Babywearing and Hip Dysplasia

October 18, 2021

Many parents wonder if they can still use a baby carrier if their baby is in a brace and being treated for Hip Dysplasia. The short answer is usually always yes! Which is great news. 

It’s about finding a suitable carrier style that is comfortable for you and your baby whilst they are in the brace. A woven wrap, stretchy wrap, meh dai, ring sling and wide base buckle carrier can all work. 

When babywearing in the optimal & ergonomic hip healthy M position the hips are supported at the correct angle for optimal development. Ergonomic Babywearing not only acts as a preventative measure for healthy hip development in those children without any signs of Hip Dysplasia, but also continues to support babies who are in braces and the position they need to be kept in. 

Hip Dysplasia affects roughly 1 in 100 children in Australia and is the most common musculoskeletal birth defect in the world. There are many types of Brace options for treatment with it varying in the different states and territories across Australia and also specialist’s preferences. 

The pavlik harness is the most common in Australia for children from birth through to 4-6 months of age. Another common brace for this age group is the denis browne bar (DB bar) which can be used from birth to beyond 6 months. Western Australia is the only state to still use the correctio harness for treatment. In the warmer climates, such as north Queensland and the Northern Territory, the von rosen is predominately used. And beyond 6 months, the rhino brace is commonly used. 

If your baby is in any of these braces you can still absolutely try out babywearing and have great success whilst they are being treated. Most parents find that softer material carrier can sit snug and firmly supported around their baby and the brace. 

The correctio harness is the only brace that can become slightly problematic when babywearing and this is due to the front bar that can press into the caregiver carrying the child. For this harness it would be recommended you try a soft wrap carrier to try to achieve a comfortable fit. 

It is not recommended that parents use a baby carrier in lieu of the brace. Babywearing is seen as a positive in terms of being able to facilitate healthy hip development, but doesn’t replace the need for treatment. It can be used alongside treatment and enable all those regular benefits that babywearing offers like bonding and practicality for caregivers and children.  

A great organisation for further information and support is Healthy Hips Australia. 

Get in touch with Brooke for a one:one consultation for guidance in this area. Book your appointment here.

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