When You Should Bring Your Baby To A Chiropractor
Chiropractic Care for Babies
For years, families have brought their “fussy” babies to chiropractors because traditional treatments do not always provide successful or desired outcomes. A delay in diagnosis and treatment can prolong the infant’s symptoms, contributing to the continued distress of the baby and intensifying the anxiousness of the concerned parent. The absence of a conclusive diagnosis, coupled with persistent infant discomfort, may lead parents to seek treatment options, such as chiropractic care.
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between allopathic care vs. chiropractic care for babies, the most common conditions that we see in our office, and how chiropractic care can help your infant.
Why Should You Take Your Baby to a Chiropractor?
Did you know that the birthing process can be especially straining on the baby?
Also known as birth trauma, the physical demands of birth can be exhausting for a mother and a baby. In severe cases, the mechanical stress from birth can cause neurological damage, such as Erb’s palsy. Less severe birth trauma cases are more common and may present more generally as prolonged infant discomfort and can even be associated with infant colic.
Thankfully, a complete chiropractic examination of your baby can determine the cause of the symptoms and the proper treatment course.
Allopathic Care vs. Chiropractic Care for Babies
Both types of doctors have a time and place. Going to a traditional doctor or primary care physician is ideal for diagnosing and treating life-threatening conditions. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, is successful in treating issues related to quality of life. Medical doctors are great at identifying and treating urgent issues, infections, diseases, and injuries that an infant may suffer from. Chiropractic medicine is geared more to making sure the baby’s body functions optimally by observation and investigation. For example, if the mother notices fussiness only on one side, a chiropractor has the training and experience to investigate why and potentially resolve the issue.
Common Quality-of-Life Symptoms
As mentioned above, quality of life conditions are usually not life-threatening, but they can still be problematic for both baby and parents.
Here are the most common symptoms that can suggest a quality-of-life complication for your baby:
- Excessive crying
- Inefficient sleep habits
- Ineffective feeding
- Excessive spitting up
- Uneven preferences (e.g., one side over another)
It’s important to note that some of these may have nothing to do with the infant’s functional deficiencies but rather the mother’s diet or how the baby is held. For example, if the mother is deficient in one or more nutrients or if the mother has a sore back or neck.
Again, a chiropractic investigation could determine the cause during a holistic examination.
Which Conditions Do Chiropractors Treat for Infants?
There are strong research and studies supporting chiropractic care for infants experiencing the following conditions:
Chronic Ear Infections
Ear infections are distressing for the entire family as everyone loses sleep. What’s more, permanent damage is a serious concern. Antibiotics are often prescribed, and sometimes a doctor suggests seeing a specialist about ear tubes.
While it is essential to see your primary care physician to address the infection directly, visiting a chiropractor can help to alleviate the immediate symptoms that your baby is going through.
Studies show that chiropractic care may decrease ear infections symptoms, allowing you and your baby to rest better at night. What’s more, ensuring your baby can sleep well can support the recovery process. 
Infant Reflux vs. Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Infant reflux is normal to a degree, as a healthy baby may spit up several times per day. However, when the baby isn’t feeding correctly for an extended time, and you’re noticing that your baby isn’t hitting growth milestones, there could be a more severe issue happening.
In such instances, GERD may be suspected. Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD) is when an infant’s lower esophageal sphincter is too weak or underdeveloped, resulting in spitting up that happens more than expected.
If your baby isn’t gaining weight, refuses food, becomes irritable after eating, and spits up frequently, there is a good chance that GERD may be suspected.
Studies suggest that chiropractic care can be an effective way to naturally alleviate the discomfort associated with GERD. 
So, you’ve been told your baby has constipation. You’ve tried the diet changes, and you’ve done hours of abdominal massage – what next?
Perhaps the most common reason that new parents bring their babies to chiropractic is constipation. Most parents want to take a natural approach before relying on heavy doses of medication or any surgery.
Chiropractic Adjustments: Are They Safe for Babies?
The short answer: Absolutely. Dozens of studies conducted on both babies and children have shown that chiropractic treatments are safe and effective. 
Understandably, you might have questions as to the procedure of chiropractic care for your baby. We walk you through everything from the initial diagnosis to the actual treatment. We encourage all questions so, please do not hesitate to ask your current chiropractor or us.
Where Can I Find Research on Chiropractic Care for Infants?
Before bringing your baby into a chiropractic office, we want you to feel completely comfortable and confident that you’re doing what is best for your child. That’s why we encourage you to perform additional research.
Readers interested in gaining further insights on chiropractic care research for infants are encouraged to find resources through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s (ICPA) website.
For decades, the ICPA has been the forerunner in investigating and providing research-based rationale on chiropractic treatment for both expectant mothers and pediatric patients.
Moreover, our chiropractic physicians are members of the ICPA and have received additional certifications through the organization.
In addition to ICPA, chiropractor, and researcher Dr. Joyce Miller, has authored around 75 peer-reviewed research papers, with many publications surrounding chiropractic care for infants. Her book “Evidence-Based Chiropractic Care for Infants: Rational, Therapies, and Outcomes” is a wonderful reference for both physicians and laypersons seeking more information on chiropractic care for infants.
Chiropractic Care for Your Baby
Interested in seeing if chiropractic care is right for your child? Feel free to reach out to our office at 773-878-7330 to schedule either a TeleHealth or in-office appointment.
- Froehle RM. Ear infection: a retrospective study examining improvement from chiropractic care and analyzing for influencing factors. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1996 Mar-Apr;19(3):169-77. PMID: 8728460.
- Alcantara J, Anderson R. Chiropractic care of a pediatric patient with symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease, fuss-cry-irritability with sleep disorder syndrome, and irritable infant syndrome of musculoskeletal origin. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2008;52(4):248-255.
- Lucy E. Thomas and Maria C. Browning. Positive chiropractic treatment outcome of chronic constipation in a 2-year-old male: a case report. The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. Vol. 17, Issue 1.
- Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore (NY). 2009 Sep-Oct;5(5):290-5. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2009.06.002. PMID: 19733815.
- Miller, Joyce. Evidence-Based Chiropractic Care for Infants: Rationale, Therapies, and Outcomes. Praeclarus Press, 2019.
Dr. DeFabio is a highly regarded chiropractor in Chicago who focuses on helping his patients achieve optimal health and wellness. He takes a holistic approach to care, treating symptoms and addressing underlying issues to promote long-term healing. Dr. DeFabio is passionate about empowering his patients to take control of their health and live their best lives. You can find him surfing, skateboarding, and volunteering at the Lakeview Food Pantry when he’s not in the office.