Posted by Kate Vaney on 15th Feb 2014



Has your baby been diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia ? Whilst it is distressing news to hear that anything is ‘wrong’ with your baby, the good news is that early detection is key and with the appropriate treatment hip dysplasia will not have any long lasting impact on your child. That said, as a parent, you want to do all you can to provide your baby with comfort especially helping ensure that they sleep soundly and rest well.

A baby with hip dysplasia should still be able to receive the benefits of safe swaddling; to be wrapped in a cocoon of softness to alleviate the startle reflex to help them sleep for longer. Groove Child considered all of these factors and more to ensure that the Spaghetti Wrap could also be used by those receiving treatment for Hip Dysplasia conditions. The design and simplicity of the Spaghetti Wrap means it can be used by babies with hip dysplasia, and is compatible with a range of treatment harnesses and casts including the Dennis Browne Bar, the Pavlik Harness and additionally the Spica cast.

  • Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is a dislocation of the hip caused by an abnormal development of the hip joint in some babies. The ball at the top of the thighbone is not stable within the hip socket. The ligaments of the hip joint may also be stretched and loose. This used to be called Congenital Dislocation of the Hip (CDH).
  • Babies with DDH often need to wear a special brace (medically called an orthosis). The Dennis Browne Bar (DB Bar) is one type of brace used to treat DDH. The DB Bar has cuffs that go around the thighs and are attached to a bar. This holds the hips and knees up (flexed) with the legs apart (abducted). This position allows contact between the thigh and hip bones and helps the muscles and ligaments to strengthen while the hip is developing.Your surgeon or paediatrician may advise that your baby wears the DB bar either:
    • 24 hours a day without removing it at all OR
    • all the time except when bathing OR
    • only when sleeping

    Dysplasia Baby

    Home care

    • When putting the brace on make sure the foam tabs are on top and the buckle is facing you.
    • Straps come from the back of the brace running over the top of the thigh through the buckle then back upon themselves to attach on the back of the cuff.
    • Always put a material lining on the skin under the cuffs (cotton socks with the foot cut off work well)
    • Each cuff should be fastened firmly around the thigh with a snug fit.
    • The bar should sit underneath the bottom when your baby is on their back.
    • Clothes go over the top of the brace.

    Getting used to the brace:

    • It takes some babies a couple of days to get used to the brace. Some babies may cry or seem unsettled for the first couple of nights. This should settle down after a few days.

    Hygiene and skin care:

    • If your doctor has said that the brace must be worn 24 hours a day, it can not be taken off for bathing. Your baby needs to be sponge bathed. The orthotist will show you how to do this.
    • Monitor your baby's skin daily. Take care to clean your baby's skin and if you notice any skin irritation or redness, contact the orthotist.
    • If you are able to take the brace off for bathing then dry the skin well with a towel before putting the brace back on. When bathing your baby pay particular attention to the creases at the back of the knees and near the hips. The brace will also need to be cleaned. Change and wash the material lining at least once every day. The inside of the cuffs and the brace also need to be washed and towel dried at least once every day. See Cleaning the bracesection immediately below for more information.
    • We strongly suggest not to use any creams or powder under the brace unless advised otherwise.

    Cleaning the brace

    • If you are allowed to remove the brace, use a soft nail brush and some baby soap to clean the foam.
    • Rinse and wipe well and towel dry.
    • Do not use a hairdryer to dry the brace.
    • If you cannot remove the brace, wipe the inside of the cuffs with a face washer and then dry well.
    • Avoid wetting the velcro straps and make sure the brace is completely dry before putting it back on your baby.
    • The inside of the cuffs of the brace need to be washed and towel dried at least once every day.

    Nappies and clothing

    • Your baby can wear nappies as normal with the Dennis Browne Bar.
    • Do not hold your baby's feet together during nappy change.
    • Only loose fitting clothes should be worn over the brace.


    • You can keep breastfeeding your baby while the DB Bar is on. You will need to find a position that is both comfortable for you and your baby. Extra pillows may help.

    Positioning of your baby

    • Your baby will need to sleep on their back while the DB Bar is on. It is important to change your baby's position to avoid a 'flat spot' developing on their head. The skull bones are very soft and the pressure of being in one position for too long can affect the shape of their head, making it flat at the back. (See factsheet on plagiocephaly for more information).
    • During sleep time the position of the baby's head should be varied to ensure the baby does not favour a particular side (left or right).
    • Supervised tummy time will decrease the risk of your baby developing a flat spot on the back of the head. It will also promote body stability, limb co-ordination and head control in your baby.


    • The orthotist will arrange regular appointments to monitor your baby's growth and adjust the orthosis as needed. You need to book in advance to see the orthotist and organise the appointment to be on the same day as you see the doctor. You will need to see the orthotist after you have seen the doctor.
    • Contact the orthotist if you have any questions or concerns about your child's treatment or the DB Bar.

    Key points to remember

    • Your baby may cry a little or seem unsettled for the first couple of nights after the brace is fitted. This should settle after a couple of days.
    • Monitor your baby's skin every day. Thoroughly clean your baby's skin and if you notice any skin irritation or redness, phone the orthotist.
    • If you have been told that you can take the brace off try to keep your baby's legs apart. Especially when bathing your baby, changing nappies or putting your baby to sleep.
    • The inside of cuffs and the brace need to be cleaned at least once a day. Make sure the brace is completely dry before putting it back on your baby.

    For more information

  • Disclaimer

This is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easily understood. Groove Chils accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in the handouts.