20 answers

6 Month Old Has Been Tilting Her Head to Side....

Curious if anyone has had this issue. My 6 month old daughter seems to randomly tilt her head to the left every once in awhile. She does it enough for me to notice and think that is kind of weird. She hasn't been tugging at her ear, so I'm pretty sure it is not an ear infection. Anyone have any ideas....?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi M.,

My son, when he was little, had ear infections.

He never cried, fussed or pulled at his ear, but, he did tip his head.
That was why I took him to the Dr.and was how I found out about the ear being infected.

Good Luck,

B.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

M.,

My daughter started doing this at around 6 months as well. Now at 10 months, she tilts it randomly to both sides. I guess I just thought she was looking at the world from a different angle. I haven't really worried about it. She has never had an ear infection or been sick at all really, except a few runny noses when she was teething. Of course you can look into what the other ladies said, but if it's just random and every once in a while, it's probably just exploration and curiosity.

A.

1 mom found this helpful

Is she smiling when she does it or playing as if she is being sweet or cute?
Make sure the dr knows when you go to your next visit. Let him see it. That will be the oppinion that matters.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
She could have an eye coordination problem, and tilting can help her use both eyes together. The American Optometric Association recommends an eye examination at 6 months of age to assess eye teaming, eye tracking, eye focusing, and eye health. Your pediatrician cannot assess these abilities. An optometrist or ophthalmologist has the skills to evaluate your daughter. There is a free examination program called InfantSee that provides a free, comprehensive examination to infants up till the age of 1 year. Find your local participating practitioner by logging onto the website: www.infantsee.org Best wishes, K.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

My son, when he was little, had ear infections.

He never cried, fussed or pulled at his ear, but, he did tip his head.
That was why I took him to the Dr.and was how I found out about the ear being infected.

Good Luck,

B.

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't take any chances at this age...take her to the Dr..

1 mom found this helpful

Hi i would ask the peds about it. My daughter was checked for that as well she favored one side and it could be something i forgot what it is called but basically its a muscle issue and can be easily fixed with pt i was told. But she actually corrected on her own.

Hope its nothing!

M.

1 mom found this helpful

My youngest daughter did the same thing.........and it turned out to be NOTHING. I remember feeling like something HAD to be wrong with her. I'd obsess everytime she did it!!!!!! Took her to the doctor and they assured me it was nothing. (She is now 17 months and stopped doing it around 11 months)

Try not to worry too much about it!!! They are just experimenting every day and it is probably a new sensation or way of seeing things for her! Also know that teething can cause them do do a lot of STRANGE things with their head/mouth etc......my daughter also walks around with both fingers in her ears sometimes, smiling. Doc said it is because her teeth are bugging her and it probably allevaites some of the pressure and/or pain.

Just to be sure though, I would take her to the doctor and have things checked out as I'm sure it COULD be a symptom of something! I have learned though that mother's intuition is usually right......if she seems happy, healthy and otherwise un-affected, it is probably something she will grow out of!

Good luck though!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

I have had the same issue with my daugther. I do not remember when she started but she tilted her head to the left. We have no probelms and every once in a while she will do it. I do not think it is anything to be concerned about.

R.

1 mom found this helpful

it may be an ear infection, even without the ear pulling. it may also be allergy related congestion, that causes that stuffy ear feeling. tilting her head my help relieve that and drain the fluid out of her ear. the best bet is probably to ask her doctor. just in case it is something that needs intervention.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
I have read thru all of the responses that you have received about your daughter's head tilt and think that you have gotten some really good information. I really want to encourage you to look into vision issues with your daughter. Your daughter may have 20/20 eyesight but still be having trouble with the way her eyes work together. There is an excellent website at www.childrensvision.com that I would encourage you to look at. Go to the section on the toolbar that says Vision and Learning....then go to the reading section. You will be able to see several different examples of the way your daughter might be seeing. You will also be able to read about how these problems can effect your child's ability to read.

Not all optometrists are qualified to diagnose visual processing issues. You need to find an optometrist with the initials FCOVD after their name. This stands for Fellow of College of Optometrists in Vision Development. My daughter is presently seeing Dr. Weinberg in Louisville. His telephone number is ###-###-####.

Your daughter's head tilt may be nothing or it may be a way for her to try to put her dominant eye in a better position to see. If she does this for a long period of time her brain will eventually "shut off" her other eye and she will "lose sight" in it.

The really good news is, that with therapy and exercise, your daughter's vision can be remediated!!!!

I would not put off having her vision tested by a qualified optometrist!!! We saw three different opthomolgists over the years and were told at each annual exam that there was "nothing wrong". We then began seeing an Occupational Therapist that told us that she believed many of the motor issues my daughter has are related to the way her eyes track. We then went to an optometrist specializing in Vision Development and learned that my daughter's eyes do not move together, do not focus together and "jump" when she tried to read. She thought everyone saw things the way she did and is only just now realizing that not everybody sees double.

Please don't put off having your daughter examined BY A CERTIFIED VISION DEVELOPMENT optometrist. This can have a huge impact on the way your daughter learns to move and how she does later in school!!!!

It is a relatively easy thing to "fix" with the appropriate therapy...much better than having her labeled learning disabled later in life!

Good luck!!

I would love to hear how she is doing some time!!

