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Torticollis, a head turning preference or plagiocephaly

My baby’s head is flat and I am concerned they are only looking one way?

When babies are born the bones in their skulls are not fully fused, which is why we’re always so careful of protecting a newborn babies head (that and because of their lack of head control!). It is also one of the reasons there are guidelines about how long your baby can be in a car seat for. The biological reason for their skulls not being fully fused at the time of birth is so that your baby’s head can mould itself to be a little bit smaller in order to fit through the birthing canal when the time comes!

Your baby has 2 soft spots on their head; one at the back (posterior) and one at the front (anterior) of their head. These are called their fontanelles. The posterior fontanelle does not fully fuse until around 6 weeks old, which is why, after this point you can start going on longer car journeys with your little one in their car seat. The anterior fontanelle on the other hand does not fuse until 10-24 months.

Because of these soft spots, sometimes you might notice that your baby’s head is a slightly different shape when they are first born, especially if they needed a bit of extra help coming out. This should settle down within the first week or so however you may want to come and see our specialist children’s physio if you have any concerns, if their head shape hasn’t changed or if you notice:

  • That your baby has a preference to look to one side more than the other?
  • That they hold their head on a slight tilt, especially when they’re tired.
  • A flattened spot on one side of their head.


If so, they might have something called torticollis, a head turning preference or plagiocephaly. These are all really common conditions children sometimes acquire and here at The Back and Body Clinic, our paediatric physiotherapist is trained in the assessment and treatment in order to get the muscles in your baby’s neck and back working correctly.

Contact the clinic – Moulton 01604 493066

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