Torticollis in Babies: How to Spot and Treat It


As a new parent, it can be alarming to notice your baby’s head tilted to one side or twisted in an unusual position. This condition is known as torticollis, and it is more common than you might think in infants. Torticollis, also referred to as “wry neck,” can be present at birth or develop within the first few months of life.

Spotting Torticollis

There are several signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect your baby may have torticollis:

  • Head tilting to one side

  • Difficulty turning the head in one or both directions

  • Tight or swollen neck muscles

  • Flat spots on the head due to positioning

Treating Torticollis

Early intervention is key when it comes to treating torticollis in babies. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Consult with your pediatrician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options.

  • Physical therapy: Your doctor may recommend exercises and stretches to help improve your baby’s neck mobility.

  • Positioning: Encourage your baby to turn their head in both directions while playing or during tummy time to promote muscle development.

  • Use of a special pillow or support to help keep your baby’s head in a neutral position while sleeping.

Follow-up Care

It’s important to follow up with your pediatrician regularly to monitor your baby’s progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. In some cases, more intensive therapies or interventions may be needed if the torticollis does not improve with initial treatments.


While torticollis can be concerning for parents, with early detection and intervention, most babies will make a full recovery. By working closely with your pediatrician and following their recommendations, you can help support your baby’s development and ensure they have the best chance for a successful outcome.


Q: Is torticollis painful for babies?

A: In most cases, torticollis is not painful for babies, but it can lead to discomfort and limited mobility if left untreated.

Q: Can torticollis go away on its own?

A: Mild cases of torticollis may improve with gentle stretching exercises and repositioning techniques. However, more severe cases may require additional interventions.

Q: Will my baby need surgery for torticollis?

A: Surgery is rarely needed to treat torticollis in babies. Most cases can be managed effectively with physical therapy and positional adjustments.