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Infants » Newborn Development

Newborns with a Head Tilt

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Six to ten week olds are at a gentle noisy but great stage. A child with a tilt to his head may have an immature muscular development. This child may also have had a head tilt in the womb. Be sure to have a pediatrician check his neurological development regularly because  a lot of babies activity is still reflexive and voluntary movement is just starting to emerge in the control of head, neck, eyes, and hands.

Infants love red, so have your child look at a red ball in the center or midline of the body and watch him shift his gaze from side to side as you move the ball. Encourage this gazing exercise, thinking of him as enjoying the exercise, not as something to worry about!

Infants enjoy lying across the knees, face down, so they can see things from different angles and which helps them shift the head and trunk of the body as well. Play and talk at the same time!

Gentle baby noises are excellent too…say, “whee.” say “oohh,” breathe into the neck and make splubering and bzzz sounds that create a closeness to the face and neck and shoulders.  Do this in different environments…a change of air, light, and temperature. These are excellent accompaniments to these exercises.

Talk to him, sing to him, as he looks at something orange, shiny or red or an interesting gentle sounding toy! Sudden and quick moves startle your baby and should be avoided! It is all about neurology and reflexes so calm and consistent sounds and activities are best. Also, while holding and talking, lean his body into your shoulder and slowly rotate his upper body, and change from side to side. He loves the touching and secure feeling.

When you are changing or feeding him, remember to talk, coo and snuggle, changing his position often…a bit right, a bit left, eyes up, eyes down, etc. Babies love faces, so talk to him from the center of his body, which is also the middle of his face and the midline of his body? Change his position often and prop him on his side, alternating when he is resting. Sit him in your lap and gently draw him up to sitting position by holding his shoulders and rocking forward, allowing his neck and head to come up, being careful to support him, as a kind of game.

These are suggestions that make all babies feel close and comfortable, are likely just routine-early month-behaviors.  Some babies get used to sleeping in one position. They can get rather flat skulls for a brief time if they always sleep to one side. So shift positions! He may feel just a bit too comfortable in that one place and needs to be encouraged to be active according to his personality and temperament!

Share frequently with your pediatrician all the different exercises you are trying on a warm thick surface on the floor, in the crib , on the changing table, in your arms etc. And let her/him know as you see head and body positions change!

Ask Dr. Susan