Approximately one in six full term newborn babies have some hip instability at birth. Babies at an increased risk are: Female gender, first born, have a family history of hip dysplasia, breech lie, prolonged labour and high in birth weight.
Hip dysplasia isn’t always present at birth and can develop over time which is why it is important to encourage healthy and natural hip development even when their is no apparent issue. Cultures where baby’s are more commonly worn have a low frequency of hip dislocations in babies however the exact reasoning behind this (genetics or carrying position) is unproven. However, the high rates of hip dislocations where traditional swaddling with straight hips and knees during infancy is practiced is a sharp contract to the low frequency of worn babies.
A widespread myth around baby wearing is that the wrong type of carrier can cause hip dysplasia. This has been found to be incorrect, however narrow based carriers where the child’s legs are dangling down may exacerbate a pre-existing hip dysplasia condition. The spread squat position (or M-Position) is recommended to help decrease the risk of hip dysplasia. This position is achieved by having the child’s legs spread around the caregivers torso with the hips bent so that the knees are slightly higher than the child’s bottom. The Fabric of your carrier should then support the child from knee to knee to help maintain this position. The child’s muscles are able to press the femoral head (top of the leg bone) into the hip socket to maintain healthy joint development.
We are proud to say that all of our wraps, ring slings and carriers are designed to hold your child in there ergonomic ‘m-position’ that is beneficial to your child’s hip development. If you have any doubt over the safety or benefits of using a carrier for your child, please check with your child’s health care provider first.