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Swaddling Can Damage Hips, Surgeon Says

When it comes to swaddling your baby, the snugly wrapped blankets can help your little one feel secure and potentially reduce crying.

However, it could also be causing damage to your child's hip development, according to a report from Professor Nicholas Clarke, a consultant orthopedic surgeon at Southampton University Hospital, that was published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

"There has been a recent resurgence of swaddling because of its perceived palliative effect on excessive crying, colic and promoting sleep," Clarke writes, according to BBC News. "In order to allow for healthy hip development, legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for natural development of the hip joints."

He adds that babies' legs should not be wrapped tightly while positioned straight out and together.

Jane Munro of the Royal College of Midwives also advised against the practice.

While she told the BBC that swaddling is a "seemingly innocuous" thing to do, she added that it could pose problems for the baby, including overheating.

"We advise parents to avoid swaddling, but it is also crucial that we take into account each mother's cultural background," Munro told the BBC, "and to provide individualized advice to ensure she knows how to keep her baby safe, able to move and not get overheated."

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