Torticollis Right head tilt left head turn L3 exercise program (2073)

Key points below

Level Three exercise program

These exercises and activities are for the older baby or toddler with torticollis. Only do these exercises if a physical therapist has talked to you about them. Call (414) 266-2858 with any questions or concerns.

Note: It is important for you to lay your baby on his tummy several times per day while awake and supervised. This is called “Tummy Time.” By the time they are 4 months old your baby should spend a total of 2 hours of time on their tummy per day.

Do the following exercises every day. Use very gentle pressure to stretch, and only do stretches when your baby is happy and calm. Stop stretching and try again later if your baby resists the stretch.

baby crawling

Sit to hands and knees

Start with your child in a sitting position. Bend your child’s right knee and put their right hand on the floor. Put your left hand on child’s left hip, your right hand on chest. Slowly turn the child’s trunk towards the right.

Help your child into a hands and knees position. In hands and knees, work on forward/backward rocking and weight bearing through arms.


baby walking on hands

Hands and knees

Put your child on hands and knees over a towel roll, boppy pillow or your leg. Help your child shift their weight from side to side to reach for a toy.

Help your child move their arms and legs to crawl. Put colorful toys in front of your child to get them to reach or crawl forward.

baby reaching up

Sit and reach up

Help your child to bring their hands together in the middle.

Have them reach overhead while sitting or kneeling.

baby kneeling


Put your child on their knees with a firm pillow or small bench in from of them. Have your child push on the bench with their arms.

As balance improves, try to get your child to reach up and to the sides or have your child kneel without arm support.


baby trying to stand

Pull to stand

Help your child pull to stand leading with the left foot. Gently hold down the right leg and help your child lean right. Guide the left foot up to be the leading foot, bending at hip and knee.



baby trying to balance

Standing weight shift

While your child is standing, help shift their weight from side to side. Try to get your child to reach sideways for toys.




baby bending


Help your child shift weight to one leg and lift the other leg up to walk sideways next to the couch or a coffee table. Have your child cruise to the right and the left. Start out cruising next to a surface that is chest high to your baby.


Side bending

Try to get your child to side bend to the right to reach for objects placed at their hip height on the right side. Look for an active head tilt to the left with no turn when standing up.

baby walking with cart


Walking with cart

Help your child walk behind a sturdy walking toy such as a small grocery cart. You may need to add some weight to the toy to slow it down. Your child’s toes should point forward and their head should be straight (not tilted).



Simple changes that can help your baby’s progress

Try to get your baby to look to the right by putting the car seat or seat swing so that the activity in the room is to the right of your child.  

Illustrations courtesy:      
Therapy Skill Builders Inc. 
(3830 E Bellevue, PO Box 42050, Tucson AZ  85733)
Visual Health Information (PO Box 44646, Tacoma WA  98444)
VORT Corporation (PO Box 60132, Palo Alto, CA  94306)


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or physical therapist if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.