12/1/11

Swaddling and Hip Dysplasia


Don't swaddle your newborn? You should! It helps a tired baby sleep well and an upset baby calm down.

But did you know that doing it incorrectly can lead to hip dysplasia? I remember this being mentioned quickly in school but I haven't really heard it mentioned in many other places so I have a feeling there are many of you out there who don't know about this. Even those of you with great pediatricians. I think it is often passed over because there is so much to go over and because some pediatricians are unaware of the connection.

First off, if you're not sure what hip dysphasia is, you can take a look here . In short, it is an abnormal hip joint which causes hip instability and/or looseness and can lead to various problems. It is treatable. It is routinely looked for (maybe you've noticed your pediatrician moving your baby's hips around?) by your pediatrician. It is sometimes difficult to find and is missed. This recently happened to one of my nieces so always keep your eyes open for the symptoms. The sooner the treatment the better.

How to Swaddle the Correct Way
Pretty much, you need to swaddle in a way that allows baby's legs and hips to still move (legs should be able to bend up and out at hips) while keeping baby's upper body nice and snug. This is somewhat tricky with a normal blanket if you want to keep a good tight upper body swaddle and don't want baby to break out of the swaddle. I think specifically made swaddle blankets or swaddle pods are much easier to use and less likely to cover baby's face. Check out some swaddle tips while using a normal blanket here. Learn more about swaddling in the post swaddling.

Helpful docs here and here.

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