My 6 1/2 month old son tilts his head to one side. Normal?

Kendra - posted on 04/27/2010 ( 64 moms have responded )

11

19

0

My son tilts his head to the left side frequently. He has done this for a couple months now and more than a few people have mentioned it to me without me ever saying anything to them. He has a well check up in a few days..but wondering if anyone knows anything related to why my baby tilts his head to one side?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kendra - posted on 05/12/2010

11

19

0

Thank you all for your comments!! Josh has an appointment June 2nd with a physical therapist. I will look into having his eyes checked also. The head tilting does not seem to be worsening, in fact, i hardly catch him doing it anymore. But I will follow through with the pt just in case. His ears have checked out fine.

Amanda - posted on 05/04/2010

234

10

26

well just like most everyone has already said, I think torticollis might be the reason your baby tilts his head to one side. my son had it from birth, and even though you said that it has just shown up it still could be tort. It is something that can show up later in life, even in adults, but those situations are normally from some sort of traumatic event. Sounds like you are on top of it with already having made the pt appointment. Good luck :)

I - posted on 05/06/2010

7

5

0

Spasmotic Torticollis could be something to look at, but it should be something that goes to the doctor about. i have a friend who has this and there is things they can do for it to make it bearable. do not give up hope, good on you for picking up such small changes, go with your heart but keep an open mind till you have all the possible facts. Qn, was he deprived of oxygen at birth for a period of time? if so this could be worth mentiioning to the drs if you are in communication with them.

Keep strong, think positive and give yr son all the encouragement he needs. even at that age, they pick up on how positive we are!!!

God Bless

Lynette - posted on 05/06/2010

18

3

1

Have you had his hearing checked? Perhaps he has fluid in his ears or sinuses and it feels better to tilt his head?

Delia - posted on 05/05/2010

57

46

0

Try to notice if you til your head to the side when you talk to him. He may be doing because he's coping you. If your still concerned when it comes to his check up; talk to your doctor....

This conversation has been closed to further comments

64 Comments

View replies by

Kathleen - posted on 04/12/2012

34

26

2

Easily corrected by chiopractic (my first choice), osteopathy, physiotherapy (longer process)

Rachel - posted on 05/08/2010

22

0

2

It's good that you're seeing your doctor soon. There are probably a number of possible reasons that your baby tilts his head to one side. My son developed a large lump on the side of his neck at a few weeks old, our GP referred us to the pediatrician who explained it was likely a non-malignant lump (the medical name included the word "tumor" but he was quick to explain this wasn't anything to worry about) caused by trauma during birth it was a build up of fibre in the muscle - the pediatrician ordered a scan to confirm and physio - by the time he had the scan it had disappeared, we went to the physio anyway as the appointment was already made - the physio explained that one of the side effects of these types of lumps was to shorten the muscle and make the head tilt to one side - so that may be a possibility? I hope all goes well.

Joyce - posted on 05/06/2010

14

5

0

Have him checked by a doctor. He may have torticollis, which may require surgery. Don't wait. If it is, the muscle could atrophy, and his head might stay to the side. I had that when I was little, but nearly 60 years later, things may have changed.

Rebecca - posted on 05/06/2010

27

30

2

I think this is what I have- it is called torticollis and it means that a muscle in the neck is tightening with limits movement of the head to the side that it affects. I still have this condition because when I was younger there was no cure. Now, you can have physio and surgery as a final resort. Good luck!

Shelley - posted on 05/05/2010

275

23

17

I would also say possible torticollis as my son had it , hopefully your Dr refers you for some physio, which should also be taught to you so you can do it at each diaper change plus they may show you helpful ways to carry him so that it starts to stretch out. My son as well had plagio & wore a star bands for many months as his was severe.

Corinna - posted on 05/05/2010

13

6

0

My baby girl always does this when she wants to be nursed. She is 4 1/2 months now and did it from the second she was born. When she does it she is fuzzy and demanding/crying for my boobs! I think with her its a natural instinct, trying to latch on...I hope for you its just something simple

Michael - posted on 05/05/2010

2

7

0

My son did it but it was because he has cerebal palsy however it can be his hearing as well. If he favors one side over the other you may want to have that checked. Don't panick it could be that he is a drama prince and likes to freak you out :)

Jennifer - posted on 05/05/2010

79

0

1

It might just be a playful thing, but Torticollis definitely came to mind right away for me too. My friend's baby has it, and with a little physical therapy and some home exercises - he is much better in just a few weeks - nothing too serious. It could be nothing - I wouldn't worry about it since he seems otherwise healthy, but it's probably worth having the doctor take a look at it - especially since you'll be there anyways.

