Navigating Torticollis: A Mom’s Essential Manual


Congratulations, mama! You’ve brought a beautiful baby into the world, and now you’re navigating the ups and downs of motherhood. But what do you do when you notice that your little one has difficulty turning their head or seems to always favor one side? It could be a condition known as torticollis.

Torticollis, also known as wry neck, is a condition where the neck muscles cause the head to tilt or turn to one side. It is a common issue among infants, but the good news is that with the right approach, it can be effectively managed. As a mother, it’s natural to feel concerned, but fear not! This essential manual will guide you through understanding, managing, and seeking treatment for torticollis.

Understanding Torticollis

Torticollis can be classified into two types: congenital and acquired. Congenital torticollis is present at birth and is often the result of the baby’s positioning in the womb or an issue with the neck muscles. Acquired torticollis, on the other hand, develops after birth and may be due to an injury, infection, or other underlying health conditions.

Common symptoms of torticollis include:

  • Head tilting to one side

  • Difficulty turning the head to the opposite side

  • Stiffness or tightness in the neck muscles

  • Flat spots on the baby’s head from always lying on one side

Managing Torticollis

As a mom, there are several ways you can help manage your baby’s torticollis:

  1. Encourage tummy time: Place your baby on their tummy while they are awake and supervised. This will help strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles.

  2. Alternate head positions: While your baby is sleeping, alternate the direction in which their head is turned to prevent flat spots from forming on their head.

  3. Use gentle stretching exercises: Your pediatrician or a physical therapist can show you how to perform gentle stretching exercises to help improve your baby’s neck mobility.

  4. Provide engaging activities: Use colorful toys or objects to encourage your baby to turn their head in different directions during playtime.

Seeking Treatment

If your baby’s torticollis does not improve with home management techniques, or if it is severe, your pediatrician may recommend additional treatment options. These may include:

  • Physical therapy: A pediatric physical therapist can work with your baby to improve their neck mobility through specialized exercises.

  • Orthotic devices: In some cases, your pediatrician may recommend the use of positioning devices or helmets to correct head shape abnormalities caused by torticollis.

  • Surgery: In rare and severe cases, surgery may be recommended to release tight neck muscles.

Final Thoughts

As a mother, it’s natural to want the best for your child, and dealing with torticollis can be overwhelming. However, with the right knowledge and support, you can help your baby overcome this condition and thrive. Remember to seek guidance from your pediatrician and trust your instincts as a caregiver. You’ve got this, mama!


Q: Will my baby outgrow torticollis?

A: In many cases, with proper management and treatment, most babies will outgrow torticollis and develop normal neck mobility.

Q: Is torticollis painful for my baby?

A: Torticollis itself is not painful, but it can lead to discomfort and stiffness in the neck muscles if left untreated.

Q: Can I prevent torticollis?

A: While some cases of torticollis may be unavoidable, practicing tummy time and alternating head positions can help reduce the risk of developing the condition.