1 mom found this helpful

My son did this, too. However, we thought it was just a quirk of his and part of his personality. We found out later that it was because he had vision problems (amblyopia in one eye). We have since sought treatment and he wears glasses. We do "patch therapy" to try and strengthen the eye muscle. I don't want to worry you b/c it could be nothing. But, the way you described "tilting her head"...that's exactly what my son did, so, I thought I'd mention it. We go to Duke Pediatric Eye Center in Cary. They are amazing. If your insurance accepts them as a providor, you may want to check them out.

1 mom found this helpful

My friend has twins and one of the girls had the same symptoms and it turned out to be Torticollis. I would go to the doctor ASAP and address your concern. For my friend they tried PT and it improved some but not enough and she now wears a helmet. I beleive she was diagnosed around 5 or 6 months she is now 8 months and is doing better. It could be a million diffrent things though! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would take her to have her eyes checked. One easy way to tell is to lie her on her back on the ground and let her watch tv or put her on her changing table and watch what her eyes do. Look for any assymetry.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is four months old and she has started this also. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong, we just went to the doctor last week for a check up. But I have noticed that she only does it when she is in a really good mood and wants to play or show off (she can be a real ham when she wants to). I think it's just a way of playing, as long as it doesn't get any worse.

1 mom found this helpful

It might be a quirky thing she likes to do right now--My nephew did this and he ended up having something like a lazy eye. He just had eye surgery to correct the problem--and is doing great! Do you notice if she tilts her head when she looks a certain direction? Do her eyes move together when looking in all directions? Have your pediatrician check her if your still concerned. I hope that helps.

C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

My baby tilted her head to the side, but I never thought anything of it until our doctor mentioned "torticollis". I had never heard of it until he mentioned it to us. She had to do physical therapy which did wonders! Now, 11 years later, she is a young girl who is a superstar on the soccer field, does great in school, has loads of friends and is an awesome big sister and an incredible daughter!

Good luck to you!

Sandy

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,
You should ask your daughter’s Doctor the cause of her symptoms, if they are considered normal variations, the progress of her neck condition and if there are any interventions that can be performed to assist in her development. It would be important to find out if there are any measures you can take at home to monitor her progress or treat her condition.

Here are some possible causes:

Torticollis (also called congenital muscular torticollis) is a condition that causes a baby's head and neck to tilt to one side. It affects about 2 percent of newborns. The cause is unknown, but doctors suspect that when a baby is positioned in the uterus so that her head is tilted to the side and her neck is down, the blood supply to the neck is cut off. This results in some tightness in one of the two strap (or sternocleidomastoid) muscles that connect the breastbone, head, and neck, and allow a baby to turn her neck. Though the baby may look uncomfortable, this condition causes no pain. About 8 percent of babies born with torticollis will also have other problems such as hip dislocation.

How will I know if my baby has torticollis?
You'll probably notice one or both of the telltale symptoms: Your baby may hold her head to one side and have limited neck movement, or she may have a small bump on the side of her neck. Torticollis is usually diagnosed within the first two months of a baby's life because even if parents don't spot it, a pediatrician will. Babies with torticollis may also develop positional plagiocephaly (asymmetrical head shape) because they'll often sleep with their head turned to the affected side. There are also a few other less common forms of torticollis. One, called wryneck, which happens when one of the vertebrae doesn't develop completely. Another, called acquired torticollis, is a serious condition that can come on anytime after birth and is usually an indication of a more serious problem, such as a brain or spinal cord tumor. Your doctor may need to take X-rays or perform other tests to determine which form your baby has.

The condition, which does not affect normal brain growth and function, may include the following physical characteristics:

--The back of the head is flattened on the same side that the forehead is more prominent
--The ear on the side of the occipital flattening (at the back of head) can be larger and advanced forward, compared to the other ear
--The jaw can be asymmetric, with an upward slant on the same side as the shortened muscle
facial asymmetry, with one cheek appearing more full and one side of the forehead appearing more prominent than on the other side

How is it treated?
If your baby is found to have congenital muscular torticollis, you'll want to get her started on a stretching routine to lengthen and stretch her tight neck muscles. The doctor may show you the proper exercises (or refer you to a physical therapist), and you'll be required to perform them on your child several times a day. The moves aren't complicated, but if you're not comfortable doing them, ask your physical therapist to help you. You'll also want to provide as many opportunities as possible for your baby to turn her head to the other side. To that end, you should approach her from the non-affected side, encouraging her to turn her head in that direction. You can also place your baby to sleep with her head turned to the non-affected side. When she's awake, it's very important to give your baby plenty of time on her stomach. This will help to develop the muscles in her neck.

How long does it take to see results?
You'll probably see improvement within weeks. And as long as your baby's condition was discovered early enough — ideally by the age of 2 or 3 months — and she's following a rigorous stretching program, it should be fully corrected by age 1. (Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist to help stretch the muscles.) If, however, the muscles do not return to their normal length and your baby doesn't have a normal range of motion by the time she's 18 months old, your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon, who may recommend surgery to lengthen the muscles. Surgery is necessary in about 15 percent of cases.

1 mom found this helpful

my daughter just startees to do it too at 6 months. it makes me crazy. took her to dr and no ear infection. did it ever turn out to be anything in your case?

Wow...the other responses are kind of surprising. My son is 8 months old and I work with someone who has a 9 month old. They both will tilt their head to the side and lean. We just attributed it to them becoming more mobile and trying out their balance.

Can it be her hearing is better in one ear than the other? If not, I wouldn't worry about it. Kids do all kinds of goofy things and then grow out of it. Just to be sure, you should take her to see her pediatrician. Good luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.