Patty - posted on 05/04/2010

10

29

0

My daughter had both torticollis and playgiocephaly, and both were corrected with the Doc Band (helmet) and PT. If you look at her from the top of her head, her ears are a little off, but otherwise she's a perfectly normal child. I do remember that they didn't find it until six months or so, and that they were glad to find it then. If it's not paid attention to until after age one, it can be difficult to correct. Glad you're looking into it now! Good luck!

Dora - posted on 05/04/2010

642

31

109

I saw the same episode that Traci Marsden is talking about. Once the child's vision as corrected he stopped favoring one side of his neck. Even though his eyes may seem to appear fine, you should still check out his vision. On the show I remember they patched one eye at a time to see if he would stop tiling his head to one side. When the problem eye was covered he stopped tilting his head to one side. That is how they figured out the problem.

Toni - posted on 05/04/2010

1

17

0

you may want to ask your dr. about torticollis - my best friends son had it and it wasn't diagnosed until he was about 6 months. It is fixable, but they need therapy to fix it.

Joanne - posted on 05/04/2010

1

7

0

Yes there is a name for it but I cannot remember it. It can be fixed by physio, my son had very mild case but it can get worse if not seen to. Consult your doc.

Alison - posted on 05/04/2010

2,753

20

466

I have to put in another vote for a chiropractic consult. IMHO, they are much more knowledgeable on these affairs than an M.D.

Denise - posted on 05/04/2010

2

5

0

my nephew did this and they said one side of his neck muscle wasn't as developed as the other....after some physical therapy and working with him he was fine....

Cristal - posted on 05/04/2010

77

69

1

DOes he sleep on one side all the time? If so try switching sides my doc warned me about keeping him on one side while he sleeps

Lisa - posted on 05/04/2010

1

0

0

I would definitely talk to your doctor/pediatrician. The son of a friend of mine did this too and they thought it was just a habit. Finally when he was 5ish (it was getting worse then) they talked to the doctor. Turns out he had a vision problem and that was why he tilted...in order to see better. Because they waited too long his muscles were developing incorrectly. They were also told it could be a form of Cerebral Palsy before he was diagnosed. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

Cherie - posted on 05/04/2010

7

42

0

It could be Torticolis (spelling?) It's a muscular issue with the neck muscles. My daughter had this and it led to Playgeocephly, flattening of the skull because she favored one side when she slept. Keep and eye on it and ask your doctor about neck excercises.

Traci - posted on 05/03/2010

55

4

0

Okay this is probably way out there but i actually was watching this medical mysteries show and the little boy did that as well, they tried so many different things and in the end it was actually something to do with his eyesight, tilting his head helped him see better, he ended up having a surgery to fix it but once they figured it out it was taken care of in no time!! I wish i could remember more details about it, but its something to look into!!

Miranda - posted on 05/03/2010

2

13

0

I would talk to your doctor about this just incase. My daughter had tortucolis and it is easily treatable but talk to a doctor for sure it does need to be addressed.

Marie - posted on 05/02/2010

9

7

1

I think he needs a neck adjustment, my son did that also @ 4 months, I took him to get his neck adjusted & he was a lot better afterwards. He even slept better

Jennifer - posted on 05/02/2010

15

11

0

My co worker had the same issue with her 3 month old and the peditrician gave her some excercises to do. She has to turn his head to the right by force, gently of course. He is now beginning to turn to the right on his own. He stills prefers the left though.

Marissa - posted on 05/02/2010

254

22

27

If he's only doing it when you look at him and he's smiling while he does it it could just be that he learned how to do it and it's something different and fun. Especially if you do it back to him. If it's a constant tilt I might be worried. My son is almost 10 months and he's been doing it for a couple weeks. He'll look at me and tilt his head to the right and smile and i'll do it back or sometimes to the other side and he'll imitate me. He also learned how to shake his head to say no and he does that a lot now too. Good luck, hopefully he's fine!

Heather - posted on 05/02/2010

71

11

0

my daughter done this from birth till about 2 months. We had to take her to a physio therapist to learn exercises we could do with her at home to strenghthen her neck muscles it worked great within 3 weeks she was looking both ways.

Claire - posted on 05/02/2010

2

4

0

my son had this problem at around the same age, he had a tight muscle in his neck that i had to massage a couple of times a day. it was fine after about 6weeks he is now 4 1/2 yrs with no problems. hope all well with your little boy.

