Three weeks in to my older daughter’s life and we were scrambling for ideas to help her and to keep her happy. She was gassy, she constantly cried and screamed, she was high maintenance. Baby number two made her debut into this world with her hand by her head. In both instances, getting adjusted at the chiropractor is how we helped them and is a great approach to natural parenting and holistic health for their little bodies. In fact, we have discovered the importance of regular adjustments and chiropractic for babies and toddlers. One simple adjustment has meant the difference between hearing screaming for hours and getting a nice nap. An adjustment can mean having a peaceful afternoon instead of one dealing with tummy issues. And an adjustment can make all the difference in the world and it doesn’t require medicine.
Why take babies and toddlers to get get adjusted at the chiropractor?
I cannot exclaim louder just how awesome chiropractic for kids is and how much I love my chiropractor! I have really seen drastic improvements in both of my children from taking then to get adjustments. Newborns go through a lot to be born are are lugged around so much and toddlers are rambunctious and active little guys that flip, flop, and spin around everywhere. So in the end, taking our kids in once a month or so makes a huge difference in their over health and I love the idea of holistic and preventative health approach rather than a reactive medical approach.
- When my older daughter was a newborn, she has a hard time breastfeeding and I was in a lot of pain. We took her in and it turns out her palate was drooping on the left side. That got adjusted and she latched and breastfeeding got better.
- My second daughter was born with her hand by her head. We took her in at just 3 days old and she had her cranials adjusted since there was molding from being born that way. Her head was thn nice and round and in place!
- My toddler has never been a sleeper… but every time she goes to get adjusted, she takes a nice nap and sleep well too.
- Any time either of my kids have had drainage and congestion, a quick trip to the chiropractor has gotten things flowing and they have started breathing better because of it.
- Tummy aches and pains are almost always instantly alleviated from getting the vertebrae adjusted that is associated with the stomach.
- The chiropractor has found open valves in my older daughter and after a week of complaining about her tummy, she hasn’t complained at all since and even immediately said her stomach felt better.
- When my second daughter was just a couple of weeks old, she got sick with soething allergy related. The chiropractor worked on her sinus cavities and different pressure points to help her breath better. And that really made a huge difference because she had sounded like a little piglet snorting before.
How to Choose a chiropractor for your kids
This is so important but can be a matter of trial and error. First and foremost you want to find someone who is a pediatric chiropractor and specializes in prenatal care, pregnancy, and children. You can find someone near you via the ICPA directory. However, you may still find that it takes finding the “right fit”. With my daughter, the first person we found through the directory was wanting us to come in every day for several weeks and was not very gentle. This was a red flag for me and it was not what we wanted or needed. However, who we go to now is wonderful. She never forces my daughter to get adjusted, has a couple of stuffed animals with little clickers inside of them to simulate adjustment, and most of all she is gentle and knowledgeable!
From our experience visiting several different chiropractors, here is what I would look for:
- Find someone who does not want to sign you up for planned visits. It is impossible to know if an adjustment is going to stay in place or not; therefore, if an office is trying to schedule your child everyday for 2 weeks or make you sign paperwork for x number of adjustments over a period of time, then that’s a red flag. If a chiropractor asks to see your child again the next week to check their progress, then that is fine especially after the first time. Again, this is mainly about long-term care and not the first time.
- Do they charge for kids? While this is not necessarily an indication of a great chiropractor, three of the four places I have been to with my kids did not charge a co-pay (or sometimes at all) to see kids. And maybe it’s just them, but they were also the three places that my daughter could tolerate.
- Find someone who is willing to talk you through every step, every time. As parents you want to know what someone is doing to your children. It’s especially important because if you see awesome improvement in your child, you will want to see that again and know what the doctor did, right?! Plus, I admit, the first time I took my older daughter to the chiro, I was terrified.
- Do they know how to do a palate adjustment? In my experience, if they do, they have had much more training than someone who doesn’t know how to and typically are better to go to. But that’s not a rule that’s set in stone at all. BUT, with newborns, I would say it’s important, especially if breastfeeding.
- What are their rules for how they give a child a chiropractic adjustment? Do you have to lay them on the table all alone? Or are there other ways they are willing to adjust? For instance, the wonderful office we go to, I can have my girls lay on top of me. It makes all the difference because I have literally never left their side. Can you breastfeed while your baby or toddler gets adjusted? My toddler even got adjust last week while I was holding her upright in my arms. But it’s the only way she would let us do it.
- Look for someone who is very gentle. You obviously won’t know this until your child is getting adjusted. However, my daughter would scream with the first doctor we saw, but the two others she has seen, even the most invasive adjustment (at the atlas bone in the top of the neck) she just whines. Adjustments should not hurt even if they are maybe not comfortable.
Why take in babies and toddlers and why is it important?
- Can help alleviate colic and reflux in babies.
- Helps kids grow and develop correctly and in alignment.
- Is a preventative health option rather than reactive medical treatment.
- Is a holistic approach to the body’s health care needs.
- Our entire body is all inter-connected; therefore, misalignment of the spine can cause stress on the bodies organs and the entire nervous system.
- Is a great first course of action if your children do seem sick.
- Is a non-invasive and natural approach to children’s health.
- Can help with ear infections (gets neck in alignment and the ear “unclogged”, tummy aches (can find open valves or out of place vertebra), and many more minor childhood issues.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!