We have highlighted the 5 common signs of Torticollis. To recap, those are as follows:
- Always looking in the same direction
- Head tilting
- Feeding difficulties
- Flattening of the head
- Facial asymmetry
As stated in that post, torticollis has become more prevalent with babies spending more time on their backs. But there are things you can do to help prevent it.
Some tips we tell parents:
Alternate feeding positions
Whether you breast feed, bottle feed, or a combination, alternating breasts or arm that is cradling the child can support variety in what direction your child is rotating towards. If alternating breasts is not a possibility, alternate holding position (e.g. cradle hold one feed, football hold the next).
Alternate sleeping positions
Alternate what side of the crib your child’s head is on. This will encourage them to mix up which direction they look. Depending on the set up around your child’s crib, there may be something exceptionally interesting on one side and by alternating the orientation of your child, you can help prevent that.
Alternate what side of the car seat or crib toys are placed
Jangle toys are so fun and great for development of visual tracking and reaching. However, if they are always presented on the same side that can have an influence on the development of a preference. Alternate what side of the car seat or crib toys are placed to encourage symmetrical exploration.
Alternate what side of the car their car seat is placed
As your child gets older and their visual abilities improve, they will be able to see further away. They may start looking out of the window of the car or to the parent or caregiver who is nearby. Yes this may depend on your car seat, your car, and your handiness, but alternating what side of the car for the car seat can help prevent favoring one way.
Last but not least is tummy time. This is your baby’s first exercise and starts off a cascade of strength building. Tummy time could be its own post, matter of fact it is, click here.
The key with all of this is variety and symmetry. If you observe your child move their head and explore with variety already, you likely don’t need these changes. Watch and see what grabs your baby’s attention and if there is a tendency in any one direction, consider these above tips. If you have more questions or don’t think these tips are enough, let us know! We would love to help!