For many people, the idea of taking their precious baby to a chiropractor seems strange. “Why would a baby need to get adjusted?” In our Adjustatorium, some people witness an infant, toddler or child getting adjusted for the first time. ALL of them are amazed and conversations have stopped and turned to two main questions they have: 1. Is it safe? and 2. Is it effective? The short answers are YES! and YES! Of course, each case is unique just like every baby and the Doctors’s training in perinatal chiropractic care allows them to be able to help thousands of babies over the decades.
A baby’s spine is still developing as are their nervous systems. (Did you know that the nervous system is said not to be fully developed until the age of 25?) Our doctors have specialized training in the care of newborns, infants and toddlers. Is it dangerous? Only if done by someone other than a trained chiropractor.
There are six critical times to have your children checked by a chiropractor:
BIRTH: Even under perfect, natural, home birth scenarios, the newborn’s spine is subjected to the powerful forces of labor contractions. A subluxation can occur during the birth process and almost assuredly does during forceful manual extraction, vacuum extraction and especially C-sections. Many of our families bring their newborns to us for an evaluation shortly after birth. The Drs. Gambino had their children at home, unassisted, and checked their boys within minutes. Others have asked us to check them in the comfort of their home. Please inquire.
HEADS UP: When an infant begins to hold her head up on her own, usually birth to a few weeks, she is in the beginning stages of developing her all-important neck curve. One of the things that makes babies so cute is their disproportionately large heads. And the flip side is that her head weighs a lot relative to the cervical (neck) muscles. Head bobbling and preference to hold her head at an angle are indicators she should be checked.
SITS UP: Again, developing strength against gravitational forces is no easy task! Remember when you were learning to ride a bike, surf, ski or ride a unicycle? (Yes, I learned that too) Baby is balancing head and torso on top of a pelvis that has extra cushion including the diaper. This is a time we see babies with colic, “fussy baby” or babies who do not poop often. Since each baby develops a little differently, they are seen during developmental milestones, not the number of months outside the womb.
CRAWLS: Watch out! Babies move faster than you think! They have things to do! Now we see they are putting locomotion into their spines and coordinating billions of nerve fibers. Crawling is an innately necessary part of their brain development and studies show the longer they crawl the better coordinated adults they will be, so no rush, but get them checked.
BEGINS TO STAND: Naturally, babies want to see what all us adults are doing “up there” and will hoist themselves up to gain perspective. Again, this is natural but can be taxing on the nervous system. Here we see babies who are subluxated as a result of stresses from gravity. DO NOT USE A WALKER OR JUMPER! This places INCREDIBLE stress on the low back, hips and pelvis. They love it and so parents unwittingly subject their babies to subluxations and problems down the road. Let them work out walking on their own.
WALKING: Did you know that babies fall 40-80 times per day when they are learning to walk? If you or I did that, we’d be in the hospital! And what two parts do they land on? That’s right. Their heads or their tails. One end of the spinal column or the other. This is the time to notice changes in sleeping and eating patterns as well. Bring them in during the walking phase. Look for “pigeon toes” (especially one foot) or a “duck footed” walk as this is another sign they could be helped.
BONUS: During these stages, babies are exploring their new environments and often tumble off a bed, a changing table or stairs. Babies are resilient (Moms usually have the most stress in this situation). Don’t wait, bring them in! Our infant son was 14 months ild and climbed on a rolling chair which slid out from under him “BANG. BANG! THUD.” I rushed into find him knocked out. He was assessed and adjusted immediately and spinal subluxation created lasted for a minute or two, not 10 or 20 years! If they fall, give us. a call.