Understanding Torticollis: A Guide for New Parents

Head shape

Congratulations on the arrival of your little one! As a new parent, you may encounter various challenges and one of them might be torticollis. It’s common for parents to have questions and concerns about this condition, so we’ve put together this guide to help you understand what torticollis is, how to identify it, and what you can do to address it.

What is Torticollis?

Torticollis, also known as “wry neck,” is a condition where the neck muscles causing the head to tilt to one side. It can be present at birth or develop shortly after. This condition can make it difficult for your baby to turn their head and may result in a preference for looking in one direction.

Identifying Torticollis

There are a few signs that may indicate your baby has torticollis. These include:

  • Preference for looking in one direction

  • Tilted head to one side

  • Stiffness in the neck muscles

  • Difficulty turning the head to the opposite side

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician for an evaluation.

Addressing Torticollis

Thankfully, torticollis is a treatable condition. Your pediatrician may recommend stretching exercises to help loosen the tight neck muscles. These exercises can be done at home and are typically simple and gentle. In some cases, your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who can provide additional guidance and support.

It’s also important to encourage your baby to turn their head in both directions during playtime and while sleeping. You can do this by placing engaging toys on the side they have difficulty turning towards or by changing the direction of their crib periodically.

Summing It Up

It’s natural to feel concerned if you suspect your baby has torticollis, but rest assured that with proper intervention and support, your little one can overcome this condition. By working closely with your pediatrician and following their recommendations, you can help your baby develop healthy neck muscles and ensure that they reach their developmental milestones.


Q: Can torticollis cause long-term issues for my baby?

A: With appropriate treatment, most babies with torticollis can make a full recovery without any long-term issues.

Q: Will my baby need surgery for torticollis?

A: Surgery is rarely necessary for torticollis and is typically only considered in severe cases that do not respond to other treatments.

Q: How long does it take to see improvement with stretching exercises?

A: Consistent stretching exercises, along with repositioning and encouraging your baby to turn their head, can lead to improvement within a few weeks to a few months.