Thursday, August 1, 2013

Should I take my toddler to a cranial osteopath?

This is something I've been toying with for a long while. My cynical more-scientific side says that my bubbas' horrific sleep issues, and reflux, and inability to lie down without screaming the house down were simply the harsh reality of a newborn. Doctors offered medicine for reflux, health visitors advised just keep trying to put bubba down. Over and over again. Until he stopped complaining about it.
The painful times of the newborn *almost* long forgotten now
We declined both, feeling ridiculous that we were turning down offers of some form (if a little clinical) of help. And somehow by declining medical help, we'd made our own bed, and now had to lie in it, even if bubba wouldn't. I wish a kindly Auntie (or anyone for that matter) could've advised that there are gentler methods that might be able to help a little. Or shown me how to use a sling earlier than our discovery of the much-heralded Ergo when bubba hit 5 months of age. My tears of hunger and frustration of not being able to butter a slice of bread one-handed could've been completely avoided.
A more independent little chap now...
Anyhow I digress. I thought that I'd missed the boat on this one, in a similar vein to early babywearing. However when I met a local cranial osteopath she advised that it's never too late to be able to make changes, and that her work with adults also produced results.

The ONLY time bubba napped in his bed. For ten minutes.
Whilst bubba happily explored the raa's in the toybox in the clinic, the osteopath asked me all about the birth, and early days of bubbas life. Turns out a speedy birth (yes I know I should be thankful!), can create tension in the fluid that's essential to help the cranium, spine and related systems be able to move and flex as is their want.
Whilst the science was explained to me I was a little distracted by bubba dribbling water into the floor and requesting a towel thereafter! But it seemed to be logical and anatomically correct from my limited understanding of the human body.

Luckily bubba didn't mind the osteopath applying a little pressure to his tummy, head and back though he was less keen on his forehead being touched. This was clearly a sore point for bubba, and the osteopath advised that this was a source of tension. Given bubbas fondness of pressing his head into mine during our night time non-sleeping moments, and his headbutting in the early hours, this seemed to make sense.
Happy Dada Playtime - Post-Pushchair Nap
A couple of light massage tips to smooth out any raised area by stroking his hair were advised, along with a shoulder massage. Apparently the speed by which he was born exerted significant pressure and this had pushed everything forward. His headbutting/pressure application were explained as his attempts to self correct this situation. The thinking is that this related also to his diaphragm when younger - a potential cause of his reflux and colic. 

So we'll try out our massages this week, and bubba has a further session of massage / pressure application with the osteopath next week. If this helps bubba feel more comfortable, or resettle easier at night, or if perhaps in my wildest dreams, nap lying down in his bed in the day rather than endlessly pounding the streets, I'll kick myself for not going sooner...

So watch this space and we'll post our results (if we get any) as and when we notice any changes ...