Part two of the Philip Owen Interview…
Meet Philip Owen, Paediatric Osteopath and Inventor of the SleepCurve Baby Mattress
This is the second in a short series of Questions answered by Philip, about Flat Head Syndrome and how a SleepCurve Baby Mattress can really help.
SleepCurve is the brainchild of Philip Owen D.O., B.Sc. (Hons), a leading Paediatric Cranial Osteopath who has spent 20 years studying and treating tension in babies’ skull bones. His pioneering research has significantly advanced our understanding of both babies’ and children’s sleep problems, arising from tension in the bones of the skull. Parents come from all over the country to his Manchester clinic and he is considered one of the leading practitioners in the UK. He lectures for the British School of Osteopathy Society and was the BSO’s leading external examiner.
Philip is married to Catherine and is a parent to two daughters and a grand-parent.
We interviewed Philip to find out more about SleepCurve and his passion for treating and curing Flat Head Syndrome.
Q4. What advice would you give to new parents if their baby is not sleeping?
This is a short question which requires a somewhat longer answer. I will be as brief as I can.
Firstly, it is important to understand that there is a habitual element to sleeping. Babies like routine and don’t always favour well when that routine is changed. There are three main classifications as to why babies don’t sleep:
- Discomfort/tension from within the baby’s body
- A fear factor which triggers memory from either the birth process itself or being separated from their mother at the time of birth in the form of separation anxiety
- Thirdly is discomfort or tension from outside or the surface of the baby.
In brief, assuming the baby has no medical issues, a good place to start is to consult a paediatric osteopath to see if your baby is carrying any left-over issues from being compressed in the birth canal. An experienced paediatric osteopath can detect with touch any minor blockages or tensions that still remain in your baby’s skull or spine from the birth process. These won’t necessarily be picked up on a scan. Strangely enough babies, who have been born by caesarean section still exhibit birth strains which I am unable to explain. This is quite common and helps many babies if treated successfully.
It is also worth remembering that all babies are different. Midwives and health visitors will have their statutory guidelines as to when to change a baby’s feed from bottle/formula or when to wean. Some babies do very well changing to solids earlier than others, thus giving them more comfort at night. I usually suggest to my mum’s (patients) that if the baby is old enough, to try a crushed banana before bed time.
It may also be worth being aware that there are generally 6 things that can upset a baby:
- Food intolerance’s
- Knocks, bumps, bangs, falls.
If a baby develops sleep disturbances after any of the above an experienced paediatric osteopath should quickly be able to re-establish the status quo in your baby.
For discomfort or tension from outside or the surface of the baby, I would recommend the SleepCurve Mattress, parents repeatedly tell me their babies sleep better on a SleepCurve as it is more comfortable.
Q5. What should parents do if they are worried about their babies’ head shape?
The first thing parents need to do if they are concerned about their baby’s head shape is to have it diagnosed. The most common cause is from lying a baby on a flat mattress, therefore change to a SleepCurve mattress as soon as possible. The other less likely cause is Craniosynostosis in which the bone plates fuse prematurely.
The next thing to do is to understand that it is vitally important not to allow the condition to become worse than it already is. Parents often forget and are not aware that, due to the flattening, gravity plays a part on rolling the head onto the flat surface thereby making things worse.
Parents are well advised to place their baby on a SleepCurve mattress to reduce the pressure off the skull and start the self-correction process.