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An inconsolable baby is heartbreaking, and a baby with colic is inconsolable much of the time. It’s stressful for everyone involved, and it can send frantic parents all over looking for solutions. So here’s a question – can chiropractic care help a baby with colic?

It may surprise you, but gentle chiropractic techniques have been successful in offering relief to some colicky babies. Here’s what you should know if your baby seems to be struggling with colic – and you’re struggling for a solution.

What exactly is colic? And what causes it?

Your baby may be considered colicky if she’s otherwise healthy and well-fed, but spends a lot of her time – at least three hours a day a few days a week over at a span of a few weeks – crying very unhappily. All babies cry, but when feeding them, changing their diaper, changing their position or just about anything doesn’t seem to help, the blanket term “colic” is often used. The mystery is what’s truly causing her distress.

In many instances, colic begins when a baby is just a few weeks old (although it can begin later, especially if your baby was premature). There are a few theories about the real cause of colic – and a lot of misinformation. If our little babies could speak, maybe they’d explain it’s an upset tummy or lower abdominal cramping or something else. It’s possible that colic is the result of developing and still immature digestive or nervous systems, hormonal fluctuations or plain overstimulation. Unfortunately, we just don’t know.

The good news is that colic is fairly self-limiting. By the time your baby is three or four months old (which may feel like a lifetime!), colic should be a thing of the past.

Because of this, certain remedies and “cure-alls” may be credited when symptoms seem to vanish – even though they aren’t really directly responsible. Chiropractic care is sometimes lumped into these kinds of scenarios. But here’s a promise.

Nothing is more important to Dr. McSweeney than the health and comfort of your baby. Because every baby is different, she has no “one-size-fits-all” solution. If you bring your baby in to see Dr. McSweeney, she’ll begin your appointment with lots of listening. Only after learning about your baby’s specific issues with lots of questions will she offer suggestions that may or may not include chiropractic care.

In the meantime, if your baby seems to suffering from bouts of crying and your sixth sense is telling you there must be a reason, start by ruling out other issues.

  • Discuss your concerns with your baby’s pediatrician. He or she can help you rule out things like injuries, infection, acid reflux and other conditions.
  • Watch your baby closely. Look for things like rashes, ear tugging and eye rubbing. Is your baby pulling up those little knees into her abdomen?
  • Try different solutions. Distraction-based remedies including things like offering a pacifier, using a baby carrier, a swing or a musical mobile. You may consider switching formulas or trying an elimination diet if you’re breastfeeding (dairy and fructose may be the culprit). It’s a stressful scenario to have a baby crying for hours on end, so take advantage of your support system.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. McSweeney to learn how she can help, we welcome the opportunity to meet you and your baby (tears or no!). It may be just what you and your baby need.