{Hip-Healthy} Ways to Hold and Carry Young Babies | {by Betsy Miller}

As part of Development Dysplasia of the Hip focus month on a {Life} Twintastic I’m excited share our second guest post, this time by Betsy Miller, author and member of the International Advisory Committee for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute {see bio below for more information}.


We are also offering you the chance to WIN a copy of Betsy’s book The Parents’ Guide to Hip Dysplasia! For more information on how to enter see our Facebook and Instagram pages. The winner will be announced on Thursday 30 May.

Did you know that how babies are held can affect the way their hips develop?

When babies are carried, their hips should be allowed to spread apart with their thighs supported and their knees bent. These pictures from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute show how to hold babies with their hips in healthy positions.

{Correct positioning in a baby carrier}
{Correct positioning of a sling}

You don’t have to hold a baby exactly as shown. The main things to remember are:

  • Support your baby’s thighs.
  • Allow their legs to spread apart in a comfortable position. If your baby’s legs are wrapped around your body, that’s ideal.
  • Avoid positions where your baby’s legs are kept straight and close together. If your baby likes to straighten their legs, that’s fine, as long as they’re able to easily return to positions such as the ones shown here.
  • And don’t forget to enjoy your baby!

How a Baby’s Hips Develop

After birth, it takes several months for a baby’s hip joints to stretch out naturally. Babies that have been in the breech {bottom first} position may need even more time to stretch out naturally. During the first few months of life, hip joints are more likely to be loose because babies are naturally flexible and because the edges of the hip sockets are made of soft cartilage. If their hips are forced into a stretched-out position too early, this increases the baby’s risk of developing hip dysplasia. By six months of age, a baby’s hips are more developed and the ligaments are stronger, so they’re less susceptible to developing hip dysplasia. For more information about hip dysplasia, visit www.hipdsyplasia.org.

Betsy Miller was treated for hip dysplasia when she was a baby, and went on to have a happy childhood without mobility problems. She is the author of The Parents’ Guide to Hip Dysplasia and other children’s health books, and is a member of the International Advisory Committee for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Betsy lives in Santa Rosa, California where she is a freelance writer. You can reach her at https://betsymillerbooks.weebly.com/.

Published by Ellie Hully

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