Friday, March 2, 2012

Hip dysplasia and sleeping bags

When our daughter R was born, we found out that she had Developmental Hip Dysplasia (DDH) and was promptly put in a Dennis Browne Brace (DBB).

Aside from the initial shock of finding out, there were quite a few practical issues to contend with, the first being - what on earth do I put her in?  The brace holds the hip stable, but makes baby look like a little frog with legs akimbo.  For clothes it was fine, nothing with pants or feet, and being a little girl in an Australian summer dresses were just fine.

We got to the stage however when you aren't meant to wrap babies anymore, and sids & kids recommend putting baby to sleep in a sleeping bag.  Which is fine if you're not trussed up like a frog.

In the end I had to make her own sleeping bags which were quite flared at the bottom.  It took three goes to get the right construction, but really if you had half a brain it is very simple.

I used the pattern from small dream factory and adapted it as shown below.

Adjusted pattern

 The first sleeping bag was unlined and by all accounts a success, except I listened to someone else on the internet saying to put the zip in upside down so baby can't let themselves out.  Bugger that, it also means that the top of my baby is a solid join and putting the baby in it is cumbersome.  If she unzips herself then R will get cold.  Maybe she won't do it again.

The next sleeping bag was made from a jersey ($2 a metre from Darn Cheap Fabrics in Heidelberg) with a zip running all the way along the bottom.  This actually works pretty well to keep baby in and to put baby in.

R liked to kick her legs at night, so having the extra stretch was great for her as her legs kicked outwards.

If you are looking for a quick easy bag for a baby in a spica or brace, this construction is the best.  If anyone is interested in a tutorial, leave a comment or email me and I'll whip one up.

The final sleeping bag was done when R came out of her brace, and is constructed like a normal baby sleeping bag, but that my friends, is another post for another day.


  1. Thank you for sharing your pattern for the sleeping bags. Both my girls have been treated for bilateral DDH. When my youngest was in a brace I got my Mum to undo the seam of a store bought sleeping bag and add a "wing". Your bags look much smarter, I have shared your blog in a facebook support group. Thank you again :)

  2. Nice tutorial..Thanks for sharing it with us.This is really look cute..To the great extent, it remove the risk of SIDS..And your toddlers get pleasant sleep..Want any information releted to your blog visit Baby Sleep sack

  3. So happy I found your blog! A friends daughter just got diagnosed and asked if I could sew something like this. Did you end up making a tutorial? It would be so helpful. Thank you!