Helen - posted on 05/02/2010

2

24

0

My son went to a behavioural optometrist and although this wasn't his issue we got to talking about it as I am a teacher and I see children doing it. One reason is that the child is using his/her dominant eye (the one that focusses better ) to look at things in the distance

Lynda - posted on 05/01/2010

3

14

0

Hi, my son is 22 years old now, but he had the same thing. Its called a lazy neck muscle. The doctor should be told , hopefully you have a good doctor. Our dr sent our son to physial theraphy at our hospital and it worked. My older brother had the same thing when he was younger but wasn't caught until he was a year old. He had to go in the hospital and was put into traction to straiten it out. So please mention it to your dr and see if its a problem or not. Lynda

Kendra - posted on 05/01/2010

11

19

0

umm..well several people have mentioned it so I dont think they all do it..but that is a good point.

[deleted account]

Do you notice if you or anyone who's around your son alot does it too? Especially when you're talking directly to him, I know I tilt my head to my daughter when she's being silly, and say "what are you doing? As a resuly sometimes when she is babbling to me she does the same thing

Kayla - posted on 05/01/2010

120

14

7

Sometimes kids will prefer a certain side of their head and they end up getting what's called a "flat spot." They will continue to turn their head to that side because it ends up being more comfortable. My pediatrician has me rotate my daughters head at night, so one night I'll have her sleep on the left side, the next her right etc. We still keep her on her back but we roll up a blanket and just angle her enough to where she will sleep on that side of her head.

Diana - posted on 05/01/2010

4

1

1

He may have Torticollis. My Daughter Mariella was diagnosed with it at 2 weeks old. It is a shortened neck muscle which could cause a flat spot to form on the head(Playgiocephaly) She now wears a Doc Band to fix the flat scull and facial deformities and has been going to physical therapy since 3 weeks old ( getting better) Mention both of these to your son's doctor. It's not as bad as it sounds. It is actually really common. FYI www.crainaltech.com If you have any other questions let me know! Diana

Brenda - posted on 04/30/2010

5

20

0

Have your doctor check for Corticollis. I am not saying that is what is wrong with him since I am not a doctor and I don't pretend to be one either LOL, my niece has been doing that since birth and she is 18 mos. old now and they just figured it out what it is. It is something to do with the muscle on that side of the neck, it's not very strong, we have to try to do exercises with her and let me tell you it isn't easy, she hates the exercises and she lets you know that too LOL. Good Luck Kendra

Kendra - posted on 04/30/2010

11

19

0

Hi everyone! Thank you all for your replies and concerns. My husband took my son to the dr today and she said she didnt see anything alarming but still sent him to childrens hospital for xrays today. The xrays came back fine, however, she is referring him to a physical therapist. I was not able to go to the appt due to my having to work, so I don't know if there was more said or not.. you know how men are. lol. But I will let you all know once more after I've spoke to the dr myself. Thanks!

Crystal - posted on 04/30/2010

3

6

0

My brother is 24 and my mom said he has had the same thing ever since he was born. When my mom was pregnant with him, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, so his head tilts a little to the side. Now that he's older, you can't really tell too much because he's aware of it, but I'm not sure if this is the same thing. Hope this helps.

Rachel - posted on 04/30/2010

11

17

1

was he born with forceps or by c-section or suction? If so, it's extremely likely that he has neck and back issues from it. He should be taken to a chiropractor, but not just any chiropractor. If you tell me what city you are in, I may be able to suggest a good one. Good luck!

Brenda - posted on 04/29/2010

5

20

0

My niece has done this since birth and she is 18 mos. old. Her doctor said it is cortacollis, it's something to do with a neck muscle. I'm not saying that is what your son has but hey check it out it won't hurt none.

Kendra - posted on 04/29/2010

11

19

0

Thanks Darci that was very helpful. My son did not do the neck tilt thing until about almost 2 mos ago everyone starting noticing it. I have a couple of pics of him if you are curious. The one of him and his sister I think he is doing it a bit. Just very slightly...some pics i've seen of babies with tortucolis were pretty bad compared to him.

[deleted account]

i took my boy to a cranial sacral osteopath when he was favouring on arm and always flicking at the neck behind ears. had his ears checked out heaps but nothing wrong. it looked like she (the osteopath) was doing nothing but putting her hands on him but he changed instantly with the ears. need one more treatment to sort his back out but her is soo much more free in movement. it was only about $40 too.

