Understanding Torticollis: A Guide for New Moms

As a new mom, there are many things to learn and adjust to in caring for your baby. One common issue that you may come across is torticollis. This condition, also known as wry neck, is when the neck muscles contract, causing the head to tilt to one side. It can be concerning for parents, but with the right information and treatment, it can be managed effectively.

Understanding Torticollis

Torticollis can be congenital, meaning present at birth, or acquired, developing after birth. It can be caused by various factors, such as positioning in the womb, a difficult birth, or muscle stiffness. Signs of torticollis may include:

  • Head tilting to one side

  • Limited neck movement

  • One shoulder appearing higher than the other

If you notice any of these signs in your baby, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician. They can diagnose torticollis and recommend a treatment plan.

Treatment Options

One common treatment for torticollis is physical therapy. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help stretch and strengthen your baby’s neck muscles. These exercises may include gentle stretches and positioning techniques to encourage your baby to turn their head in the opposite direction.

In some cases, your pediatrician may also recommend other interventions, such as a neck brace or surgery. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations and attend all appointments to ensure the best outcome for your baby.

At-Home Care

In addition to any prescribed treatments, there are things you can do at home to help manage your baby’s torticollis. For example, you can:

  • Encourage tummy time to strengthen neck and shoulder muscles

  • Alternate the direction your baby sleeps each night to prevent favoring one side

  • Use toys and sounds to encourage your baby to turn their head in both directions

Consistency is key when it comes to at-home care, so be sure to incorporate these activities into your daily routine.


Dealing with torticollis can be challenging, but with early intervention and consistent treatment, most babies show improvement and eventually outgrow the condition. Remember to communicate openly with your pediatrician, follow their recommendations, and stay patient as your baby progresses. With your love and support, your little one will overcome torticollis and continue to thrive.


Q: Can torticollis be prevented?

A: While some cases of torticollis are unavoidable, practicing safe sleep habits and providing plenty of tummy time can help reduce the risk.

Q: How long does it take for torticollis to improve?

A: The timeline for improvement varies for each baby, but with consistent treatment and at-home care, most babies see progress within a few months.

Q: Will my baby need surgery for torticollis?

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