Newborn babies are notorious for being sweet, snuggly, and adorable. But sometimes, they can also be known for crying a lot, being unpredictable, and seeming inconsolable at times. Since having a newborn is different for all parents and each baby is unique, it can be difficult to determine what the true cause of the crying may be. It could be as simple as the baby being hungry, needing a diaper change, or wanting to be held. However, sometimes babies don’t need to be comforted be anything and instead cry and fuss for hours on end for no known reason. This is called colic, and it’s defined by doctors as unexplained crying for 3 or more hours at least 3 days out of each week.
Colic doesn’t have one specific known cause, but doctors and parents can troubleshoot to try to determine the primary factor that causes the crying in order to minimize it. Sometimes, a diet change is necessary, including either a formula change or, for a breastfed baby, changing of mom’s diet. Sometimes medication can contribute to the discomfort in babies that leads to colic, while other times it may be related to sleep habits and tiredness.
It can be hard to know if your baby is just fussy or if he or she is truly colicky. Babies with colic will usually clench their fists, straighten their legs, and tighten their stomach muscles while they’re crying, and next to nothing will console them or bring about relief from their crying.
Having a baby with colic can be extremely frustrating and disheartening. If you’re struggling to console your colicky baby, rest assured that several options for relief are available. As mentioned above, sometimes a lifestyle change can help. Other times, helping baby relieve painful gas can help, either by holding him in a different position, changing his diet, or utilizing a gas-reducing medication. Sometimes baby massages can help, and relaxing baths can often help babies with colic as well.
Another prominent cause of colic is an immature or inefficient nervous system, which can be improved with neurologically-based chiropractic care. Bozeman chiropractor Dr. Cary Gentry is an expert in the nervous system and has a great deal of experience adjusting even the tiniest of newborns. A gentle, safe chiropractic adjustment may be exactly the thing your colicky baby needs to reset her nervous system and improve the function of her entire body.
Parents in Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Sky, and all across the globe have seen incredible changes in their colicky babies after getting them under care with a chiropractor. One study didn’t tell some parents about the treatment methods so as to avoid bias, and even so, all parents whose children received chiropractic adjustments reported improvements in colic symptoms. Another study explored the long-term implications of colic, including temper tantrums and night waking into and through toddlerhood. Infants with colic who were under chiropractic care as babies experienced better behavior patterns during toddlerhood, in addition to experiencing the benefits of reduced colic symptoms in infancy.
To learn more about how colic symptoms can be improved in your bundle of joy, contact Dr. Cary Gentry and his team at Waypoint Chiropractic in Bozeman, MT.
Miller, J.E., Phillips, H.L. “Long-term Effects of Infant Colic: A Survey Comparison of Chiropractic Treatment and Nontreatment Groups.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2009 Oct; 32(8): 635-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19836599.
Miller, J.E., Newell, D., Bolton, J.E. “Efficacy of Chiropractic Manual Therapy on Infant Colic: A Pragmatic Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2012 Oct; 35(8): 600-607. https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(12)00161-3/abstract?code=ymmt-site.
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