Getting the Diagnosis Right!

When a baby is crying non-stop, upset and in obvious distress it’s very easy to get advice on what to do to settle baby! Look online and you will see the numerous suggestions offered, all are well-intentioned but many can be off the mark. Before you start changing formulas, giving drops or driving 100 miles for the last bottle of gripe water in Ireland, have a look at our chart below. Read the symptoms and tick the ones that you see in your baby. This is your starting point!

Reflux Lactose Overload Lactose Intolerance Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy
Crying in pain.Discomfort when feeding (arching, screaming, refusal, turning away) Frequent vomiting or spitting up Poor sleep habits Hiccups and Swallowing Comfort feeding- constant feeding to alleviate pain Frequent watery bowel motions Bowel motions may be slightly to very offensive Bloating Cramps Irritability and screaming Baby appears to be constantly hungry Baby gains a large amount of weight Symptoms more obvious in the evening   Similar symptoms to Lactose Overload exceptBaby fails to gain weight Baby can be very unwell Has 5-8 fowl smelling nappies a day   VomitingReflux Colic Diarrhoea Constipation Flatulence Stomach pain Mucousy Stools Distended Stomach There are also Respiratory symptoms and Dermatological symptoms
See the GP for Antacid.Review Feed and if bottle feeding, consider an Anti-Reflux formula. Reduce/eliminate Dairy from Mum’s diet to outrule cows milk protein a possible cause of lactase insufficiency. (1,2,3)After 5-10 days there should be a 70% improvement if cows milk protein is a factor.

Colief Drops  

Colief Drops or

If bottlefeeding, use a Lactose Free Formula  

Refer to GP/Paediatrcian Remove all cows milk dairy from the diet. Use a milk protein free formula.

We believe that the diagnosis is key. As a Cranial Osteopath I can work on the physical causes of your baby’s condition but I believe that cranial osteopathy is only part of the solution. We have to look at other aspects of care too and these are determined by the diagnosis. For example, if the diagnosis is Reflux, we can look at changing to an anti-reflux formula for bottle fed babies and/or referring to your GP for medication.

 crying-baby and mother

If your baby is very unsettled and you need advice you should always contact a Health Professional (Cranial Osteopath/GP/Public Health Nurse). However this chart may help you to identify the symptoms to bring to their attention.

Frank Kelleher Cranial Osteopath

The Children’s Clinic

Model Farm Road


021 4348918


  1. Brodribb W(ed) 1997 Breastfeeding Management in Australia Nursing Mothers’ Association of Australia, Melbourne, Australia 319-323
  2. Akre J(ed) 1990 Infant Feeding: the physiological basis supplement to vol67 of the WHO Bulletin WHO, Geneva. 26 13
  3. Cunningham AS 1990 Breastfeeding, bottlefeeding & illness: an annotated bibliography LRC (Lactation Resource Centre) Series No 2, NMAA (Nursing Mothers’ Association of Australia), Melbourne, Australia 19-22

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