Darci - posted on 04/29/2010

131

8

1

I would be concerned. My son Jonah had the same problem he tilted his head to the right. The reason some babies tilt their head to one side a lot is because the muscles are too tight on one side making it hard and uncomfortable to tilt it to the other side. This can be a really big problem if not fixed. When the baby is tilting his/her head to one side and it is super super bad they call it torticollis. My son had torticollis. When they have this you have to do neck stretching exercises with them multiple times a day. My son hated it and would cry because it doesn't feel good to them. You have to stretch those muscles or the problem just gets worse. If you don't do anything about it, because of the child tilting his head it can result in his head becoming flat on one side and your child would then have to be put in a helmet. Not only are those helmets really expensive but it is no fun for the baby or you and even with a helmet on,their head does not get shaped as good as it could if they just didn't have the torticollis in the first place. So you do not want your child to have to wear a helmet you will need to do the exercises after talking with the doctor and seeing what he has to say. My Aunt is a physical therapist for babies and kids with problems like these and disabilities. She helped me learn a lot of different ways to stretch my sons neck. My doctor showed one way to do it and it just was confusing and hard but my aunt showed me easier ways that stretched his neck but made it a little more comfortable for my son. I luckily learned of his problem earlier on, he was about 3 months and was not crawling or anything so it made it easier I think it is a lot harder when they are older and stronger and can wiggle away from you. I'm surprised your doctor hasn't noticed this problem sooner. Definitely talk to him about it when you go in. I don't want to worry you. This problem for your son could be really bad or maybe just slightly. My niece tilted her head ever so slightly all they needed to do to fix it was play with stuff on the opposite side of the way she tilted it getting her to look in the opposite direction of the problem.They didn't need to do all the exercises I had to do with my son because it was not that bad. So maybe you will be lucky and only have to do what my nieces parents had to do. Or maybe it will be more like my son. Either way don't get stressed out if this is the case. I was so worried about it and so stressed I did my best to stretch his neck but it was so hard to hear him cry. I didn't do it as much as i should have his head is a little flatter on the one side now. :( But hardly noticeable you have to feel it to notice or shave his head to see it under all his hair so its not too bad. When he is tired though he starts to tilt his head to the stronger side. I think i still need to work with him on it. I hope my reply was helpful for you and Good Luck!

Ruth - posted on 04/29/2010

3

15

0

Sounds like toricollis to me, which basically means the muscles on one side of his neck are easier to stretch than the other. My son was diagnosed with it as 2.5 months and was put in therapy. Sounds worse than it is - a therapist would come to our house twice a month to work with him and show me new ways to encourage a full range of motion through play. He was done with therapy by 10 months. The key is to catch it early and do something about it right away. Sounds like a mild case so it shouldn't take long to correct.

Melissa - posted on 04/29/2010

1

0

0

Have you ever considered Chiropractic Adjustment for your child? I know some people can be frightened by this but honestly it can benefit your child's well-being so much. I am a chiropractic tech for 14 yrs and have two children. They both get adjusted and it helps them tremendously. My second child had neck issue as well from birth and I took her there and within a couple months of weekly adjustments her neck stopped turning to one side. There are pediatric chiropractors, if you are unsure how to find one call Palmer college of chiropractic 1800-722-2586 listen to the directory and there should be an extension to find a chiropractor in your area. Good Luck and I do hope you look into it...it definitely can't hurt.

Angie - posted on 04/29/2010

7

12

0

Hi there,

It could be something as simple as Torticollis. Sometimes in the womb they get comfy in a position and when they are born it may not be apparent right from the start but over time you will notice they favor one side and it is common. A few stretching exercises usually takes care of the problem.

Kendra - posted on 04/29/2010

11

19

0

Sara, his eyes are fine. I knew to look out for that because my cousins baby had a drifting eye and would turn her head to try and correct it..Yes I thought of it. Thank you for posting.

Sara - posted on 04/29/2010

9,313

50

584

Do his eyes align properly or have you notices that maybe one eye turns or drifts when he's looking at something? The eyes should be yoked by this point and move together, so if they dont' that could be the problem. It could also be a problem with the muscles in his neck, but I would definitely ask the doctor.

Kendra - posted on 04/28/2010

11

19

0

lol. Thank you all!! yes his appointment is on Friday so I will definitely be mentioning it and i will post on here what she said. He was breech in the womb for several months so it could be tortuculis...i will post.

Rachel - posted on 05/08/2010

22

0

2

It's good that you're seeing your doctor soon. There are probably a number of possible reasons that your baby tilts his head to one side. My son developed a large lump on the side of his neck at a few weeks old, our GP referred us to the pediatrician who explained it was likely a non-malignant lump (the medical name included the word "tumor" but he was quick to explain this wasn't anything to worry about) caused by trauma during birth it was a build up of fibre in the muscle - the pediatrician ordered a scan to confirm and physio - by the time he had the scan it had disappeared, we went to the physio anyway as the appointment was already made - the physio explained that one of the side effects of these types of lumps was to shorten the muscle and make the head tilt to one side - so that may be a possibility? I hope all goes well.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms