There are many benefits to using cloth nappies. They can save you money, they're better for the environment, and babies tend to be more comfortable in them. But what about hip development? Do cloth nappies affect infants' hips? Is there a difference between cloth nappy wearers and non-cloth nappy wearers when it comes to hip development? Let's find out!
There has been a lot of research done in the field on whether cloth nappies affect hip development, and absolutely no evidence has been found to suggest that cloth nappies can negatively affect hip development. Research suggests that the only difference in hip development between cloth nappy wearers and non-cloth nappy wearers, is that those who wear cloth nappies have stronger hip muscles.
Hip dysplasia is a condition that occurs when the ball and socket of your hip are not lined up properly. In order for the ball and socket to be lined up correctly, a baby needs to have their hips wide apart, which cloth nappies promote. It is not healthy for baby's legs to be straight and together. After all, a newborn baby has just spent months in the womb with it's legs tucked into it's chest.
Babies who wear cloth nappies have a decreased risk of developing hip dysplasia due to cloth nappies keeping their legs in a more open position which is preferable for development. In fact, some specialists recommend cloth nappies for babies with hip dysplasia. Whilst cloth nappies are not an alternative to a Pavlik harness, they can aid in supporting the hip joints and preventing hip dysplasia from developing.
Even for babies with correctly developed hips, cloth nappies can promote the correct hip growth. The ball and socket joint in the hip is naturally dislocated in the first year few years of life, and the optimal wide-spread hip position encourages correct socket bone growth over those early years.
We hope this article has helped you understand the benefits of cloth nappies. Of course, there are many factors that can contribute to a baby developing hip dysplasia and we’re not saying it will never happen with cloth-nappy wearing babies. However, if you do choose to use cloth nappies, they may help prevent your child from developing hip problems. If you need any help in choosing a nappy system to fit comfortably around your little one's harness, then get in touch!