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wtf - 3 week DD can only turn her head to the right?!

(23 Posts)
ElleDubloo Wed 19-Nov-14 10:05:47

I only noticed this over the past few days. Whenever we put her in the moses basket, she lies there with her head turned to the right, whether she's awake or asleep. I thought she might be fascinated by staring at something, so I turned the moses basket round 180 degrees - but her head is still turned to the right even though now she's staring at a blank wall. I propped up the right side of the mattress with towels so that gravity would give a hand - but her head is still turned to the right. I fed her to sleep and lay her down on her left hand side, then gently pushed her body so that she'd be lying on her back - but her head turned with her body and then plopped over to the right again.

I've heard of parents worrying about flat head syndrome. But I'm worried that she never sleeps on the back of her head, or on the left side.

Could this be a problem or am I over-reacting?? Could it be a sign that she had a problem with her neck? Or at the very least, I don't want her to get a D-shaped head!!

FraterculaArctica Wed 19-Nov-14 10:09:57

DS was like this for his first few weeks - it was just the way he'd been lying in the womb. We spent ages trying to get him to turn his head the other way, but he worked it out for himself by 5-6 weeks!

leeloo1 Wed 19-Nov-14 10:15:17

Take her for cranial osteopathy. They'll gentle release the trapped/tight muscle/nerves and she'll be as good as new. smile In the meantime keep putting things on her 'unfavoured' side to encourage her to want to turn that way.

Hedgehogging Wed 19-Nov-14 10:15:58

Is she actually capable of turning her head to the left at all?

This can sometimes be a sign of a problem with a muscle in the neck. A physiotherapist should be able to clarify and offer advice if needed!

NakedFamilyFightClub Wed 19-Nov-14 10:16:07

DS was a bit like this. He used to keep his head turned to one side when he has lying in his crib or on us.

We went to see a cranial osteopath after he got his tongue tie snipped and whatever she did seemed to work and loosened him up. I imagine he would have sorted himself out sooner or later though.

I know people cry quackery about cranial osteopaths but it was recommended to us by a breastfeeding consultant and the osteopath we went specialised in babies and children so we felt it was worth a go.

sleepingdragon Wed 19-Nov-14 10:16:29

My nephew was born recently and had this, it was called infant torticollis, or tight neck, caused by the position he was in in the womb, and is common apparently. If that's what your DD has it usually corrects itself on its own, but you can help by encouraging her to move her head in the direction she is reluctant to, to stretch and build the muscles on that side. My nephew had physio to correct it to- I'm not sure if it was necessary (they paid for it privately as they were worried) but apparently this is an option too if its severe.

OnMyWhistle Wed 19-Nov-14 10:17:06

One of my daughters had this as a newborn as a result of her birth. It was called torticollis I think and resolved itself quickly - ask your GP or HV if you are worried.

leeloo1 Wed 19-Nov-14 10:18:08

And yes, longterm, she could end up with a funny shaped head, as their bones are so malleable when little - although it also means that they can be corrected easily if you act quickly, so no need to panic.

Gingerandcocoa Wed 19-Nov-14 10:23:30

DS was like this. I used to turn his head to the other side once he was asleep as I was also afraid he'd get a flat head on one side. It worked until he was able to turn his head by himself - now he still prefers his left side sad. As a result his head is slightly flat.

From the research I did, there are normally two causes - one is physical, i.e. your baby might have a pulled muscle to one side which is why she prefers the other side. The other cause is just because she's used to that side, i.e. you normally hold her on one side so she is used to it. This leads to one of the sides of the neck muscle to become more stiff.

In my case, I had a physiotherapist come round and look at DS. She said his case was a preference rather than torticollis, so she taught me some exercises to stretch his less preferred side and help him be more comfortable with it. She also gave me lots of tips, for example hanging his toys on his less preferred side in his play gym, trying to get him to turn his head to look at me etc.

Last thing - I ended up getting DS a baby pillow to prevent / improve flat heads. After much research I got the Clevamama baby pillow, and two weeks later I can already see a difference! I know we're not supposed to use pillows but the physio said I could try to put the pillow underneath the sheet to avoid risk of suffocation. I have to say, he's been sleeping much better since I got the pillow too! If I have a second baby I think I will just use the pillow from birth. I really don't want my baby to have a flat head!!!

