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Craniosacral Therapy for Babies & Infants, Top Signs & It’s Need

Posted on Apr 30, 2024

Is your baby experiencing discomfort, latching difficulties, or excessive fussiness? Craniosacral therapy for babies & infants (CST) might be a gentle solution worth exploring. This safe and non-invasive technique uses light touch to address tensions in the tissues surrounding your baby’s head, spine, and sacrum. Often associated with birth trauma recovery, CST can also benefit infants with colic, feeding challenges, and even plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome). This blog dives into the top signs that CST could be helpful for your baby and explores the potential benefits it can offer.

Craniosacral Therapy for Babies & Infants

Gentle and effective technique known as infant craniosacral therapy, designed to address common conditions encountered by babies in their first year of life. Explore this therapeutic method in action to gain insight into what craniosacral therapy entails and how it can provide relief for issues like tongue ties and plagiocephaly. Explore all about Craniosacral Therapy for Babies & Infants, shedding light on the key benefits and necessity of this treatment for babies. 

video credit: @chiroformoms

Craniosacral therapy, or CST, harnesses the healing potential of touch to alleviate tension in key areas that impact the central nervous system. Picture it as a specialized form of baby massage that promotes improved health and smoother feeding experiences.

Whether your baby experienced a challenging birth or is struggling with feeding difficulties or colic, CST could be the gentle solution to ease their discomfort and promote overall well-being.

Located in New Jersey, NJ craniofacial center offers comprehensive support and resources to help you succeed in your breastfeeding journey. our team of pediatric plagiocephaly experts  is well-versed in its application, having witnessed its transformative effects on breastfeeding infants and their families.

Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy for Babies & Infants

  • Plagiocephaly :: irregular head shape
  • Torticollis :: one-sided neck tightness
  • Breastfeeding & Latch issues
  • Sleeping Disturbances
  • Motor Coordination
  • Tongue + Lip Ties :: can be used as a solo treatment OR in conjunction with an oral release 
  • Acid Reflux
  • Colic

CST and Resolving Newborn Feeding Challenges

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) presents a valuable solution for addressing challenges in newborn feeding. Difficulties often arise from limitations in the baby’s mouth mobility, hindering proper ‘latching on’ during breastfeeding. Through CST, the tension in the infant’s oral reflexes, neck, and shoulders can be alleviated, enhancing their feeding capabilities. Recent research highlights CST’s efficacy in resolving feeding issues linked to motor impairments in infants.

This therapy offers a promising approach to supporting newborns experiencing feeding difficulties, providing a non-invasive and effective means of addressing underlying physical constraints.

Craniosacral Therapy for Tongue Ties : Enhancing Infant Health

Did you know a hidden network called fascia connects your baby’s tongue all the way to their toes? This web-like tissue can hold tension that impacts other areas, potentially contributing to tongue-tie difficulties. Craniosacral therapy (CST) focuses on releasing restrictions in this fascia, creating a more relaxed environment for tongue movement. This gentle, non-invasive approach can be a valuable addition to your breastfeeding journey, both before and after a frenectomy (tongue-tie revision) procedure. Combined with oral stretches, CST offers a comprehensive approach to supporting a successful latch and a smoother breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby.

Addressing Plagiocephaly and Flat Spots with Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is frequently utilized to address plagiocephaly, commonly known as flat spots on an infant’s skull. The treatment focuses on restoring the proper alignment of cranial bones, particularly within the first month of life. By reducing tension in the skull and neck, infant craniosacral therapy aids in preventing the development of flat spots. Pediatric chiropractors specializing in this field can also provide repositioning techniques, enhance neck mobility, and suggest alternatives to traditional tummy time. This therapy is instrumental in promoting a well-rounded head shape and ensuring optimal cranial development in babies.

Plagiocephaly and Flat Spots with Craniosacral Therapy

How Craniosacral Therapy Works To Help Your Baby

Craniosacral therapy works by employing gentle touch to release tension in the muscles surrounding the skull bones, including the neck, shoulder, and oral reflexes. This gentle approach helps to alleviate any restrictions and restore balance in the craniosacral system, promoting overall well-being for your baby.

