Preventing Torticollis and Plagiocephaly in Babies from Birth
The position of your soft newborn baby’s head is important in play, sleep, feeding and carrying. You can prevent torticollis (head tilt or uneven turning) and plagiocephaly (flat head) with the following tips:
Tip 1. Tummy time:
Tummy time should occur numerous times a day from birth. Start with short periods. For babies that dislike tummy time you need to get down on the with them or have them lie on your chest. Follow your baby’s cues and see a physiotherapist for more ideas. Babies with big heads, born early or with reflux may need more help.
Tip 2. Face time:
Face to face play time from birth. When lying on their back they should learn to hold their head straight ahead. Even newborn babies can turn their head from side to side to follow a toy or your face. Face time can include in your arms. Make eye contact, copy you baby and encourage them to turn their head.
Tip 3. Less containers:
Minimal time in carseats, bouncers, capsules and prams.
Tip 4. Carry position:
Carry them on both sides of your hip or shoulder. Face them in and out.
Tip 5. Sleep position:
Alternate the side of the head the baby sleeps on. Turn their head when they are asleep on their back. Alternate which side of the baby faces the wall in their cot for sleeps.
Tip 6. Play positions:
Vary their positions for play and carrying – on their back, sides and tummy.
Tip 7. Feeding position:
Breastfeed or bottle-feed from both sides. This includes changing the holds e.g. football hold.