Signs for concern
Babies are amazingly resilient, yet early stressors and impacts of birth can greatly affect their basic activities and functions. Gentle craniosacral therapy at the start can restore ease in your baby’s body and help her be calm.
After a long, hard pushing stage baby L was in rough shape. His face was bruised and his nose was pressed flat for so long that L’s breathing was very noisy. He cried at every feed. – Mama MJM’s story
- Unusual shape of head, eyes or ears
- Heavy bruising
- Dislikes touch, especially on head, neck or collarbone
- Red marks anywhere on head
- Tight fist pressing repeatedly on head
- Clawing at eyes and face
- One eye appears smaller than the other
- Congestion or goop in one eye frequently
- Does not make eye contact
- Congested or noisy breathing
- Arching back strongly
- Frequent, distressing hiccups
- Distressing gas
- Infrequent bowel movements
- Unusual or uneven movement – head, arms, legs
- Head tilts or turns to one side more often
- Stiff legs or arms
- Limp baby who is hard to wake
- Very frequent startling
- Inconsolable crying
- Dislikes tummy time
Unusual shape of head, eyes or ears
Baby’s head undergoes compression forces in birth that can result in uneven head, eyes, nose and ear shapes. Uneven shapes of eyes, ears or head are clues of poor alignment of bones. These areas, when restricted, are a setup for ear and sinus infections, reading problems and more. Is your baby’s head flat in any area? Is it still coned or uneven after the first 3 days?
In long, intense births, some babies will emerge with heavy bruising that can affect breastfeeding and breathing. Is your baby comfortable and relaxed in her body?
Aversion to touch
Your baby needs touch for healthy development. Yet if he dislikes contact anywhere on his body, we respect that something is off, and that baby needs help to receive his natural sensory experiences and connect with you.
Red marks anywhere on head
Red marks on the face, or on the tops or sides of head show compression forces at birth. If a baby has been extracted with vacuum or forceps, red marks may also appear.
Tight fist pressing on head or clawing at eyes & face
Is your baby pressing on her head repeatedly, in one or more areas? Is she pressing with white knuckle fists? Is baby distressed when he does this? Does your baby frequently scratch herself on the face and eyes?
Does one eye appear smaller than the other? Or does one eye close sooner than the other? Especially when baby is tired?
Congested or goopy eye
Does baby have persistent congestion in the corner of her eye? Clogged tear duct? With or without inflammation?
Does not make eye contact
Your little one sleeps a lot. And when he is awake, a sign of normal development is eye contact. Mutual eye gazing, or falling in love with your baby, is essential for bonding, development of the visual system and emotional intelligence.
Congested or noisy breathing
If your baby’s breathing usually sounds congested or noisy, her nasal passages may be very restriction from compression. Do you notice bruising or red marks around his eyes? These are all setups for congestion and sinus infections. During the newborn days is the easiest time to open these passages.
Arching back strongly
Does your baby strongly arch back? Has your baby practically done a backflip out of your arms? Imbalanced tone is a setup for future developmental issues if not sorted out early.
Frequent, distressing hiccups
When your baby gets hiccups, is it over quickly? Or do hiccups go on and on….. Until your baby is upset? Does your baby have reflux, as well?
Babies may be upset from gas if he swallows a lot of air due to poor latch, or has internal restrictions, or has food sensitivities from mother’s diet. You can get help sorting it all out.
Infrequent bowel movements?
Generally breastfed babies have at least one bowel movement a day. Going for days without a bowel movement means he is blocked up inside.
Unusual or uneven movement – head, arms, legs
In the first year normal babies’ movements are equal from side to side. Is your baby’s head tilted to one side? Does your baby always look in the same direction when placed on her back or in the car seat? Is one arm clutched in? Is one shoulder higher than the other?
If your baby has uneven or unusual movements of his head, legs and arms, these structural restrictions may impede development. Turning his head in one direction will affect the shape of the spine while it grows. Get help if your baby doesn’t turn her head, arms and legs consistently in both directions, or if she uses them unevenly for activities.
Very tense or very limp
Is your baby rigid and tense? Are legs or arms often held stiffly? Or is your baby limp and hard to wake? Either way, these babies need help as early as possible.
Very frequent startling
Does your baby frequently startle, in spite of careful handling? Do you feel like your baby is like a deer in the headlights, unable to handle everyday stimulus? This shows a child has a hard time processing sensory information. Get help early as a set up for ease and capacity to be in learning environments.
Is your baby crying hard daily? Is it very difficult to console him? Arching back? Thrashing around? Unable to fall asleep easily?
Tummy time is an essential developmental movement from the first days of life, and underlie much future development for the body and the brain. If your baby dislikes tummy time, or is only able to do it for a few minutes, you can learn simple activities to help him.