Babywearing positions infants and children in the “m” position, the same position that hip harnesses use to treat hip dysplasia. People can babywear children while they are fitted in any of the three most common hip products: Pavlik, Spica, and Rhino. When using a Pavlik or Rhino, some parents use Babylegs (baby leg warmers) to cover the Velcro or cast and keep it from snagging the fabric of the carrier. When using a Spica, it’s easier to fit the foot bar on after your child is seated or wrapped in the carrier. Many people find soft structured carriers (SSCs) are easier to use when using foot bars for dysplasia or CTE (clubfoot). If you use wraps and your child is wearing a Rhino, there are special positioning techniques to use to ensure your baby has a good “seat”. The link below shows a very informative YouTube video about wearing children with hip dysplasia from a babywearing group in Australia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgaW7KtJmvY
Some people worry that certain types of non-ergonomic baby carriers can cause hip dysplasia. The consensus among experts is that baby carriers do not cause hip dysplasia; it only exacerbates a pre-existing condition. Mothers should never be criticized for babywearing, no matter what type of carrier they use. All baby carriers should be approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The following is a photo from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute showing why ergonomic carriers should be used for children with or at risk for hip dysplasia.
Some ergonomic baby carriers can be quite expensive. There is a technique, using a scarf, to correct a baby’s positioning if you are using a non-ergonomic carrier. This photo is from a Canadian babywearing group and shows the scarf technique to correct positioning in a Baby Bjorn.
If you need support learning to use baby carriers while your child is being treated for dysplasia, there are some wonderful facebook groups out there that can help.
Please share if you have additional information!
© Robyn Miller and Therapeutic Babywearing, 2014.