Colic occurs when a healthy baby cries for no apparent reason and resists your efforts to soothe them. It can become frustrating and happen late at night, depriving you of sleep and stirring up emotions of wariness. Babies diagnosed with colic are based on the following:
- Cries total at least three hours a day
- Episodes occur at least three days per week
- Has persisted for at least up to three weeks in a row
Colic in babies can last for up to three months and most cases will stop on their own. However, sometimes there is a reason for colic in babies that we cannot see and as treatment is not taken, the baby could eventually learn to ignore whatever symptoms they were having while still living with what may be causing it.
What Causes Colic in Babies?
The exact cause of colic in babies is uncertain, but experts have pinpointed it has nothing to do with the genetics of the baby or a reflection of the parenting skills. It is natural for parents to believe their baby’s behavior is their fault, but this is not the case. The following are a few theories of what may be the underlying cause of colic in babies:
Overstimulated Senses - Newborns are able to tune out sights and sounds around them with a built-in mechanism to help them sleep and eat without disturbance. As they come up closer to their first month, this built-in mechanism will disappear and leave the baby more sensitive to what is happening around their environment. With all of these new senses popping up, it is easy for the baby to feel overwhelmed. To release this stress, the baby will cry. The theory is colic will end when the baby learns how to filter out some of the environmental disturbances that will help them avoid sensory overload.
- Infant Acid Reflux - Gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, can trigger colic in babies; however, it does not cause colic in babies when the baby did not have colic to begin with. GERD in infants is usually from an underdeveloped lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter is a muscle that prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the throat and mouth. Signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease include poor eating, frequent spitting up, and irritability during and after feedings. Babies will mostly grow out of GERD by the age of 1.
- Tobacco Exposure - Studies show mothers who smoke during or after their pregnancy have a higher possibility of having babies with colic. While a link between tobacco exposure and colic in babies exists, the relation is not very clear. It could be irritating the baby’s senses or disrupt their breathing. To be safe and for many more significant health reasons, it is recommended to not smoke or let anyone else smoke around the baby.
- Food Allergies or Sensitivity - Allergies or sensitivity to cow milk proteins in formula or, more rarely, breast milk could cause tummy pain for the baby and set off reactions similar to colic behavior.
- An Immature Digestive System - Beginning to digest food is a large task for a baby’s new gastrointestinal system. At times, food may pass too quickly without breaking down all the way. This can cause the baby pain and discomfort from gas in their intestines.
As these are theories of what could cause colic in babies, there is a way to help the baby’s body grow stronger naturally to prevent or reduce irritability and pain the baby may feel that could trigger their colic.
Upper Cervical Natural Treatment for Babies
Upper cervical is not like general chiropractic and does not involve “cracking” of the bones of any kind. Upper cervical is a natural, gentle treatment that is safe for any age, including newborns.
It also works a lot differently than general chiropractic, as upper cervical focuses on the most significant part of the spine: the top two vertebrae.
The top two vertebrae of your spine protect your brain stem and help your brain to body communication. When there is a vertebra that moves out of place and applies pressure onto the brain stem, disruptions to bodily functions begin to occur.
This improper placement of the vertebrae causes the nerves in the upper cervical area to become irritated and messes up the brain to body communication by sending out false signals or inappropriate signals.
Some false signals that can be sent throughout the body include pain and discomfort. Sometimes you can feel pain and discomfort without any known reason and that could be from the brain to body communication being distorted.
Signals that are inaccurate can cause the body to inflict damage upon itself or render it unable to repair or heal parts of the body properly. This can affect natural functions such as digestion and breathing, as well as causing over-sensitivity.
Colic in babies, while there is no one explanation for it, could be helped with natural upper cervical treatments because of the treatment’s focus on removing disturbance to the body’s natural functions. Colic can last for a long period of time, and patients who have had colic in babies have seen an improvement in as little as one visit.
The way upper cervical works is when an adjustment is made to correct misalignment, the pressure is taken off of the baby’s brain stem.
When the pressure is taken off, brain to body communication is restored to begin the healing and repairing process to any nerves or soft tissue that might have been injured and causing the pain, discomfort, and disturbance in their natural bodily functions.
If your baby is suffering from colic, there may be an underlying trigger. If the baby has a misalignment, it is best to treat it to not only help colic symptoms but ensure that the misalignment does not keep pressing onto the baby’s brain stem as it could create other problems for them in the future.