Most newborn babies can’t hold their heads pointed forward; you may notice that your baby’s head usually flops one way or the other. Because of how they were positioned in the womb, babies are actually born with a preference for turning their heads to a particular side.
Occupational therapists recommend turning your baby’s head from side to side to avoid a flat spot forming and neck muscles tightening.
Here's how to safely and gently turn your baby's head:
- Gently turn your baby’s head from side to side when they're in a carrier, during tummy time, while holding them, and when they're awake on their back.
- If you notice they're always looking to the same side, gently position them so they are facing the other way; offer them a black and white image to look at.
- Don’t force their head to turn if it seems tight, and talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Rachel Coley is a pediatric occupational therapist with advanced specialized training in infant neurodevelopment. Here is a link to her how-to video about head-turning.