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Wrapping babies and protecting their hips
24 Mar 2014

Recently the head of Paediatric Surgery at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in South Australia asked that people who suggest wrapping as a way to help babies to relax and settle more easily to remember to tell parents that wrapping babies tightly so that their legs are held straight can lead to problems with the development of their hips.

We changed what we suggest to parents several years ago, but people who have not checked the newer guidelines may still suggest wrapping babies’ legs tightly.

What we say

  • Wrapping needs to allow babies to breathe easily (adequate chest expansion) and allow their legs to bend at the hips. For normal hip joint development legs need to be bent at the hips with knees apart. Avoid wrapping legs straight.

To find out more about wrapping babies, which really does work well for some babies, and can be done safely, have a look at the topic ‘Wrapping babies’. There are several pictures which show one way that we have found works well.