Torticollis in Babies: How to Help Your Little One


As a parent, it can be distressing to see your baby experiencing any kind of discomfort. Torticollis is a condition that can affect infants, causing their neck to tilt to one side. This article will provide you with information on how to identify torticollis in your baby and what you can do to help them.

Identifying Torticollis

Torticollis, also known as “wry neck,” is a condition in which the muscles on one side of the neck are contracted, causing the head to tilt to one side. It can be present at birth or develop shortly after. You may notice that your baby always looks to one side, experiences difficulty turning their head, or seems to favor one side while feeding. If you observe any of these symptoms, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician for a proper diagnosis.

How to Help Your Baby

Fortunately, there are ways to help your baby if they are diagnosed with torticollis. Your pediatrician may recommend gentle stretching exercises to help loosen the tight muscles in your baby’s neck. These exercises should be performed several times a day, and your doctor can demonstrate the proper technique.

In addition to stretching exercises, tummy time is also beneficial for babies with torticollis. Placing your baby on their stomach while they are awake and supervised can help them develop neck strength and improve their range of motion. It’s important to start tummy time early and gradually increase the duration as your baby becomes more comfortable.

If your pediatrician determines that your baby’s torticollis is severe or not improving with stretching and tummy time, they may refer you to a physical therapist. A physical therapist can work with your baby to perform specialized exercises and stretches to address their specific needs.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Supporting a baby with torticollis also involves making small adjustments to their environment. For example, when placing your baby in their crib, you can position their head so that they have to turn towards the side that they tend to avoid. This can encourage them to stretch and strengthen their neck muscles while they sleep.

During playtime, consider using toys and objects that encourage your baby to turn their head in both directions. This can help promote balanced muscle development in their neck and alleviate the tightness on one side.

Seeking Emotional Support

Dealing with a baby with torticollis can be emotionally challenging for parents. It’s important to seek support from friends, family, or a support group to help you cope with the stress and uncertainty that can come with managing your baby’s condition. Additionally, connecting with other parents who have gone through similar experiences can provide valuable insight and reassurance.


While torticollis can be concerning for parents, it’s important to remember that with prompt intervention and ongoing support, most babies with torticollis can make a full recovery. By working closely with your pediatrician and following their recommendations for exercises and positioning, you can help your little one overcome this condition and develop strong, healthy neck muscles.


Q: Can torticollis in babies resolve on its own?

A: In some cases, mild torticollis in infants can resolve on its own with stretching exercises and repositioning. However, it’s important to consult with a pediatrician to determine the best course of action for your baby.

Q: Will my baby need surgery for torticollis?

A: Surgery is rarely necessary for treating torticollis in babies. Most cases can be effectively managed with stretching exercises, tummy time, and, in some cases, physical therapy.

Q: How long does it take to see improvement in my baby’s torticollis?

A: The timeline for improvement can vary depending on the severity of your baby’s condition and their response to treatment. Some babies may show improvement within a few weeks, while others may require several months of intervention.