Disclaimer: Osteopaths are not allowed to say they can “treat” specific baby conditions, such as colic because no paid for research has been done showing it can help. What we actually have is 1000’s of parents spreading the word that their baby has benefitted in some way. Cranial sacral treatment looks at the baby as a whole, not as treating a “colic baby” or “reflux baby” anyway. Having said this probiotics have scientifically been studied to ease colic, so in this instance it would be allowed to say that probiotics help colic. Probiotics are used very often within the holistic approach to helping babies.
On this page I will give you some help with your toddler or 6 month old (ish) baby who might not be sleeping, might have night terrors, tantrums, behavioural problems and maybe learning difficulties. I know that if they have these problems then you as a parent will have problems too. You will be tired, frustrated and will want the best for your child and feel helpless because you can’t help them.
I have seen 6 month old babies that have only ever slept 3 hours straight a few times in their lives. Mostly they sleep only 1 hour maximum day or night before waking. This can be helped!
I have covered the most important aspects of these toddler problems in the videos below based on my 20 years seeing children as an osteopath The biggest problem usually being sleep. Have a watch, I hope they help you and I have summarised the videos in text too.
P.S. I have a lovely video testimonial at the bottom of this page from a mum who was probably in the same situation as you are now!
In my experience toddlers that are very bad at sleeping, relaxing, have night terrors, tantrums and other issues have not had cranial osteopathy as a baby. If they have then they may need a bit more! They most likely have had some trauma surrounding their birth such as:
I have found it very common that these not sleeping toddlers have had many antibiotic treatments in the past due to some recurrent infection, like recurrent ear infections.
The antibiotics help the ear infection but destroy the good bacteria in the gut (many scientific studies confirm this) which is vital to the child’s immune system. Their immune system is lowered so they get another ear infection, which is treated again with antibiotics, which lowers their immune system again, which leaves them open to more illness and ear infections. This cycle can be broken by using probiotics to re-establish the gut bacteria and immune system in the gut.
This study found that antibiotics do suppress the immune system:
Recurrent ear infections are very often triggered by a dairy intolerance. Here is a study confirming my opinion on this:
The scientific study can answer some of your questions around ear infection:
3 steps to help your toddler sleep
Does any of this ring any bells for you? I see scenarios similar to this all the time, everyday in my clinic in fact.
There is help and it might be that your toddler could be sleeping much better soon! There might be some re-educating on sleeping habits, but if their original issues have been from trauma around delivery or from gut issues then they can really be helped as these issues are corrected. At least then they won’t be waking because of an actual problem they can’t help having.
Cranial osteopathy is fantastic at calming this and so are probiotics.
If you would like to see me to help you with your toddler then please do call my clinic on 01444 410944 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you email me with your best phone number then I will have you called back to arrange an appointment if that is easier for you.
You can also book an appointment online to see me right now by clicking here.
If you don’t know what cranial osteopathy is, don’t worry you aren’t alone! I have a short video of me treating the lovely Maisie here. You will be a able to see just how gentle the treatment is. That’s it, it is so gentle. Click here to watch the video
It would be great to hear back from you letting me know of your toddler experiences and whether these videos hold any truth for you.
Many thanks for watching
There is one problem that I have found crop up many times now which is you might be reading this and not be local to my clinic in Haywards Heath. In this case I strongly advise you to find a local osteopathy and ask if they use cranial osteopathy to help babies and children and book in to see them.
I also advise mums to reduce their child’s milk intake down particularly cow’s milk. This only applies if your child is drinking too much and doesn’t actually need it in their diet. If they are still on formula feeds then obviously continue. I have had very good results with toddlers changing to goats milk too, either goats milk baby formula or actual goats milk if they are old enough.
The next best piece of advice I have for you is to use some friendly bacteria or probiotics with your child. I use a specialist baby and children’s product that is totally safe and I get great results with too. I have put the details below of how to purchase this probiotic - Biogaia Protectis, along with a free gift and a special offer on my book Calming Colic at the link below.
To read more about Biogaia click here
Claire has been kind enough to video this lovely testimonial for me after I helped her toddler start sleeping through the night
* Results may vary from person to person
I don't really know where to begin, and I'm sorry if I sound a bit melodramatic at times, but I don't think I can get across in words alone the impact you have had on my entire family's lives.
My little girl Grace was born 3.5 weeks early. Although it was a bit of a shock (I hadn't even started maternity leave yet, and had no essentials in the house such as nappies or cotton wool!), it was a natural birth without any medical intervention whatsoever, she was healthy and after a couple of nights of observation at PRH, we were allowed to go home. Because Grace weighed in at only 5.4lbs, she was too small to breastfeed. She literally could not open her little mouth enough to latch on. I had never imagined that we would have any problems with breastfeeding, and wanted to give my daughter the best start in life that I could, so I opted to express my milk and bottle feed it to her. I bought an electric pump (best invention in the world in my opinion, even if you feel like a cow in a dairy farm!) and away we went. Even once Grace got big enough to breastfeed, by that time, we had both just gotten used to expressing, and it meant I could let Grace's big sisters (I have 3 lovely step daughters) help with the feeding! I expressed for 6 months and all was well.
