Let’s Talk About Hips: What is safe swaddling?
What is Safe Swaddling? Swaddling is an age-old technique for putting newborn babies to bed. It helps them to feel secure so that they settle to sleep more easily, and to stay asleep longer as they develop more settled sleep patterns. It can also prevent them from waking themselves from their own ‘startle’ reflex.
Swaddling techniques vary according to traditions and cultures, but according to The International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI), swaddling babies incorrectly can lead to problems such as hip dysplasia or even dislocation.
In order for swaddling to allow healthy hip development, a baby’s legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips (in the natural ‘frog-leg’ position). Straightening of the legs can loosen the joints and damage the soft cartilage of the hip socket.
Shaped blankets such as the Gro-swaddle allow parents to wrap their babies snugly across the arms and shoulders, while leaving plenty of room across the hips and legs.
The IHDI states that: ‘It is important to leave the hips free to move and not tightly strapped with the legs straight out and together. Let the baby hold his or her hips bent up like they were when the baby was born and allow room for the legs to move freely.’
However many parents find that they are not confident of their technique for this traditional ‘wrap’ style of swaddling. They are worried that the swaddle might be too tight – causing damage to the baby’s hips, or too loose – risking the swaddle becoming unwrapped, and the fabric covering the baby’s face.
This is why The Gro Company developed the Gro-snug (known in Australia as the Swaddle Grobag) – our 2 in 1 swaddle and newborn Grobag. Parents can simply place the baby in the Gro-snug/Swaddle Grobag and then do up the zip. The 2-way stretch fabric of the Gro-snug/Swaddle Grobag allows the baby’s upper body to be swaddled comfortably and securely, while the shaped pouch allows plenty of room for the baby’s hips and legs to remain in the hip healthy ‘frog-leg’ position. When the baby starts to roll (and it becomes necessary to swaddle with the ‘arms out’ to avoid the danger of suffocation) the poppers at the shoulders can be undone and the baby’s arms can be free – just like a Grobag.
At The Gro Company we are delighted that the IHDI has officially recognized the Gro-snug/Swaddle Grobag as hip-healthy product, as part of its intention to educate members of the public about the importance of healthy hip development during infancy – especially during the first few months after birth.