Why does my baby have torticollis?

Postnatal, Your questions

Marie, my doctor just told me my 2-month-old baby has torticollis. I don’t know why my baby has this problem, and I was wondering what I can do while waiting to see the osteopath the doctor referred me to. Thanks, Agathe


Hello Agathe,

Excellent question! Like you, many parents worry when their baby is diagnosed with torticollis. Torticollis can occur during childbirth associated with in utero pressure, poor positioning, a baby that engaged in the pelvis very early during pregnancy, etc. But it can only be identified 3 weeks after childbirth, given that the tension will amplify and become more evident.

The presence of torticollis is the leading cause of plagiocephaly (flat head) because the baby will always turn their head to the less painful side. As such, it will create higher pressure on one side of their head, which will flatten it.

 

The baby’s head can be bent to one side or rotated due to tension in the sternum and jaw muscles, which leads to facial asymmetry. This can be noted if the eyes are not aligned, one cheek is bigger than the other, or when their mouth is crooked when yawning or smiling.

You can also note small nodules in their muscles, hard bumps at the base of the skull behind their head. In reality, this is caused by tension in the fibrous tissues that can dissipate in one location and reappear in another, depending on the pressure. This is not serious, even if these nodules are called pseudotumors.

You might suspect torticollis when your baby refuses to breastfeed, has weaker suction, difficulty opening their mouth or are unable to position themselves. And of course, if their head is often turned to the same side.

The best solution is to act rapidly. The results are quick and effective before 3-4 months. After 4 months, the treatments will take longer to be successful, since the skull bones are more fused together, and there is less mobility during the procedure. Osteopathy, physiotherapy and chiropractic services are the best options for this kind of problem. But of course, the caregiver needs to specialise in babies or pediatrics.  

In the meantime, change your baby’s position frequently, place him on his stomach several times a day, even if for short periods. When they sleep, try to change the side of their head they sleep on. You can also watch my video I filmed with Marie Panier called Osteopathy and Babies.

 

I hope this answer helps you better understand your situation.

 

Talk soon,

Marie

The Baby Expert 

Discover our videos

Subscribe to a monthly or quarterly package now to access full videos.

The Bonapace method

The Bonapace method

Are you nervous that your baby is coming soon? Do you have questions about your role as caregiver during labour
Childbirth in a Hospital with an Epidural

Childbirth in a Hospital with an Epidural

Marie accompanies Karine and Jocelyn to the hospital for the birth of their second baby. During this birth, the doctor
Welcoming a Baby that is Different

Welcoming a Baby that is Different

Theme: Welcoming a Baby that is Different In this video broadcast on Sunday, March 4, 2018, and pre-recorded at CHU
Baby Massages

Baby Massages

Do you want to massage your baby but don’t know where to start? In this video, Suzanne Boily, baby massage

Discover other articles

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

Marie, my friend Manon told me that when she broke her water with her first baby, she saw a portion of her baby's umbilical cord
I’m producing too much milk!

I’m producing too much milk!

I am breastfeeding my two-month-old, and I have so much breast milk I could sell it! I am frequently engorged, uncomfortable after feeding. Additionally, a
The Bedroom: A Safe Place

The Bedroom: A Safe Place

To make the best choice for the baby’s crib and mattress, consult the article Choosing the Baby’s Crib and Mattress. The temperature of the baby’s
The Realities of Childbirth

The Realities of Childbirth

Hormones such as oxytocin, endorphins, catecholamines and others are involved during labour and childbirth are very weak.

Why does my baby have torticollis?

Par Marie Fortier Temps de lecture: 2 min
0