The term ‘swaddling’ refers to an age old practice of wrapping an infant in a blanket
or cloth so that the movement of the baby’s limbs is tightly restricted. It was done as
it was believed that it was protecting the baby. The act of swaddling generally fell out
of favour in the 17th Century.
It was surely a universal practice, so much so that to this day it is a technique that
is still being used in some parts of the Middle East and minor ethnic groups. It has
however recently experienced somewhat of a comeback. According to research
approximately 90% of infants in North America are swaddled in the first few months
Why do we have to swaddle our babies?
Swaddling is practiced as it is generally accepted that it has a certain palliative
effect on a baby’s excessive crying, infants with colic and little ones that are
struggling to sleep.
What is hip dysplasia and hip dislocation?
Hip Dysplasia refers to when the bones of the hip joint are not aligned correctly.
This is a common result of incorrect swaddling. It also goes by the name of
What is the correct way of swaddling?
The term, ‘Safe swaddling’, refers to what can be assumed is the correct way
of swaddling. The use of appropriate devices, like the Love To Swaddle UPTM,
should be promoted. You can be safer by allowing the child’s legs to bend up and
out at the hips, which will allow for healthy hip development. Remember that the
baby’s legs should not be too tightly wrapped- there should be ample room for hip
movement and hip flexion, and abduction.
What is the incorrect way of swaddling?
Swaddling that in any way, shape or form limits the baby’s legs in movement is
the incorrect way to go about it. As mentioned in the above point, there should be
enough room for the child’s legs to move around.
What else can cause hip dysplasia?
There are different ways in which your child can be affected by hip dysplasia,
including; a proven family history of DDH (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip),
being the firstborn child, being female and being born buttocks-first.
Contrary to popular belief it is after all safe to swaddle your baby. The important
thing is to do it the right way. Perhaps consider acquiring some of the approved
products to assist with it. And again, remember not to wrap your child too tightly.
Take care and love your baby.