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Many babies are born with a preference to look in one direction more than the other. There are several reasons why this may happen. It may be from baby’s position in the womb, it may be from their birth journey, they may have a stiff, sore or tight neck. It may also be that the muscles in their neck or back are tight and pulling them off centre.
When a baby has a preference to look to one side it can be a cause of issues with feeding in particular breast feeding. I frequently work with mums that are having difficulty with feeding and are suffering from sore and cracked nipples. Mum will often identify that her baby prefers to feed on one side more than the other. The route cause can be that her baby has a stiff or sore neck or tight muscles. It is important to know that this condition is treatable.
When left untreated and baby persists with preferring to look in one direction, this can lead to flattening of one side of the baby’s head. It can also lead impact on baby’s development.
The Irish Society of Physiotherapists in Paediatrics have recently updated their information leaflet on Plagiocephaly, more commonly known as flat head. Take a read. It offers lots of advice on ways to recognise and prevent flat head.
If you have tried all the suggestions offered and the problem still persists, it is important to seek timely assessment and treatment from a Chartered Physiotherapist who specialises in Paediatrics / Baby Physio.
If you have concerns contact your Public Health Nurse or GP and they will refer you to your local Community Paediatric Physiotherapist.
Patricia Weldon Paediatric Physiotherapist, Prenatal & Birth Practitioner, Pre-and Perinatal Educator