What To Look Out For In Babies

Pediatric Assessment

This post discusses development issues that can be linked with child birth. If you have concerns about the development of your baby – I offer pediatric assessments at the clinic.  If you’d like more information or would like to book a free assessment; contact us on 01 677 9859 of email info@the-elbowroom.com.

Birth can be a stressful experience for baby as well as mum.  The bones in their head actually over-lap to allow the exit from the birth canal.  The bones are supposed to unmould and gently fuse with even pressure over 12-18 months.  There are many reasons including awkward position during pregnancy/labour, forceps/suction, c-section,  why the unmoulding process can be altered and can lead to a multitude of problems.   The vast majority of which can be treated gently and successfully. Symptoms that your child would benefit from an Osteopathic check-up include;


Many children cry and fuss at least some of the time.  This is their primary form of communication.   Excessive crying however is often their way of saying something is wrong. This can range from issues with wind, cranial congestion, constipation and much more. Tip: Try to ensure your child has plenty of time to get wind up after feeding.  Certain ingredients in food such as dairy and caffeine can cause uncomfortable wind in breast-fed babies so cutting these out for a while may be help.

Feeding problems

If your baby is not latching correctly onto the breast this may be caused by a lack of rotation in their neck.  If they have never been able to successfully latch on they should be assessed by a lactation consultant to be sure there are no issues with the nerves in the tongue or the mouth.  If they have previously been able to latch on but now show difficulty or do not stay on the breast long then it may be due to the neck and this should be assessed and treated if necessary. Tip:  As a short term fix try allowing your child their choice of which breast to feed from or by adjusting their position so neck rotation isn’t an issue.

Flattened head syndrome (Plagiocephaly)

You may notice an alteration in your child’s head shape. It can appear flat across the whole back of the head or more likely just on one side. This is usually noticed within the first few months of life. The bones in the head are still soft and lying on the back with the head favouring rotation to one side often causes this flattening. This can lead to irritability, sinus problems, ear problems as well as aesthetic issues. The neck should be assessed to make sure full rotation to each side is possible. Tip: If your child is sleeping in a cot near your bed and usually faces one way to see or hear you, change the position of the cot so the child has to look to the other side to see or hear you.


Some babies become constipated fairly easily. They will often go several days without defecating, be in discomfort, straining or have a distended stomach. Massage and visceral osteopathic techniques are great for resolving constipation. Tip: Move your baby’s legs in a cycling motion when they are laying on their back. This will put gently pressure on the stomach muscles and the intestines.

The child refuses to lie down

Some babies start crying almost instantly when they are placed on their back and only sleep in a sitting position or laying on a parent. This may be as a result of pressure in the cranial sutures which increases when we lie on our backs. Tip: As a short term fix, allow the child to fall asleep fully before gently placing them in their cot. They may find that lying at an angle is more comfortable. There are many reasons why people have their babies assessed and treated by osteopaths. If you are in any doubt or have any questions just come in and see me. Jonathan Wills. M.Ost. ND. DO.

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