Babies, Toddlers and Back Pain.
Babies, toddlers and back pain. It’s not something that you would think go together but often they do. Caring for babies and young children can be hard work – especially for your back.
The constant lifting, carrying and bending involved can play havoc with your back. This applies not only to the parents but also grandparents, aunts, uncles and anyone else involved in child care. Often it is
not just the child that can be difficult. Lifting and putting children into car seats, maneuvering the buggy and even carrying the nappy bag can all irritate the back.
So how can you help avoid back pain? Here is my guide for helping your back whilst looking after babies and toddlers.
Newborn babies may not weigh but after holding one for a while they will feel heavy!
Here are some top tips;
Try alternating carrying positions from side to side and in the middle of your body.
If you are going to be walking around a lot you could try using a sling – just make sure its well fitted.
Nappy changing – As newborns do not move much – take advantage of this and have a changing table at a good height so that you do not need to bend too much to change the nappy. If you live in a home with more than one floor have a changing station on every level so that you do not have to walk up and downstairs every time you need to change a nappy. As your baby gets older you may have to start changing it on the floor or the bed so that it can not roll or wriggle away as easily!
Carrying the car seat – if you carry the car seat with a baby in it carry it in the crook of your arm rather than at arms length – it will be slightly easier for your back. As your baby gets older and moves into their next car seat consider getting a car seat that twists such as the Maxi Cosi Axiss – I have one of these and it has saved my back from the awkward twist to do the car seat straps up – and is much easier to get a grumpy toddler into as well!
Try and position the cot so that you can approach it from either side so that you are not always bending with the same side of your back. If you can get a cot which has a base that starts higher and moves lower than that will help too. Once your baby is more mobile and is pulling themselves up you will need to lower the base.
Toddlers come with a new set of problems. You may not be changing as many nappies and they are more mobile but tantrums the fact that they are now bigger and stronger can cause problems.
At this stage you may not have to carry them as much but when you do it is more hard work. Try and encourage them to walk whenever you can eg : up the stairs (with you there to keep them safe) and to climb into their car seat so that you do not have to lift them. There are always going to be situations where you have to carry them. Try to alternate the side that you carry them so that is not always one side of your back that does most of the work.
If you are experiencing the ‘terrible twos’ and the associated tantrums that can come with them then you will know how strong toddlers can be. My advice is that unless they are in a dangerous situation (eg: at the side of the road) put them down to tantrum and do not try to restrain them too much. Toddlers can be very strong and you can easily end up hurting yourself or the toddler trying to hold them still.
What to do if you have a bad back.
If your back is already aching or painful then the best thing to do is to get it assessed. At Total Chiropractic we have experience of treating baby related back pain whether you are a mum (who may also be dealing with back problems following pregnancy), a Dad, a grandparent or anyone else who regularly cares for babies and toddlers we could help you.
You can book an appointment online by clicking here or by calling (01635) 791301, If you would like to speak to me before making an appointment then you can reach me on 01635 791301 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Babies, toddlers and back pain don’t always have to come together. Hopefully these tips can help you enjoy the babies and toddlers without the pain your back (or neck, or anywhere else).
My next blog will be on injuries caused by housework!