Why the Central Nervous System Matters in Babies Breastfeeding & How CST Works

The significance of the Central Nervous System in breastfeeding and the application of Craniosacral Therapy (CST) often go unnoticed when dealing with infant feeding challenges. The central nervous system, comprising the brain and spinal cord, plays a crucial role in transmitting vital messages within the body. Tension can impede these essential communications, affecting infants’ overall well-being. Factors like birth trauma and stress can disrupt this system, particularly impacting the base of the skull. Understanding these complexities is key in addressing breastfeeding difficulties and soothing fussy babies. CST aims to alleviate CNS strain, offering potential solutions for improved infant care.

Craniosacral therapy for babies uses light touch to gently release tension in the muscles surrounding skull bones (neck, shoulder, and oral reflexes).

Efficient communication within the central nervous system is crucial for facilitating precise signals during breastfeeding. A robust signal from the baby’s brain instructing the mouth to latch is vital for successful feeding.

Is Craniosacral Therapy Safe and Effective for Your Baby?

Yes, Craniosacral Therapy is considered safe for babies when performed by a skilled and trained practitioner. The technique involves gentle manipulation aimed at optimizing the body’s craniosacral system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and cerebrospinal fluid. Therapists at NJ Craniofacial center are proficient in both Craniosacral Therapy (CST) and Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT), ensuring precision and effectiveness in treatment. 

10 Signs Your Baby Needs Craniosacral Therapy

Celebrations on the arrival of your little one! Interested in seeing positive outcomes? Consider craniosacral therapy, a gentle method to address various nervous system restrictions. Experience relief and support through this unique approach. Ideal for those seeking holistic solutions for enhanced well-being. Discover the benefits today.

  • Baby is unable to sleep or is restless when sleeping

Parents frequently notice their infant appearing tense even while asleep, displaying difficulty in relaxing. This behavior may stem from post-birth trauma, especially in cases of a distressing birth or separation from the mother. It is crucial for both the baby and the mother to receive appropriate treatment to aid in their adjustment and well-being.

  • Baby can take one breast but seems uncomfortable on the other side, often needing a ‘rugby hold’

Newborns commonly experience a stiff or painful neck post-birth, leading to limited head movement. Parents may observe a preference in their baby’s turning direction, with the baby visibly relieved once the discomfort is alleviated. This common issue highlights the importance of addressing neck stiffness in infants for optimal comfort and development.

  • Baby seems tense and restless, and it is difficult to cuddle him/her

Mothers often reach out seeking support when they find solace in the joy of cuddling with their babies. Whether the baby is still adjusting to life outside the womb or experiencing discomfort, the act of holding them close can provide comfort. This experience can be a source of bonding and healing for both parent and child.

  • It seems your baby is suffering from ‘tongue tie’

Babies may face feeding challenges due to tongue tie, often resolved through cutting. However, craniosacral therapy can also address this issue effectively. During birth, shoulder manipulation can lead to throat tension, potentially causing tongue tie. This tightness in tissue can be managed through holistic therapies like craniosacral therapy, aiding in resolution without invasive procedures.

  • Baby has difficulty latching onto the breast

Despite the advancements in support for mothers and babies, some challenges persist even after ensuring comfort. Craniosacral therapy can address issues like a shallow suck or latch due to palate problems. This can trigger a shallow gag reflex, leading to feeding difficulties and nipple soreness. Effective intervention can break this detrimental cycle and improve feeding outcomes.

  • Baby makes a lot of “slurpy” or clicky noises during feeding

Improper seal during feeding can lead to air intake, causing discomfort for the baby. Craniosacral therapy targets restrictions in the neck, spine, jaw, and shoulders to alleviate tightness. This therapy may help improve suction and reduce air ingestion, promoting a more comfortable feeding experience for both the baby and the caregiver.

