Did I tell you my sister just had a baby? She is just the cutest thing ever. And so tiny! I’m used to my 9+ pounders so Evangeline Leigh seems like such a little peanut. There are so many things to worry about as a new parent. Little Evie started spiked a temp last weekend, and suddenly the new, exhausted parents found themselves in the hospital for two days.
All is well, but lots of hand washing and sanitizer usage ensued. And the latest scare? Hip dysplasia. I have always been a huge proponent of swaddling (we lovingly call our blankets “baby straightjackets”) and baby wearing, but I had no idea they could be dangerous if done incorrectly. After seeing this 9 Reasons Not To Carry Your Baby Facing Out article I started researching hip dysplasia and wanted to share some of what I found. I encourage you to do your own investigating as well!
What is hip dysplasia?
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute defines Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip or DDH as general instability, or looseness, of the hip joint.
“Within the womb, baby spends a long time tucked in the fetal position, in which both hips and knees are bent or flexed…. If the hips are forced into a stretched-out position too early, the ball is at risk of permanently deforming the edges of the cup shaped socket (hip dysplasia) or gradually slipping out of the socket altogether (hip dislocation).
“The most unhealthy position for the hips during infancy is when the legs are held in extension with the hips and knees straight and the legs brought together, which is the opposite of the fetal position. The risk to the hips is greater when this unhealthy position is maintained for a long time….The healthiest position for the hips is for the hips to fall or spread (naturally) apart to the side, with the thighs supported and the hips and knees bent.” (source)
Safe baby carriers
Babywearing is good for both baby and mom if done properly. Mom needs good back support, and baby needs proper hip support.
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute illustrates what to look for in a carrier:
When you think about it, you wouldn’t want to dangle in a position with all of your weight in the crotch either! A bent leg, more seated position puts far less pressure on the hip joint because the legs are spread, supported, and the hip is in a more stable position. You can also find illustrations of proper baby sling and car seat positioning. (source)
Over the years, I’ve worn baby in all the “incorrect” ways until finally discovering that carriers like the Boba are the most comfortable, supportive and convenient.
I am a huge, HUGE fan of swaddling. My kids always calmed down after being wrapped and generally slept longer. This is my favorite baby item of all time.
But swaddling needs to be done correctly. I watched this video and breathed a sigh of relief that I was doing okay!
Were you familiar with hip dysplasia? Share your stories in the comments!