WHEN DOES YOUR BABY OR TODDLER NEED OSTEOPATHIC ASSESSMENT?

Stillpoint Osteopaths have the skills that allow us to safely assess and manage babies, toddlers and children through their developmental years.

What might show you that your baby could do with an osteopathic consultation:

1. Can your baby turn their head both ways well? We often have parents bringing in their babies because they seem to prefer holding their head tilted to one side or keep it twisting to one side. They can turn the other way when encouraged, but they prefer it to one side. Some parents notice head shape changes as a result of the head position, others notice they don’t feed as well off one breast compared to the other due to the twist. Parents might also notice it is tricky to clean under their chins because it seems they don’t lift their head up or it is difficult to raise their chin.

Osteopaths can check the range of motion of your babies’ neck and assess whether treatment is required.

2. Does your baby move both arms and legs equally? Parents at times notice differences; they hold one arm down or it is difficult to get clothes on, on one side. During tummy time your baby might not want to lift their head up or push through one arm as much as the other or flatten the hand properly on one side to push their chest up. This all comes at certain stages of development so don’t worry if your new-born is not practising these movements, it is all progressive strength, muscle and body development that allows them to get to that next stage. When using furniture to stand you might be aware that they only use one leg and foot to do most of the work. You might be aware when they learn to commando crawl that they use all their upper body but not lower or vice versa or once crawling they do not seem to be coordinated in the manner they crawl.

Osteopaths can assess these developmental milestones according to their age and look at what moves or doesn’t move in their joints and muscles that could be contributing to these altered movement patterns.

3. Once walking, parents sometimes become aware that their child’s foot crosses the midline on one side or both and that this makes them appear clumsy or not be able to run well without falling. That if they watch them in the playground they are not as confident or as able to climb and investigate things as well as their friends the same age. All children have different capabilities strengths and weaknesses so for some this might be completely normal.

Stillpoint osteopaths can assess whether their presentation is normal for their age and will change with growth or whether there is something mechanical that is altering their range of movement and the development of normal movement patterns.

This link from Oranga Tamariki can provide useful information on developmental milestones, and ways in which you can help your child reach these milestones.

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