By Devan McGuinness, byDevan.com
Babywearing is a special way we can keep our babies close, happy, and comforted, but if you’re not following all the safety measures, your babywearing could be doing more harm than good. Not only do you have to make sure your baby is within the weight limits of the specific carrier, you need to be aware of something called hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia, as defined by WebMD, is “a hip problem a baby is born with or that happens in the first year of life. In this condition, the top of the thighbone does not fit securely into the hip socket. This problem may affect one or both hip joints.” Infants are prone to experiencing hip dysplasia for a few reasons including family history, the position they laid in while in the womb, and because their joints are still developing and is routinely checked by pediatricians in their well-baby checks as your baby grows.
Hip health in infants is important to consider for all babies because while they were growing in the womb, they spent a lot of time with their knees and hips bent and it may be easier to do damage than we think. According to The International Hip Dysplasia Institute, “If the hips are forced into a stretched-out position too early, the ball [of the hip joint] is at risk of permanently deforming the edges of the cup shaped socket,” and thus causing hip dysplasia.
What you need to know about Hip Dysplasia and Babywearing ? In babywearing, the position of your baby’s hips plays a big factor in their hip health and if done incorrectly, it may cause or exasperate developmental hip dysplasia. It is important to understand the proper position of your baby’s hips while in a carrier and follow the guidelines to happy hip health.
What does a happy hip in a baby carrier look like?
Your baby’s legs need to be spread apart with their hips open and knees bent and supported by the carrier. Your baby’s thigh needs to be supported by the knee joint, which can be achieved by ensuring the hips are open (it’s sometimes referred to as the “frog position”). If you are wearing your baby in a sling, you need to make sure their legs are apart and not forced to stay together.
It’s important to choose a baby carrier that fits your baby’s weight and shape well to ensure their hips will be supported. Any amount of time your baby is in their carrier with hips improperly supported they can cause damage to the joints and are at risk for hip dysplasia.