Parenting Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for parents, grandparents, nannies and others with a parenting role. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have never been worried about our 2yo sleeping half sitting with the head hanging. However today I met a person with really strong beliefs that it may cause neck injuries later in life.

Is there any danger with this? If so, for what age?

share|improve this question

Later in life, probably not as long as it's not an everyday habit. Some young babies will have early neck problems if they sleep with the head on one side everyday. I don't know the medical term for this condition, but they cannot turn the head on the other side until physiotherapy is performed. It happened to a friend's son and she warned us about it when she saw our daughter's tendency to look only on the left.

Anyway, have you ever slept with the head on one side all night long? I did and it's really painful when I wake up.

If you're travelling, in a car, train, plane, bus, anywhere a sleeping position is not available, then you don't have much choice. At worst he might wake up with a sore neck. But if you're at home, in front of tv or anything, put him to bed. Give him good sleeping habits from the start.

share|improve this answer
True - what happens if you sleep with the head on one side everyday is that the muscles and tendons on one side become shorter than those on the other side. Luckily the therapy is quite simple and painless - just bothersome. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 10 '11 at 8:21
FYI: the medical name for this condition is torticollis. – Marie Hendrix Jul 29 '11 at 0:24

I just asked my physiotherapist wife about this. She said she's not aware of any studies. At any rate, it's likely not lethal in itself but should be avoided anyway, if nothing else then for reasons of comfort.

share|improve this answer

My main issue here, is when we're driving and one of them fall asleep with their heads hanging. I know there's no probable scietific research about it, but I worry it would interfere with their breathing, so we always, always, reach over and right their heads. We've now even bought seats which have cushions on the side, so they can safely, and comfortably rest their heads. I don't know if there's an 'osteopathic' reasoning here, that they'll damage their necks, but it would worry me.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.