Some doctors warn that swaddling may cause baby hip dysplasia. Indeed, cultures using ancient methods of swaddling (with rigid, fully straightened legs, tightly bound with blankets or ropes) have more infant hip dysplasia and adult hip arthritis.
Fortunately, there have been no reports of increased hip problems over the past decade despite millions of infants having been swaddled. America’s top pediatric hip experts, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, and the International Hip Dysplasia Institute all encourage parents to swaddle…but only when it is done correctly.
The key is to not swaddle the legs tightly together, like a cigar. “Hip-healthy” wrapping holds the arms very snug but lets the knees bend, and the hips easily flex and open. (Happiest Baby's hip-safe SNOO Sack, a.k.a. the 5-second swaddle, pictured above) takes the guesswork out of it!)
Note: If your baby has a known hip risk factor, such as breech delivery, club foot, torticollis, a hip click noted during a physical exam, or a family history of hip dysplasia, ask the doctor if you should use a triple diaper to keep your baby’s hips open for extra protection vs. hip dysplasia in babies.
Dr. Karp demonstrates a safe and easy-to-remember swaddling method called the “DUDU” wrap in The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. And SNOO, used with the hip-safe SNOO sack, is the only bed that gives peace of mind that your baby will sleep safely on the back…all night! Learn more.