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It’s All in the Hips

wearing the baby

When babies make their grand entrance into the world we marvel at how pliable their little limbs are. These natural contortionists grab their feet and suck on their toes effortlessly as if their tiny bodies are made out of rubber.


Flexible, yes, but when babies are born, their hips are not fully developed. Putting your baby in a carrier that lacks support or even swaddling tightly top to bottom is not be the best for hip health.  Post-natal hip dysplasia occurs when hip development is hindered and can create joint issues and arthritis later in life.


According to Dr. Charles Price, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, "All parents want to select the best for their baby, and in many cases, this also means the safest. When it comes to selecting swaddle garments and a baby carrier there are specific features parents should look for to ensure their baby's proper physical development."


For proper swaddling, avoid the traditional “baby burrito.” Straight-jacket-like swaddling can be detrimental for hip development, as restrictive movement can hinder proper leg and hip movement. Instead, look for a swaddle garment that allows baby’s legs to bend up and out of the hips.


We recommend award-winning SleepSack 100% Cotton Wearable Blanket ($26.99) -- part PJs, part wearable blanket -- which allows baby’s legs to kick and move freely while keeping her warm and sleeping comfortably. Parents swear by these super soft sleepers!


M PositionWhen shopping for carriers, look for a carrier that allows baby’s legs to be in the “M” position. Thighs should be able to hug the torso of the parent and hips positioned so the knees are slightly higher or level with the buttocks.  They should provide support from the thighs to the knee, and when properly supported, baby should look like a jockey, in a “spread squat” position.


Ergo Baby is one of the leaders in baby carriers. Their ergonomic design provides proper support for both baby and parent and models like the 360 All Positions Baby Carrier Festive Skies ($150.99) allows for various carrying positions based on baby’s age.



The International Hip Dysplasia Institute was created to support parents and patients with hip dysplasia. They provide family support, preventive education and help patients identify physicians who can properly treat hip dysplasia.  The U.S. based non-profit is also active in reducing the incidents of hip dysplasia around the world.


Find more products acknowledged as “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute here.


Julie Kertes's picture

Julie Kertes is the product expert for Kids in the House and oversees the Hot Diggity Awards, a national seal-of-approval program that recognizes the best products for families. To see the latest products she’s playing with, testing and/or assembling, follow her on Twitter at @HotDiggityMedia.