There are many benefits that come from swaddling a baby or infant who is suffering from Hip Dysplasia. If your little one has been diagnosed with any type of hip problems they should not be deprived of the comfort that swaddling provides. Babies with Infant Hip Dysplasia need to avoid swaddling the hips and knees. Hip Dysplasiais a medically diagnosed instability, or slackness in the hip joint that affects thousands of newborns each year. The diagnosis for Hip Dysplasia ranges from mild instabilities to complete dislocations. It is thought that, on average 1 in 20 full-term babies has some hip instability that will require treatment.
Swaddling your baby the wrong way can also cause serious hip problems. It is important to safely swaddle your child with their hips free to move and not tightly strapped or with their legs straight out and together. Safe baby swaddles will allow your baby to hold his or her hips bent up like they were when the baby was born and should also allow room for the legs to move freely.
Swaddling is an age old technique of wrapping one’s baby up snuggly and warmly to help comfort them and to help them sleep soundly. There are a number of advantages to the technique, not least it is thought to assist a baby control their startle reflexes and thus promote a longer and sounder sleep. For newborns particularly, a cosy swaddled environment can assist in keeping them toasty and warm, when their internal thermostat hasn’t yet kicked in. When I had my first child and wasn’t particularly sure on how to help her to reach a sound sleep, midwives a plenty were keen to give me my first lesson in how to swaddle her properly. This proved extremely helpful for my overstimulated baby and provided her with a warm environment no doubt similar to the blissful state of my womb, which had been her home for the previous 9 months.
However, the swaddling of a baby needs appropriate care and attention to ensure that the baby is not wrapped incorrectly and so that certain risks are managed. Improper swaddling techniques can not only lead to overheating (a SIDS risk) but also can be a factor that leads to hip dysplasia. Too tight a wrap may leave a baby with restricted leg movement where legs can stay locked in an unnatural position for long periods of sleep time. This can lead to a loosening of the hip sockets; a key factor in developmental hip dysplasia. Don’t let this put you off using the tried and tested means of comforting a baby at their rest time, just ensure that you follow safe swaddling guidelines and consider using a swaddling wrap such as the (Spaghetti Wrap) that has hip healthy swaddling as one of its core features. There are a huge variety of swaddling wraps and blankets on the market, but do your research, as some have been specifically designed to negate the risk of SIDS in addition to the risks of hip dysplasia.
ADVANTAGES OF SWADDLING AN INFANT WHO HAS HIP DYSPLASIA
- Provides comfort to fussy & overstimulated babies
- Mimics the conditions of the mother’s womb
- Can reduce crying and settling time for newborns
- Can assist in the development of sleep routines and patterns
- Can prevent the baby from scratching themselves
- Can help a baby to stay warm and snug; particularly for those with undeveloped body thermostats
- Can encourage longer sleep periods
- Minimizes the startle reflex and thus the possibility of waking up unnecessarily
RISKS OF NOT SWADDLING A BABY PROPERLY
A poor swaddling technique can lead to a number of risks to the health and safety of the baby:
- If used incorrectly with too many additional blankets, swaddling can lead to a baby overheating
- Too tight a wrap can be factor that leads to hip dysplasia or dislocation
- Excessive swaddling may lead to respiratory issues
- Some babies simply do not enjoy swaddling and may become upset when wrapped. There are many options for swaddling and Groove Child stock a range of the best baby swaddles on the market.
HOW TO SAFELY SWADDLE A BABY
If wrapping with a blanket or cloth the following steps to swaddling will help you achieve a safe environment for your baby. (Guidelines provided by The International Institute of Hip Dysplasia)
- If using a square cloth, fold back one corner creating a straight edge.
- Place the baby on the cloth so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level. If using a rectangular cloth, the baby’s shoulders will be placed at the top of the long side.
- Bring the left arm down. Wrap the cloth over the arm and chest. Tuck under the right side of the baby.
- Bring the right arm down and wrap the cloth over the baby’s arm and chest. Tuck the cloth under the left side of the baby. The weight of the baby will hold the cloth firmly in place.
- Twist or fold the bottom end of the cloth and tuck behind the baby, ensuring that both legs are bent up and out.
It is important to leave room for the hips to move.
Swaddling has been around for literally centuries, but in today’s modern age, there are a number of commercial products available on the market that make swaddling a baby simple and fuss free. Just make sure that you find a swaddling product suitable for your needs and that you follow the user guidelines. A well designed product should provide you with easy to follow instructions to enable proper use.
I created Groove Child to provide other mothers like me with the best Swaddles and Wraps for newborns, babies and toddlers. I have three children and have road tested all the products that I sell, and I stand by all the products on my site as the top of the range and the best for you and your baby. Groove Child is about providing the safest and most high quality products on the market. I am about tried and tested baby products that have a world-wide reputation for quality, dependability and safety. I live and breath to find and create the best baby products for other mums, who, like me want safe, natural and organic products for their children.
After, years in the "Baby Business" my third was born and needed special care as well as minimal and hip free swaddling. And so the Spaghetti Wrap was born. It is specifically designed for hip free swaddling and has massive benefits to children with Hip Dysplasia, those who want hip free swaddling, or those who live in hot climates.
Whether you are using a commercial product or the old fashioned cloth/blanket method, always ensure that you follow SIDS safe sleeping guidelines and ensure that the swaddled baby is laid to sleep on its back, face up.
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