How does a baby have good posture? They barely sit or stand yet!
Well guess what – if your baby doesn’t start out with good posture from the get-go, he or she will surely NOT have good posture when it comes time to sit and stand! Here’s what I mean…
Does your baby’s head always end up in the same position while they sleep, even if you turn it a different way?
Does it flop or turn to one side?
Do they cry when you attempt to put them in a certain position, over and over?
Do they refuse to nurse on one side?
These are all signs that your baby may have structural misalignments, or what we call “poor posture” in adults.
How does that happen???
Believe it or not, poor posture can start in-utero! If a baby is in a breech or transverse position, his or her head does not enjoy the “key-in-lock” relationship that happens when the head is vertex (head down). If baby is in a less than ideal position long enough, this can result in minor postural deviations at the least, and torticollis (‘wryneck’) if it’s really bad.
Even if baby is in a perfect position in-utero, the birth process can be incredibly traumatic for him or her, especially if interventions like Pitocin, epidural, vacuum extraction or C-sections are utilized. Their tiny joints and ligaments can be sprained and strained just like an adults can. Ultimately, if left uncorrected, this can often lead to postural changes, pain, and even health issues like ear infections and colic.
The ability to move freely is really important for development of normal spinal curves and muscle formation. “Tummy time” develops the very important “C” curves of the neck and back. However, spending too much time in an infant carrier can also force baby’s spine into unnatural positions, so you’ll want to watch for that.
Pediatric chiropractors do a great job of treating obvious spinal issues like head tilt and torticollis. More importantly, they can detect subtle shifts before they become even bigger problems. It’s a great idea to get your kids checked preventatively, much like you have a dentist check their teeth as soon as they get them.
After all, ‘An ounce of prevention…’ and all that.