Benefits of Swaddling & the Importance of Healthy Hip Positioning
Sleep is a precious commodity for newborn babies and their parents. By two years of age, a child will have spent more time asleep than awake. Deep, restorative sleep is essential for babies’ mental and physical development, and the well-being of their caregivers.
The practice of swaddling is an age-old technique for settling babies. For centuries, parents have found that swaddling can provide comfort for fussy babies, reduce crying, and develop more settled sleep patterns. Swaddling mimics the position of the baby in the womb, calming and soothing a baby’s transition into the world. Research shows that correct swaddling also reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
- Swaddling has been used for centuries in many different cultures
- Swaddling mimics the position of the baby in the womb
- Swaddling prevents spontaneous movements that startle your baby awake
- Swaddling promotes longer periods of deep sleep
- Research says that correctly swaddled babies sleep safer
The Importance of Healthy Hip Positioning
An increasing number of medical experts are warning parents with young infants about the potential risks of hip dysplasia or ‘clicky hips’ developing from tight, restrictive swaddling.
After birth, it takes several months for babies’ joints to stretch out naturally. Advocacy group the International Hip Dysplasia Institute says the most unhealthy position for the hips during infancy is when the legs are brought together with the hips and knees pressed straight, which is the opposite of the fetal position. The IHDI states, “For swaddling to allow healthy hip development, the legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips.”
Leading neonatal paediatrician Dr Howard Chilton, based at Prince of Wales Private Hospital and Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women, warns that “there seems to be an increase in the number of infants developing 'developmental dysplasia of the hip’ in the latter half of their first year and later”. Medical research is suggesting that this is happening from “tight sleeping bags where the baby's legs are extended out and wrapped firmly over these months.”
Dr Chilton reassures that “swaddling is OK so long as the hips are flexed; and babies prefer that flexed posture too - as it reminds them of their position in the womb.”
- Babies need to be able to move their legs freely and bend them in a natural ‘froglike’ position
- Restrictive lower limb wrapping increases the risk of hip dysplasia or ‘clicky hips’
- Parents are advised to look for a Baby Swaddle that has been acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) as a ‘hip healthy’ product.
The Ergobaby Swaddler protects the development of babies’ hips with its unique, patented Healthy Hip Positioner which keeps the hips in the recommended ergonomically correct “frog-leg” or “M” position.