Swaddling May Be Bad for Babies' Hips
Surgeon warns of dangers in journal
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2013 4:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – Swaddling is by all accounts on the rise among new parents, but a pediatric orthopedic surgeon thinks it's a bad trend, reports the BBC. Wrapping a baby tightly with blankets restricts the infant's hips from moving freely and raises the risk that they won't develop properly, the UK doctor writes in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. "In order to allow for healthy hip development, legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips." In other words, "the babies' legs should not be tightly wrapped in extension and pressed together."

Swaddling is thought to work because it mimics the feel of the womb and thus calms the baby. Great, writes James Norton at the Christian Science Monitor, this is yet more conflicting advice for confused parents. Controversy over swaddling isn't new, he adds, and his blog post provides a link to techniques that he says avoid most or all of the risk to infants.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
Oct 30, 2013 4:49 PM CDT
Who the hell would even do that to a child? Mental & physical development influence each other. It's natural for babies to move; it's part of their development. Why would anyone want to stop that? I've never heard of this; this is bizarre. I've even heard of parents trying to thwart that little dance that kids do around age 2-3 whenever they hear music. It's part of their development of coordination & strength. Enjoy it while it lasts because they only do it for a short time.
Oct 30, 2013 1:20 AM CDT
I've seen them wrapped so tight they can't move a muscle and that doesn't seem good to me. My Mom wrapped me, but not so tight I couldn't wriggle a little. And I turned out with great hips! :)
Mary Martindale
Oct 29, 2013 11:20 PM CDT
My babies never stayed swaddled long enough for that to happen. They would thrash about and become unswaddled in 5 minutes time.