water bottle may soothe your baby’s stomach.
  • Gently rub your baby’s stomach.
  • Rock your baby in a rocking chair or cradle.
  • Give your baby a warm bath.
  • Go for a drive with your baby in the car seat.
  • Feed your baby smaller feedings, but more often.
  • Avoid any soy or dairy-based baby formulas.