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Doctor insights on: Will Letting My Baby Sleep On His Side Cause A Stiff Neck

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Will letting my baby sleep on his side cause a stiff neck?

Will letting my baby sleep on his side cause a stiff neck?

No; not a good idea: Letting your baby sleep on his side shouldn't cause a stiff neck, but this position is not recommended for sleep because of the risk of sids. Babies should sleep on their backs; the incidence of sids is lower than if babies sleep on their sides. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
5,028 doctors shared insights

Sleep (Definition)

Sleep is a topic that involves concepts such as how long it takes to fall asleep, how many times one wakes up at night, how many hours one sleeps at night, sleep stages, ...Read more


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4 month old baby started rolling on stomach in sleep and is sleeping more comfortably. Will he turn head to side? Sometimes hes face down in matress.

4 month old baby started rolling on stomach in sleep and is sleeping more comfortably. Will he turn head to side? Sometimes hes face down in matress.

Two issues: First, I never worry about whether a baby shifts their position at night when they have the physical ability to role. Second, since SIDS is associated with belly sleeping, I don't put them down on their belly for the first year. Yes they can turn their head, and we belly slept babies up until 1992 when the back to sleep movement began. Since then we have seen a 40% decline in SIDS ...Read more

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My baby is 2mths old. He squirms a lot while sleeping on his back. He moves his neck from side to side vigorously. What is causing this?

My baby is 2mths old. He squirms a lot while sleeping on his back. He moves his neck from side to side vigorously. What is causing this?

Normal.: You'll probably notice a lot of weird things when your baby sleeps. The breathing rate can change, he can cry out for no reason, he can move his head back and forth, side to side, then be still. This is no cause for concern. Lots of babies do this. ...Read more

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Picked my new born baby up forgot to support neck and head my baby head kinda flopped back did I hurt him? Will this cause problems in the future ?

Picked my new born baby up forgot to support neck and head my baby head kinda flopped back did I hurt him? Will this cause problems in the future ?

Most unlikely: If damage had been done your baby would be very unhappy particularly with head movementif baby did not cry when this occurred I think you are OK. If baby has full range of motion of his head without discomfort you have done no damage. Do not worry. However, If he seems to have tenderness with head movement see his PCPfor evaluation right away ...Read more

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My baby now is sleeping on his side and seems to be causing his flat head to worsen. What should I do?

My baby now is sleeping on his side and seems to be causing his flat head to worsen. What should I do?

Be patient : It is difficult and sometimes dangerous to force your baby to sleep in certain positions, the best you can do is to make the crib safe, use good sleep hygiene techniques - cool bedroom, quiet area to sleep, no super late feedings, same routine before bed to quiet baby down every night, a lot of patience, and review your baby's head shape with your pediatrician regularly. Helmets are NOT good idea ...Read more

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My baby is 9 weeks old and he tends to sleep or keeps his head on the right side, how do I make him to stay on left side as well?

My baby is 9 weeks old and he tends to sleep or keeps his head on the right side, how do I make him to stay on left side as well?

Two steps: You can often alter babies habit by setting them down to sleep is opposite positions on alternate nights. Head to the top then the next night to the bottom of the crib.Babies tend to turn away from the wall to see you come in.You can also gently turn the head to both sides while playing to make sure the neck muscles move freely.If tight moving to one side, talk with your doc about other options. ...Read more

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My daughter was trying to hold our 4 day old baby and she let go of her head a little and it flopped back pretty hard. Can this cause any damage?

My daughter was trying to hold our 4 day old baby and she let go of her head a little and it flopped back pretty hard. Can this cause any damage?

Yes: When you say " flopped back pretty hard" this concerns me. Please bring the baby in for an exam by the pediatrician in the morning. Careful retinal exam is in order. If baby has poor feeding, vomiting or listlessness, bring her to ER now and just tell the story exactly as it happened. ...Read more

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Can sleeping on ur back in pregnancy hurt the baby? What's the big deal about sleeping on my back ? Can sleeping on back cause the baby heart to stop?

Can sleeping on ur back in pregnancy hurt the baby? What's the big deal about sleeping on my back ? Can sleeping on back cause the baby heart to stop?

I vote "It's a myth": Normal pregnant women, or any woman, may sleep in whichever position she finds comfortable. Getting a good night's sleep is important, regardless of whether one is pregnant or not. All over the internet, people post "advice" (but without "proof") about pregnancy sleep positions, but one can read about some actual research results at: http://www.jogc.com/abstracts/full/200710_Commentary_1.pdf ...Read more

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My wife hit her head on the floor 2 weeks ago. She haschattering lips and/or teeth - mostly when in bed. It may change to leg spasms or a hand will shaking. Is it serious?

