Safe swaddling involves comforting and securing the newborn from their own startle reflex, but not restricting all natural movement. For healthy development, newborns need to breathe freely, have some movement of their arms and be able to frog and kick their legs. In this post we will discuss how to swaddle safely for healthy hips.
The age old technique of swaddling
Whilst swaddling is an ancient technique practiced across the world, recent studies and research show if newborns are swaddled incorrectly, it can be harmful. Most of the research focuses on the practice of tightly binding or wrapping the newborn which restricts natural movement of the arms and legs, and if done very tightly, can reduce full lung expansion. Newborn babies who have been tightly wrapped with their legs forced straight are also at risk of developing hip dysplasia due to the lack of natural joint and bone movement through the hips and pelvis.
Hip Dysplasia on the rise
Late diagnosis of hip dysplasia is on the rise and approximately 11 children a day are being diagnosed with this problem according to Healthy Hips Australia. The risk of hip dysplasia has been highlighted in recent articles such as the Loosen Up for Healthy Hips by Cathy O’Leary at the West Australian. Education is key to help new parents become aware of this issue.
At Bubbaroo, we have always been concerned about the restrictive nature of many of the swaddle products on the market. When Nicole developed the Joey Pouch Swaddle Wrap and Joey Pod Transitional Swaddle they were specifically designed with a bell-shaped bottom to ensure full hip flex in newborns and freedom to kick their legs.
Of equal importance was the ability of newborns to self soothe. The internal wrap allows newborns to do this by calming their startle reflex. Babies wrapped in the Joey Pouch can still move their arms and hands and self-soothe by sucking on their fingers and hands through the swaddle if they wish. Arms are not pinned or forced in any fixed position.
The Joey Pouch is also made from light-weight, breathable 100% cotton waffle fabric, keeping baby covered but not at risk of overheating. Safe swaddling has also been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS as it encourages babies to stay sleeping on their back in a safer sleep position.
So yes, there is a way for you to swaddle your baby whilst secure in the knowledge that their natural movement is unrestricted. Swaddling can be an effective and safe way to keep your newborn covered and calm while sleeping, it just needs to be done right. You can also read more here at Healthy Hips Australia.
How to Swaddle Safely:
Follow these tips for safe swaddling :
– Allow room for movement around the hips.
– Position baby with their hips bent and their knees apart – like a frog!
– Make sure the upper body is firm but not too tight. Allowing for chest wall movement.
– Never place a swaddled baby on their tummy.
– Stop swaddling once your baby can roll onto their tummy and then onto their back again -When an individual baby is able to roll is a developmental stage so you may want to think about transitioning your baby out of swaddling before they’re actually rolling. You can read more about transitioning baby out of swaddling with helpful tips.
Always follow Red Nose guidelines for safe sleep.
-Do not wrap legs tightly and straight down. The legs should not be pressed together. Young babies’ hip joints can be loosened if the legs are straightened and then swaddled.
-Do not use baby sleeping bags and swaddle products that are too tight around the thighs.
All of Bubbaroo’s products conform to these safe sleep recommendations.
Bubbaroo offers several products that can assist you to swaddle your baby.
Swaddle safely for healthy hips with the Joey Pouch Swaddle Wrap
Our Joey Pouch is designed specifically to swaddle safely for healthy hips. For newborn babies from 3.1kg. We believe in the concept that babies experience a “4th trimester”. It means that your baby’s first 3 months of life can be seen as an extension of the 3rd trimester. It’s basically about letting your baby adjust to the outside world, gently and calmly. Your baby spent 9 months in such a cocooned and nurtured state, that it makes sense to gradually ease them into life outside the womb.
The Joey Pouch simulates the coziness and comfort the baby felt in the mother’s womb. Research has shown that swaddling babies assists better quality sleep in the first few months. It also helps babies remain on their backs when sleeping. Having said that, many babies are strong enough to escape loose swaddle blankets and then they wake themselves with their startle reflex. Our Pouch is specifically designed in a bell shape to help babies move their legs freely and prevent hip complications.
How to Use the Joey Pouch
Our Joey Pouch makes an easy and safe swaddle for healthy hips. You can use the Joey Pouch like this:
Once baby starts to roll, it’s time to start transitioning your baby out of the Joey Pouch or any swaddle product. We would highly recommend transitioning out of swaddling at 2-3 months by using our Joey Pod Transitional Swaddle.
The Joey Pod Transitional Swaddle Wrap
Our Joey Pod makes it easy to transfer baby from swaddling to the arms out position in three easy steps. Think of it as a stopgap swaddle which can be used in 3 different ways. First as a swaddle with both baby’s arms in. Second to transition from swaddling with one arm in one arm out. Finally like a baby sleeping bag with both arms out.
While there’s slight pressure around baby’s body, it’s designed to be comforting and not straight-jacket like. Rest assured that the Joey Pod allows enough movement – they can even frog and kick with our bell shaped swaddle design giving them movement for healthy hips. In the Joey Pod, baby can self-soothe and settle by sucking on thumbs, finger or hands. Night time feeding without needing to unwrap baby, bottom opening zip for quick nappy change and safer handling of wrapped bub.
The Joey Pod Transitional Swaddle Bag works in tandem with our Joey Pouch® Swaddle Wrap. The Joey Pod is suitable for 2-12 months of age. You must stop swaddling your baby once they can roll. We would recommend that you discontinue any swaddling at 4 months. You can then use the Joey Pod as a baby sleeping bag with no uncomfortable open press studs for baby. The Pod also has a convenient travel system to accommodate a 3 or 5 point harness of a car seat or pram.
Bubbaroo Bamboo Muslin Wraps
If you like the old fashioned swaddling method then our Bamboo Muslin Swaddle Wraps are for you. Not only are they luxuriously soft for baby, they are generously sized to offer baby a roomy hip swaddle. Simply secure the arms individually. Then twist the bottom of the wrap loosely so the legs are free to move within a sack and tuck under your baby.
We know how important versatility is so we’ve made our Muslin Wraps multi-functional. As well as a swaddle or wrap, they can be used for covering when breastfeeding or over baby’s feet in the pram on a sunny day. You’ll find them a must have for baby’s nursery.
Whilst swaddling is an ancient technique, it’s important to understand modern research and advice. Ensure you choose a safe swaddling product/technique for your baby. Choose Bubbaroo and you’ll know bub is in safe hands.
Remember to swaddle safely for healthy hips.