When I stopped expressing, I tried Grace on Nannycare. This is a goat-milk formula which you can buy from health shops and some pharmacies such as Abbotts in Lindfield. Again this worked well and there were no problems.
When Grace was about a year old, I started working more and more, and found I didn't always have time to make the special trip to pick up her Nannycare. I decided to use an Organic cow's milk formula which I could pick up at the supermarket along with the rest of my weekly shop. Not only was it more convenient, it was cheaper. Brilliant, right?! Wrong! This change triggered what became quite a serious problem for Grace. She had never been a good sleeper, in fact she had yet to sleep through the night even once, but now she had the added problem of chronic constipation. Grace went from going every day or every other day to going about once a week. And when she did go, she would desperately try to stop herself from going because she knew how painful it was going to be. Her stools had become compacted logs for want of a better description, and it broke all of our hearts watching our little girl in so much pain. We tried laxatives prescribed by the Dr, we tried massaging Grace's stomach, I tried accupressure points, I took Grace to see a homeopath and an osteopath specialising in babies and children, I fed her more fruit, I fed her more vegetables, I fed her less meat, what more could I think of to do? I had not figured out what had caused the change. I would sometimes fight back the tears when watching her go, she would hold both my hands and cry out with pain, and there seemed like nothing I did made any difference.
I had grown accustomed to Grace waking in the night 3-4 times for a bottle, and although I was endlessly tired, I thought it was normal and that when she was ready it would pass. I also felt as though it was my own fault, I had decided to have a child, and now I was working 4 days a week, and not coming home until 6 o clock at night, and I thought my little girl just missed me and wanted to be reassured that I was there.
I had given up on finding a solution, until I fell pregnant again, and as the due date of my 2nd grew closer and closer, my friends and family kept asking me how I was going to cope with both children awake during the night. At first I just hoped that Grace would settle down and miraculously sort herself out for me before the baby arrived. This did not happen, so with about 3 months to go before baby is due I decided to try one more time, and googled 'homeopathy' and 'toddlers'. My mum had told me that homeopathy had helped her when my sister was born. Up came the Perrymount Clinic's details. I called and tried to make an appointment to see the homeopath. She was not available on the day that I could make it, but I was told that Christian the osteopath also worked with toddlers displaying the symptoms I had described to the receptionist, and he had an available appointment that I could attend. I'd never used an osteopath myself, and already had one failed attempt at handling Grace with one. I nearly didn't take the appointment, but then thought 'Whats the worst that could happen? I have to give it a go, and if it doesn't work, I can see the homeopath later'.
I took Grace to see Christian on 11 April 2012. Within the first 2 minutes of meeting him, I knew I had found the solution to my problem! He was the first person that I had met that made the connection between Grace's constipation, her obsession of milk and her inability to sleep through the night. He called it the 'trilogy' which made me laugh, but also made complete and perfect sense. I suddenly felt hope again for the first time in a long time, that not only could I help my daughter feel better, become more regular and sleep, I myself might for the first time in 2.5 years get a decent night's sleep. This was a big deal! Christian told me that research suggested that there was a link between cow's milk and all the symptoms Grace was portraying, and that in order to help her, I had to cut out the cow's milk completely. Although this sounded a bit like being put in charge of someone who for years has smoked 60 a day, and having to help them through cold turkey, the mere fact that Christian had identified and explained the link between the milk and the symptoms, and the fact that he had helped other children like Grace and was confident we would be able to see an improvement in her, I felt too happy and hopeful to worry too much.
Christian then went on to explain how there are different levels of sleep, and that it was more than likely that Grace always flittered on the top levels rather than get into a deep sleep. This rang absolutely true too, I couldn't leave her side even if she were asleep without her waking up. He carried on to feel her head and explained that she felt quite tense. He then started to perform Cranial osteopathy on Grace. When he started Grace was drawing a picture, sat on my lap. To a by-stander it just looked like he was placing his hand on her head. But then, Grace began to lay back, and after a couple of minutes I realised that Grace was snoring! She was in a very deep sleep, and looked so peaceful. 'Wow' I thought, I guess she needed that!
On the way home I raced to get some more Nannycare before the shops shut, as Christian had explained that if Grace wanted a bottle, she ought to drink this. When I got home I couldn't help but tell the world what had just happened. Grace woke up after about 2 hours of deep sleep. She seemed so happy, and was really chatty.
That night Grace wondered where her milk was. I hadn't told her what was going on, I just kind of hoped that she would not notice the difference in taste and would just drink the Nannycare without question. She had used to after all. No such luck. Grace refused to drink the Nannycare, and became very upset when I told her it was that, or water. 'I want bottle, I want milk' she cried. Although it was difficult, I was still elevated enough from meeting Christian and finding the solution, that I stuck to my guns. Eventually, Grace fell asleep. She woke up again at about 2am and again at about 5am, her usual snack times, and cried for a few minutes, before resuming sleep. The next day Grace was famished! She ate like the hungry caterpillar from the well-known children's book! I then realised just how much Grace had depended on milk for filling her up, and that she may well not have been getting enough variety in her diet as a result. That night Grace went to bed at bedtime, fell asleep quite easily and DID NOT WAKE UP until the following morning. I remember waking up and checking that she was breathing! What was happening? Was it really going to be that easy? Apparently, so because one month on, Grace has slept all the way through every night. The change in her sleeping is as much of a contrast as black and white, night and day, and it really didn't take half the work I expected.
