Colic is best defined as long periods of uncontrollable crying in infants lasting more than 3 hours and happening more than 3 days a week, disrupting their sleep and optimal health development. Colic is known to affect 1 in 4 babies using standard criteria, but it’s also likely even higher than that when factoring in infants who struggle with related things such as frequent periods of crying, discomfort, reflux, indigestion, and constipation.
There are many signs and symptoms that may indicate your infant has colic, including the list of challenges below:
Still today, there is no consensus in the medical community as to what is causing colic in infants; because of that, they often offer little help to struggling, exhausted parents. Frustratingly the most common advice parents are given still today is to let them cry it out, and also, “Don’t worry, they’ll grow out of it.”
But as pediatric chiropractors, our entire passion is with finding the cause of a child’s health condition so that we can then know with certainty the best plan moving forward to help them heal and overcome it. That means we dive deep into every colic case, and when you do so, it’s always pretty easy to find the cause(s) of each child’s struggles.
Nothing frustrates us more than hearing that a parent has been told to “not worry” and that they’ll “grow out of it” because that is simply not the case. As parents, it’s flat-out in our DNA to worry and be concerned about our children, especially when they cry and struggle.
Additionally, in our practice, we’ve seen time and again that kids do not “grow out of” colic but instead “grow into” the next wave of health challenges such as constipation, ear and other respiratory infections, sleep disorders, and sensory integration disorders.
The cause of colic is quite simple – distress.
Two factors stick out and show up more than any other:
While most natural methods that attempt to help colic and other pediatric conditions focus on the gut and things like diet, food intolerances, and allergies, we often find that the stress and tension lie even deeper in the system than that.
This condition of constant stress and tension on the central or autonomic nervous system is called subluxation. When exposed to high levels of emotional and physical stress via one or both of the factors listed above, the infant’s entire nervous system often shifts into a state of what’s called dysautonomia.
This condition is known to affect other main infant health functions negatively. Namely, the 3 things that we all know babies need to do well to be healthy and happy – eat, sleep, and poop. Colic sets in when one or all of those vital health functions are altered.
The first thing we always take care of in cases of colic is something quite non-traditional, the parents. Knowing that your child’s uncontrollable crying and challenges are not your fault is important.
In today’s world, more stress, fear, and anxiety are put on expectant mothers than ever before. There is more push for intervention during labor and delivery than ever before. It truly has become a perfect storm scenario for so many families, and again the most important thing to know is – it’s not your fault.
The next most important thing to know is this – you can do plenty to help!
While other naturally-focused articles on colic often provide a long list of things such as taking car rides, sitting your baby upright, using white noise machines, going dairy-free, adding probiotics and prunes, and so forth, we want to get right to what we find most helpful in case after case in babies struggling with colic – getting stress off of their nervous system.
As trained and experienced pediatric chiropractors, we can make gentle, safe, easy adjustments that unwind and release the stress and tension built up in your baby’s nervous system from pregnancy and birth.
Time and again, we see infants who arrive at the office screaming, crying, arching their backs, stiff and uncomfortable… go home after that first visit and adjust completely calm, relaxed, and asleep. Best of all and funniest of all, many times that comes with a total “blowout” and big old poop as well! Yep, poop rules in our office!
Everything starts with our INSiGHT scans. They take only minutes and are entirely non-invasive, helping us find exactly where those subluxations have set up shop and are causing trouble.
Below on the left is an example of one of our practice member’s initial INSiGHT scan, pinpointing severe stress (red), especially in the upper neck. This neurological region has significant control over the body’s rest, relaxation, and digestive functions. This meant he felt really uncomfortable in his own skin and had to work hard to eat, sleep, and poop.
As he progressed through his care plan, his scans started to calm and regulate, as you can see on the right. This shows that his nervous system became much less stressed, allowing his colic symptoms to subside completely.
Parents deserve to get their life (and sleep!) back, and beautiful brand-new babies deserve to be happy, healthy, calm, and smiling all the time instead of screaming and crying! All of that is possible!
Simply call our office, or message us on Instagram and get your baby relaxed, unwound, and back on track to full health today!