At birth an infant's spine is a C shaped curve. As the child grows it changes into an S shaped curve. Beginning in the first few months of life tummy time becomes vital as it is the time when an infant begins to raise their head - developing the cervical curve of the neck. At around 6 months of age a child begins the process of sitting independently and then slowly crawling. These actions begin to develop the lower part of the S curve - the lumbar curve of their low back. These curves are important to development as they provide shock absorption in the spine, balance and flexibility,
The average spinal length of a newborn is 24 cm and will grow to 36 cm by the age of one. That is a 50% growth in the length of their spine in just the first year of life. The next fastest period of growth is from one to five years of age where it grows from 36 cm to 51 cm, a 42% increase in length.
The first year of life is such an important one for spinal development, and because the potential for trauma is high ( multiple minor falls and collisions), it is recommended that a child's first spinal evaluations should be performed during this period. Many parents opt for a newborn check-up shortly after birth since their relatively large baby will be passing through a seeming small passageway. Newborn check-ups can reduce the risk of a child developing colic, ear infections, digestive or sleeping problems.
One concern parents often as about is the way we adjust an infant. Infant adjustments are vastly different from adult adjustments. A light-touch technique used, much like an infant massage. Often times infants may stay asleep during the entire treatment. As a child ages - age appropriate techniques can be used, such as an Activator, since most 2-3 years don't often sit still! Please ask us any questions you have about techniques, we are here to help!