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11th Apr 2016

Doctors Concerned That Swaddling Could Hinder Babies’ Joint Development


Swaddling is a method that many parents use to comfort their baby and some believe that it helps to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), although there is also evidence to suggest the contrary.

But doctors in Australia are now warning parents that the technique does have other risks.

A study – published in the Medical Journal of Australia and reported on by The Daily Telegraph – claims that swaddling can potentially .

Furthermore, it was argued that it can delay diagnoses concerning ‘clicky hips’ or development dysplasia of the hip (DDH). This could result in surgery in later life.

Surgical tools lying on table while group of surgeons at background operating patient in surgical theatre. Steel medical instruments ready to be used. Surgery and emergency concept

The article said: “There is growing concern among the orthopaedic fraternity in North America, the UK and Australia that a resurgence in the popularity of swaddling, including the increased use of swaddling cocoons places children at risk of late diagnosed DDH.”

Experts added that babies need to be able to move their legs freely, bending them and stretching them.

If you do want to use the swaddling method, there are some guidelines to follow. Here are some tips from sleep coach and childcare guru Niamh O’Reilly.