Swaddling can be a godsend for any new parent. Most babies love the snuggly comfort of being swaddled, and it’s been proven to help them get the rest they (and you) need. While swaddling can be a helpful tool for new parents, it can also be harmful if done improperly.
A new study suggests that improper swaddling can put an infant at greater risk of hip dysplasia, an abnormal formation of the hip socket, preventing the hip from functioning normally.
According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, when swaddling, the legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. This allows for natural development of the hip joints.
Parents should ensure the baby’s legs are not tightly wrapped straight down and pressed together. When baby’s hips and knees are swaddled in an extended position, they’re at a greater risk of hip dysplasia and dislocation.
There are many ways to swaddle, with blankets or with specially made swaddle sacks. Whether you swaddle your baby with a blanket or by using the sacks, always be sure there is enough room for baby’s legs to move freely.