My wife hit her head on the floor 2 weeks ago. She haschattering lips and/or teeth - mostly when in bed. It may change to leg spasms or a hand will shaking. Is it serious?

See a doc ASAP: Take her to see a general physician as soon as possible. It may or may not be related to the fall but it's not worth taking the risk. The general practioner will be able to lead you to a specialist who can determine if the 2 events are related. ...Read more

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My mom can feel both of her lymph nodes and can see a little ball size Knott on her left side of the neck when turns her head is that not normal?

My mom can feel both of her lymph nodes and can see a little ball size Knott on her left side of the neck when turns her head is that not normal?

Not necessarily: You mentioned two nodes. People have more than two nodes . If someone has enlarged nodes she should see a doctor to have this checked out. Not normal to have such enlarged nodes Best wishes. ...Read more

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My 7-month old baby shakes his head from side to side when he's tired. He also flaps his arms a lot all the time. Is this normal?

My 7-month old baby shakes his head from side to side when he's tired.  He also flaps his arms a lot all the time.  Is this normal?

Usually normal: Head banging and arm flapping is a common way for children to soothe themselves and usually nothing to worry about. However, in some kids it can be part of a developmental problem. Frequent head banging or arm flapping, particularly if you're worried about a developmental delay or unusual social interactions, should be evaluated by a doctor. ...Read more

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My boyfriend seems to suck on his tongue when he's sleeping. Can this cause problems?

My boyfriend seems to suck on his tongue when he's sleeping. Can this cause problems?

Not usually: This is a common problem. A mouthguard at night may help with sucking and grinding of teeth. It is unlikely to cause any long term problem. ...Read more

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My daughter has to wear elastics with braces at nightand it gives her a big headache on her left side of her head. How long does it last? Is it normal

My daughter has to wear elastics with braces at nightand it gives her a big headache on her left side of her head. How long does it last? Is it normal

Local myalgia: Local muscle pain. Muscle co-contraction (i.e., muscle splinting) is a reflex protective response. Muscle co-contraction is characterized by local muscle soreness, restricted range of motion, pain that increases with movement. This is the underlying cause of headache. Once the elastics are loosened up the condition will improve. ...Read more

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When a child always lies on his left side to sleep, can it make his rib development assymetric?

When a child always lies on his left side to sleep, can it make his rib development assymetric?

Possibly: This is potentially more likely in an infant that cannot roll over at all. In older children sleeping on one side should not make ribs develop asymmetrically as the child is up and moving all day. We are all asymmetric ...I have had success with chiropractic adjustments, massage, and craniosacral therapy resolving such asymmetry as these release fascia and muscles that can misalign the bones. ...Read more

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Can a toddler shake them self to much to cause a brain bleed? My toddler rocks back and forth hitting his back hard on the couch repeatedly.

Can a toddler shake them self  to much to cause a brain bleed? My toddler rocks back and forth hitting his back hard on the couch repeatedly.

Unlikely: A baby can not causes any significant brain damage by their own movements. Now if they fall or hit their head on something, them the fall could cause damage. If a toddler is have a tantrum, for example, and they are kicking and screaming on a hard floor, they can cause at the extreme some local cuts or bruising but very unlikely to cause actual brain damage. ...Read more

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How big of a red flag for autism is asymmetrical crawling. My baby is 8 months old and also will twirl her arm and wave left hand up and down on occas?

How big of a red flag for autism is asymmetrical crawling. My baby is 8 months old and also will twirl her arm and wave left hand up and down on occas?

It's more of a red : flag that she needs a neurological exam by her pediatrician. Depending on prenatal, perinatal & post-natal history, there may have been changes in development of the white matter of her brain on the side opposite the extremities she disregards or doesn't use as well. If deep tendon reflexes & muscle tone/strength are asymmetrical, an MRI & pediatric neurology consult are warranted. ...Read more

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My baby has a stiff neck. What is the best position to lay her in?

My baby has a stiff neck. What is the best position to lay her in?

Complicated Question: If your baby has already been examined by their pediatrician, and the stiff neck determined to not be related to meningitis, they should still be put to sleep on their back. When awake, there are certain stretching exercises and positioning that can help, but they should be individualized to your baby. Your doctor or a physical therapist will guide you. ...Read more

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Dr. Mitchell Cohn
569 doctors shared insights

Neck Strain (Definition)

Causes pain and discomfort with neck movement and can occur due to muscle strains, ...Read more