That as a result is good enough. If that were all that had happened, I would still be ecstatic. But Grace is now regular again. And when she goes, all that happens is that she tells you she is going, or that she has just been. There is no crying, there is no desperate holding it in. It occurs as nature intended, and it is no longer a big deal for her. I don't have to witness her in pain or discomfort and that is such a relief.
Grace's appetite is 100% better than it used to be. She always liked food, but now she eats a meal rather than just picking at it. And she seems just that little bit brighter, smilier, chattier and more relaxed.
We went to see Christian twice more after our first appointment. Each time Grace was asleep (irrespective of the time of day) within minutes and was totally chilled out afterwards.
I don't know how he does it, but he is by far the best alternative medicine practitioner that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Within one half-hour appointment he has transformed our lives for the better, and has shown me how with a little determination you can achieve amazing health benefits. I have not stopped telling everyone I know about how brilliant he and the other Perrymount Clinic professionals are. Thank god for people like them!
Not only that, but seeing the change in her little sister, my 16 year old step daughter has confirmed that she would like to train as an osteopath! She has always been interested in the human body, and wants to help people, and she knows she can with osteopathy.
I know that as soon as my 2nd baby is born (some time in the next 3 weeks), we will be seeing Christian again, and I can't wait, its almost like watching magic. Mrs Nash, Haywards Heath
* Results may vary from person to person
I recently bought my 2 year daughter to see Christian in desperation for help. From about 8 months she started having "tantrums" and after a significant delay in her development she was quickly diagnosed with severe hypermobility which impeded her getting around i.e crawling and sitting up.
With this also her "tantrums" escalated and could last for up to 1 hour and also led to her severely self harming and began having extreme night terrors. As well as being under paediatricians and other professionals as a family we were at our wits end and struggling to cope with on a day to day basis.
On recommendation we came to see Christian with a view to trying anything that may help. After one session, dietary advice and added supplements and vitamins my daughter had improved greatly. The night terrors stopped instantly and although the "tantrums" were still there they had significant reduced in the length time and the self harming she had inflicted had now stopped. After the second and third session our daughter had improved massively. The results have been amazing and as a family it has helped us tremendously as we now have a good balance at home. She is now a very happy and contented child.
Of course our daughter has her funny five minutes and strops as a 2 year old but we welcome these with open arms.
Thank you Christian once again. Mrs T, Haywards Heath
* Results may vary from person to person
For three and a half years my child did not sleep, and for three and a half years neither did I! A good night was four hours and then a few hours broken sleep, a bad night was a few hours of getting up and down and awake the rest of the night. I tired everything I could think of and spoke to health visitors, Dr's etc., tried different diets. I also spent lots of money on various books, pillows, night lights, white noise machines and so on. There was no sleep book I had not followed and failed at!
I was skeptical about cranial osteopathy as I didn't understand how it works but I was desperate and thought I'd rather be down some money, than not think I had tried every avenue. It was speaking to a teacher who said a child in her class uses it, with success, for behavioural issues that gave me the final push (you normally only hear about it being used with babies).
The clinic is very relaxed, professional and made me feel at ease throughout my time there. It didn't matter that my son wriggled about at times and he enjoyed the sessions. Christian told me some of the reasons why toddlers may benefit from cranial osteopathy and my son fitted the bill. He also talked me through how my sons head felt, what this meant for him at night (a tight head meant adrenaline levels were not dropping at night as they should do) and how the treatment would help solve this.
That night my son still got up a few times but he settled quicker than other nights. Over the next 5 sessions and a couple of months things got a lot better. His body clock was use to waking up at night and his expectation was that on any awakening, I would come to him, but I was able to address these issues with relative ease and he responded well to me (rather than screaming at me for hours ;-)
His talking also improved during these sessions, which I wasn't expecting but I was aware of other people using this therapy to help issues such as speech delay which he was approaching. I don't know if it's related but it did tie in with the treatments.
Having spent every day (and night!) with my child not sleeping for 3.5 years, who now sleeps 12 hours flat, and having watched his nighttime behaviour and sleep improve over the last few months, I would really recommend giving Christian a call to see if he can help you. I'm so glad I did. Thank you. :-) Sinead, Haywards Heath
* Results may vary from person to person
Before we started coming to see you I was almost at my wits end with 6 night wakings and only half hour naps. It was exhausting. Literally the day after our first treatment session Laurie did a 2 hour nap. Things then got better over the next couple of weeks and we currently only wake twice a night and most naps are over an hour which has transformed my life! She has been a tricky baby with reflux and always needed careful handling but I think thanks to you we have turned a real corner and she is a much happier baby. Mrs Richards, Haywards Heath
* Results may vary from person to person