At our 7-day-old daughter's first wellness visit, her doctor recommended putting three diapers on her to stretch her hips. He said her hips were fine but he likes to tell new parents to do this. He recommends putting her on her belly when awake so she can eventually sit like a frog and scoot forward. My mother and no one we know has ever heard of this stretching. What do you think?
Triple (cloth) diaper
s used to be the treatment for what we now call congenital hip dysplasia, or instability of the hip joint in newborns. Today we have diagnostic techniques that help in the evaluation of any hip joint that seems loose. If it is unstable or dislocated, it needs to be treated. Evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon and the use of one of several good braces is the way we approach this problem these days. If there is a real concern about your daughter's hips, the problem should be characterized correctly and treated. If there is nothing wrong, nothing should be done other than the routine hip checks that are part of regular pediatric health care. Although the use of three disposable diaper
s does keep the hips out, the multiple plastic layers going down the thighs often create irritation, as this is not the way disposable diaper
s are meant to be used. All babies need to spend waking hours on their tummies to develop shoulder strength and to learn about scooting forward and rolling, but they don't need extra bulk between the legs and should not sleep on their tummies.