Encompass Blog

Torticollis and Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers

July 1, 2021  |  Child Development, Early Intervention  |  By Rebecca Koch, OTR/L

What is Torticollis?blue hat baby

Torticollis is caused by a tight neck muscle which causes abnormal head positioning. If your baby has torticollis, you may notice him or her only looking to one side or having his or her head tilted towards one shoulder. If your baby has torticollis, you may also notice a flat spot on one side of their head and/or fussiness when you try to reposition their head.

Other signs you may notice:

  • Your baby sleeps with his or her head only looking to one direction
  • Hair loss or flattening of the head
  • Small bump on either side of the neck
  • Facial asymmetries
  • Only feeding to one side, especially with breastfeeding

What to do if you notice these signs?

If you are noticing any of the above signs, visit your pediatrician to help determine the cause of the torticollis. Either ask your pediatrician for a referral to Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers or contact Encompass directly at 425.888.3347 ext. 2303. Early assessment and treatment are important for promoting a quick recovery.

adult holding babyHow can Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) help babies with torticollis?

Treatment can depend on the severity and cause of torticollis.  Often, treatment focuses on stretches, positioning, and adapting daily routines.  The goal of treatment is to correct the muscle imbalance and keep your baby on track with reaching their developmental milestones. ESIT therapists are knowledgeable in all areas of development and will assist with monitoring progress and supporting your family’s goals.


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