Tight Swaddling Can Dislocate Hips

Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System, Women's Health, childbirth, pregnant, pregnancy, midwife, DePaul Midwifery Center, The Family Birth Center, The Mary Immaculate BirthplaceSeveral pediatric groups are warning parents and caregivers not to regularly wrap an infant too tightly in a blanket or cloth because it can lead to abnormal development of the hip joint.

Although tight swaddling can give a newborn infant a feeling of warmth and security, it can also cause the ball of the hip to dislocate from the hip socket, according to a news release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

“Many cultures, and a growing number of Americans, practice traditional swaddling – the tight wrapping of infants with their legs together and fully extended,” said Dr. Peter M. Waters, president of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. “Unfortunately, this practice places infants at a high risk for dysplasia. Instead, the infant’s arms and torso should be snugly wrapped, while the legs are wrapped loosely, ensuring the legs are bent up and out. The legs should be free to move, and most importantly, the legs should never be wrapped in a ‘straight down’ position.”

Watch this video for information on how to safely swaddle an infant.

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