Did you know that 2-3 of every thousand babies are diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia per year? Thanks to today’s medical advancements some cases are detected early but it wasn’t always like that.

I was born with hip dysplasia in the early 1980’s and have lived my entire life with hip and other problems because, in my day, the technology wasn’t there to detect things like bone malformation. There wasn’t any voice to spread awareness. Doctors (and parents) simply did not understand. I didn’t even fully understand until I was in my 20’s. Imagine had the tables been turned and they had known what to do and what not to do keep babies hips healthy.

The following is an important guest post on behalf of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute which is an organization that studies the disorder to maybe one day find a cure and helps spread awareness to parents who can help prevent its development in their babies.

When creating their lists of what to buy for a new baby, many expectant parents rely on friends and family for practical advice on what's really needed. Two must-have registry items, a swaddle and a baby carrier, may require a closer look to ensure that you are choosing the safest products for your baby. 

According to Dr Charles Price, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, "All parents want to select the best for their baby, and in many cases, this also means the safest. When it comes to selecting swaddle garments and a baby carrier there are specific features parents should look for to ensure their baby's proper physical development."

When babies are born, their hips are not fully formed. Products that support healthy hip development are a must to avoid the possibility of post-natal hip dysplasia. Products that do not properly support baby's growing body can directly affect a baby's hip development resulting in lifelong issues such as arthritis and other ailments leading to early hip replacement surgery.  

Safe Swaddling

Here are some simple tips for choosing swaddles and carriers that will ensure healthy hip development for your baby:

- Look for a swaddle garment that features a roomy bottom, allowing baby’s legs to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for the natural and proper development of the hip joints. 

- Any swaddle that wraps the baby’s legs straight or pressed together does not support proper hip development.

The right way to swaddle a baby:

Wrong way to swaddle a baby:

Baby Carrier Safety

A proper hip position is especially important during the first six months of baby’s life and when the baby is in a carrier for extended periods.

- Look for a carrier that allows baby’s legs to be in the “M” position with the thighs spread around the parents’ torso and the hips bent so the knees are slightly higher or level with the buttocks. The carrier should provide support from the thighs to the knee.

- In a proper carrier, your baby will be in a spread squat position and take on the look of a jockey.

Right way:

Wrong way:

The International Hip Dysplasia Institute was created to support parents and patients with hip dysplasia. They provide family support, preventive education and help patients identify physicians who can properly treat hip dysplasia. The U.S. based non-profit is also active in reducing the incidents of hip dysplasia around the world.

For additional information on hip dysplasia and hip healthy baby products, visit www.hipdysplasia.org!

*Guest post on behalf of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. This post is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional medical help if you feel you or your children may have HD. Opinions and comments on this blog are those of the author.*

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  1. Wow Alyssa, this is very informative! I had NO idea of proper ways to swaddle or carry a baby to help prevent hip dysplasia. I'm sorry you have to deal with ongoing pain and problems from this disorder. I know you have some pretty rough days dealing with this.

  2. Thanks for your kind words Sandy! My story is just one of thousands around the world. So many people are unaware of the dangers of positioning a young baby the wrong way! I’m happy to be able to help spread awareness! Thanks for visiting!


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