Why Should I Take My Baby To An Osteopath

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Why should I take my baby to an osteopath? What do osteopaths treat in babies? How do I know if my baby needs an osteopath? These are such a common question we get asked as paediatric osteopaths. 

Parents bring their babies in to see us at the clinic for various reasons, or even just for a check up and reassurance that everything is going well. Osteopaths see newborn babies and infants who have no issues or concerns, as well those with movement, growth and development issues, and long term health conditions and physical disabilities. 

Osteopaths work in association with other medical and allied health professionals which may include referral to other health practitioners in a team-based approach to helping support children and their families. It is important to note that osteopaths do not necessarily treat conditions in babies, but rather assist in the management of common paediatric conditions.

Common reasons for an baby osteopathic consultation include:

  • Breast and bottle feeding issues
  • Difficult birth and unsettled baby
  • Head preference to one side and torticollis
  • Flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly)
  • Assistance with milestones such as tummy time, rolling and crawling
  • Walking development
  • Baby and child musculoskeletal check up
  • Special needs

We offer a range of clinical services including developmentally appropriate manual therapy treatment techniques and education and advice on activities for developing physical skills. Our osteopaths will examine your baby to check they are meeting their developmental milestones for their age and stage.

“Osteopaths work with babies to assist with movement, growth and development issues, and promote maternal and infant health and wellbeing through family-centred care.”

Your osteopath will tailor your consultation to meet the needs of you and your child. A baby osteopathic consultation consists of the following: 

  • Case history taking which includes pregnancy, birth, medical and development milestones
  • Examination which includes observation of global health, growth, development and neuromusculoskletal assessment
  • Treatment which includes hands-on techniques to reduce tension, improve range of motion and body symmetry
  • Management plan with personalised advice and tips on lifestyle factors and considerations for the family unit
  • Referral to other medical and allied health professionals if any factors are identified that require additional care

It is important to note that osteopathy for babies and infants requires additional skills beyond general osteopathy, including knowledge and skills in paediatric assessment, diagnosis and clinical intervention. Therefore, if you are planning to take your baby to see an osteopath, we recommend seeing a practitioner with experience in treating this unique demographic.

Would you like to learn more about the osteopathic approach to babies and toddlers? Click here for further reading. 

We’re here to help support and nurture you and your family as you align and grow. 

Emily Jones, Advanced Paediatric Osteopath, IBCLC and owner at Align & Nurture

The aim of the blog is to help educate parents from a non-judgmental place and offering suggestions based on my own clinical and personal experience. Every family has individual needs, these are general recommendations. Always seek advice from a medical professional.