Guide To Recognise Baby Stiff Neck

Baby Torticollis 

About 1 in 250 infants are born with torticollis. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop a head tilt. It can be present at birth or take up to 3 months to develop.

Some babies with torticollis will also develop a flat head (positional plagiocephaly) due to resting the head on one side all the time.

If the issues are still ongoing as the child grows older, it will get more difficult to treat and will affect the child’s quality of life.

So an early diagnostic through assessment is primordial.


How to recognise it:

  • Tilt the head in one direction
  • Prefer looking at you over one shoulder instead of turning to follow you with his or her eyes
  • If breastfed, have difficulty breastfeeding on one side (or prefers one breast only)
  • Work hard to turn toward you and get frustrated when unable turn his or her head completely


Do a simple test:

  • Lay your baby down on his or her back on a flat surface.
  • Take a colourful toy, which makes noise (ex: a baby rattle).
  • Move the toy in front of your baby’s eyes in a half circle from the surface at the right side of your baby to his left side.
  • Repeat the test  both ways


If you see that your baby has difficulties turning his head on one side when following the toy, there is a chance that he or she has a torticollis.

If you are worried or suspect your child might suffer from a stiff neck or a flat head syndrome, you can contact one of our paediatric physiotherapists to assess him or her and to start a rehabilitation program.

If you are still not sure if your baby needs treatment, Baby Physio now offers a “ Complete Baby Check Up” where one of our specially trained chartered physiotherapist will check your baby from head to toe.

Call us now on 02071250262 or email us here for more information