Baby Carriers and Healthy Hips
When purchasing a baby-wearing device, it is important to choose a product that encourages healthy hip development for your baby. Babies are at risk for hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip socket) and hip dislocations because their hip sockets are very small at birth. Proper positioning of the hips helps decrease the risk of hip dysplasia and hip dislocations. Proper positioning of the hips is especially important during the first 6 months of life when the hips are rapidly growing. Keep the following guidelines in mind when considering which baby-wearing device to purchase:
Carriers should promote an M-position of the legs. The thighs should be spread around the parent’s torso and the hips bent upward so the knees are slightly higher than the buttocks with the thighs supported. This position helps press the head of the femur evenly into the middle of the hip socket.
If the baby’s hips are more bent up toward their body, they don’t need to be spread apart (outward) as much (for younger babies). If the baby’s hips aren’t bent upward as much, they should be spread outward slightly more (for older babies).
The baby’s legs should not be dangling if they are under 6 months old.
The baby’s arms and knees should always be able to freely move.
The carrier seat/base should stop right above the baby’s knees.
Infants should be carried facing inward for at least the first 6 months of life, and until they develop adequate head control to keep their head up and freely turn it to the left and right.
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute publishes a list of approved “hip healthy” baby carriers that can be found here:
Here are some of our favorite baby carriers that are hip healthy and parent-approved:
1) Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier One (click here for more information)
Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier (click here for more information)
Infantino Cuddle Up (click here for more information)
Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier (click here for more information)
LÍLLÉbaby Complete Carrier (click here for more information)
International Hip Dysplasia Institute. (2020). Hip-Healthy Products - International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Retrieved 29 December 2020, from this website
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