Hip dysplasia in babies and swaddling: the truth

Swaddling is a popular way to soothe your baby and studies have shown that it helps your baby to sleep longer and arouse less, among other benefits.

However, there’s concern that, when done incorrectly, swaddling may contribute to the development of hip dysplasia in babies.

Hip dysplasia in babies

In babies with hip dysplasia, the hip’s ball and socket don’t fit together properly.

While hip dysplasia can occur as a result of genetics or developmental delays, incorrect swaddling techniques can also contribute to this condition.

Research indicates certain cultures that advocate tight swaddling have more instances of hip dysplasia in babies.

When you wrap your baby too tightly, their leg movement is restricted – and, over time, this can contribute to the development of hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia is thought to affect around one in every thousand babies, and treatment usually involves a brace or surgery.

Hip dysplasia and swaddling

When you’re swaddling your baby, always remember that bub’s legs should hang naturally.

The legs should bend at the knees and be turned out at the hips (ie the froggie position).

Avoid pressing the legs together too tightly or completely straightening the legs.

It’s also important to avoid any carriers or car seats that may bring your baby’s legs together in an unnatural position.

The Sleepy Bub arms down swaddle

The Sleepy Bub Swaddle has been designed with healthy hip development in mind.

Our swaddle is made from stretchy cotton knit fabric which widens at the hips.

It’s loose enough to allow your baby’s legs to bend up and out at the hips and hang naturally in the froggie position.

Read more about our arms down swaddle here.

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