Although colic is a well-recognised condition in infants, many babies exhibit fussy behaviour without meeting the actual criteria for colic. An irritable baby (also called a fussy or high maintenance baby) can be described as one who is generally difficult to calm, is only content when held, cries more than a contented baby, and sleeps poorly for short periods of time. Often, irritability lasts longer than the 3 month duration of colic.
Current medical treatment for the irritable baby is prescription medication for intestinal gas, (although studies have shown this to be no more effective than placebo treatment) and parents are often told to be patient until the baby grows out of it.
It has been shown in numerous studies that chiropractic care, utilizing a combination of both spinal and cranial adjusting, may be able to reduce irritable behaviour in babies.
Fussiness may be due to discomfort arising from mechanical restriction in the baby’s neck or cranium. Such mechanical problems may create muscle spasm, headache and increased nervous system irritability, resulting in poor feeding, sleeping difficulties and persistent crying.