ElleDubloo Wed 19-Nov-14 10:30:40

Oh wow, I had no idea this was a thing. When I said she might get a D-shaped head, my husband laughed at me, but now I'm so glad I posted shock

I'm going to start using those strategies to get her to turn her head by herself. If nothing improves, I'll ask the GP at the 6-week checkup about cranial osteopathy or physiotherapy.

Thanks smile

EssexMummy123 Wed 19-Nov-14 10:37:12

We used cranial osteopathy (one session) for torticollis and also the community pediatric physiotherapist (referred by HV) the physiotherapist was amazed at the difference after the cranial osteopathy session. I think in future i'd be inclined to use a pillow under a sheet as DD also had a flat head and ended up with one ear larger than the other, this looks like it will just about correct itself but it doesn't always so i wouldn't leave it.

Gingerandcocoa Wed 19-Nov-14 10:40:33

It's only now becoming a thing since the guidelines for avoiding SIDS tell us to put babies to sleep on their backs... I read somewhere that up to 47% of babies nowadays have flat heads.

The earlier you address it the more likely it is it can be fixed, if you notice her head getting a bit flat please get the pillow!

StrangeGlue Wed 19-Nov-14 10:44:38

I second cranio oesteopathy. Sorted dd out a treat!

butterfly86 Wed 19-Nov-14 13:06:07

My dd was like this for the first few weeks def more than 3 weeks it was how she'd been used to lying inside every scan we had she was always in the same position breech with her face snuggled in to the placenta, her head was a little bit flat on that side but once she started turning it it was ok and is fine now. I remember the hv commenting on how she liked it on that side and to try and encourage her to lie on the other side but she wouldn't eventually she just did it on her own. If you hold him upright like against your chest can he move his head from side to side?

Hubb Wed 19-Nov-14 20:39:28

My son had this and developed a slightly flat bit on one side. As well as doing all the little things you can do at home that previous posters have suggested (like placing toys, gently moving your DDs head, position her so she has to turn to see you etc) tummy time can really help as well. Tummy time for a newborn seems weird (well it did to me) but they can do it from birth, and that will help strengthen your DDs neck muscles. And in that position I don't think she will be able to stay looking to the side.

Anyway one day DS just stopped favouring that side and started rolling to either side and now his head is a lovely round shape smile I wish someone had told me about it I spent ages worrying!

saltnpepa Wed 19-Nov-14 20:44:39

I'm sorry but I wouldn't trot off to the osteopath or anyone else with this, you need to go and see your GP and get a referral to a paediatrician. You want to make sure it is fully investigated and that she has the treatment that a qualified doctor has suggested.

owlbooty Wed 19-Nov-14 20:55:04

GP. They will refer to paediatric/community physio. My son was checked for torticollis when he started getting a flat head; thankfully he didn't have it (the flat head was purely down to his preferred sleeping position) but a good physio can do all the checks and give exercises to help stretch out the muscles on the tight side. If it's torticollis then it's pretty common and can be sorted out with relative ease, generally. Do not fret! Good luck.

letsplaynice Wed 19-Nov-14 20:57:42

My dd was like this she'd been breech with head stuck between my ribs and had a very flat sides head its sorted now!

Itsfab Wed 19-Nov-14 21:00:07

Sounds like she could have torticullus.

She needs her asymmetry checked and then exercises to do otherwise it could develop into plagiocephaly which brings other issues.

Though you will get lots of people and GPs saying it is cosmetic and no problem at all.

Itsfab Wed 19-Nov-14 21:04:23

There is no way of knowing any problem will sort itself out and I would put a lot of money on it not being the case.

I have had a lot of posts about this as my daughter was not looked after by doctors for months, given unnecessary and inappropriate tests and x-rays and was completely abandoned. We went to Harley Street in the end.

iwouldgoouttonight Wed 19-Nov-14 21:11:06

I didn't realise this was a thing. Both my DCs only looked one way for the first few weeks, DS to his left and DD to her right. I remember asking the HV about it at the time and she didn't think it was a problem. They both sorted themselves out and neither have odd shaped heads.

NancyJones Wed 19-Nov-14 21:14:33

Ds2 had this too. I was stunned at the difference one session of cranial osteopathy made.

Itsfab Wed 19-Nov-14 21:19:01

If it sorted itself out it wasn't a problem in the first place and not true torticollis and/or plagiocephaly.

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