  • Baby has problems with wind

If your baby struggles to release wind after feeding or appears uncomfortable during burping, it may signal a vagus nerve issue originating from the base of the skull. Prompt treatment typically alleviates symptoms. Optimal care and attention in winding your baby can ensure their comfort and well-being, promoting healthy digestion.

  • Breastfeeding is painful for the mum

Breastfeeding discomfort in mothers can be attributed to improper baby latching, particularly in terms of depth and seal. Addressing the baby’s palate can enhance breastfeeding efficiency, reducing pain for the mother. Correcting the suck/latch technique can lead to immediate relief and improved breastfeeding experience.

  • Baby vomits or brings up some feed.

Baby regurgitates feed due to issues like reflux, silent reflux, or allergies, which can hinder their digestive and nervous systems. Correcting these restrictions is crucial for improving efficiency. With proper care and attention, these difficulties can be addressed to ensure optimal health and well-being in infants.

  • Baby is in pain after feeding, cries or curls up in pain

Baby experiencing discomfort after feeding, exhibiting signs of distress such as crying or assuming a curled-up position, may indicate underlying restrictions. 

Factors previously discussed can contribute to this scenario. Craniosacral therapy offers a solution by thoroughly assessing the infant’s condition to identify and alleviate any restrictions present. This gentle therapy aims to facilitate the release of tension, enabling the baby to realign their system towards a more comfortable state. By addressing these issues, craniosacral therapy supports the baby in reorganizing their physiological functions, potentially alleviating the discomfort experienced post-feeding.

What’s Other Research Say About Craniosacral Therapy So Far?

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) and Cranial Fascial Therapy (CFT) are increasingly recognized for their positive impact on infants and babies. Research indicates that CST is both effective and safe for individuals of all ages. The delicate nature of working around the skull base can be concerning for parents, but rest assured, at NJ Craniofacial Center in New Jersey, your baby will be treated with the highest level of care by experienced professionals. A recent study focused on CST’s potential benefits for babies with colic. In this study, babies who received CST showed reduced crying frequency and intensity, as well as longer periods of sleep compared to those in the control group. This promising outcome suggests that CST could offer relief for families dealing with colicky babies, enabling better breastfeeding and improved sleep patterns for the little ones.

FAQs about Craniosacral Therapy for Babies & Infants:

1. What Happens During a infant Craniosacral Therapy Session?

During a craniosacral therapy session for infants, the baby is positioned on a special pediatric massage table or in a parent’s lap for relaxation. The therapist applies specific techniques to soothe the baby before engaging in targeted massage on areas like the skull, jaw, temples, and lower back. This gentle approach aims to promote calmness and well-being in the infant, resembling a comforting baby massage. The therapy involves precise hand movements to address the baby’s body structures effectively, ensuring a holistic and beneficial experience.

2. What are the Effects of Baby Craniosacral Therapy Session?

Craniosacral Therapy sessions can lead to a happier, more relaxed nursing baby. This therapy promotes optimal structural balance and overall health in children and beyond, supporting them in reaching their full potential. Typically, babies benefit from 2 to 3 treatments on average.

3. Is Craniosacral Therapy Painful for Babies?

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle and enjoyable massage for babies, not causing any pain or discomfort. It involves delicate hand movements on specific body points, resembling a soothing baby massage. This therapy is safe, relaxing, and beneficial for infants, promoting overall well-being.

4. What kind of Symptoms/ Conditions that can be helped with CST?

Symptoms and conditions that may benefit from Craniosacral Therapy include challenges with breastfeeding and latch, limited jaw mobility, strong jaw clenching, weak sucking reflex, swallowing difficulties, frequent regurgitation, feeding issues favoring one side, eye misalignment, and head asymmetry.

5. Does a Pediatrician Perform CST?

Many pediatricians have received training in Craniosacral Therapy (CST) techniques and may offer this treatment, although typically it is administered by a pediatric physical therapist, a nurse, or a licensed massage therapist with specialized CST training.


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