Since our "baby shower games" have landed and are sponsored by Miracle Blanket, I wanted to post about hip dysplasia and the related cautions regarding swaddling babies. I had zero clue about this before my daughter was born.
Hip dysplasia happens when the hip joints are misaligned, and can occur from birth or develop afterwards. The risk factors are being female, being a first pregnancy, being breech, and having a family history. I had the condition myself as a baby. My daughter was born with hip dysplasia and was treated by wearing a harness day and night for 2 months to keep her hips in the correct position as her body grew. We were lucky; it's easiest to treat in the tiniest babies, and harder to treat as they get older and their bodies are less malleable. But the condition can sometimes develop in an older baby and can be aggravated by things that parents do, and that's where the discussion of swaddling comes in. If you are going to swaddle your baby, make sure that there is room for their hips & legs to fall freely to the sides in a "froggy" position. Don't wrap their hips too tightly since this puts stress on the hip joint.
As for our sponsor, the Miracle Blanket, we actually used this product with our daughter when she was in the hip harness, and it didn't present a problem (and it helped her sleep longer, always a plus). I don't think it's a hip unhealthy product, and it's actually a product I recommend to friends, but I do think it would be possible to wrap a baby's hips too tightly when using it, so if you do get this or another swaddle blanket, use caution.
A similar caution applies to carriers. The ideal hip-healthy position for a baby is with their legs froggied and their knees at least as high as their butt, so if you are going to wear your baby, make sure they are in this position. Not all carriers facilitate this.
Because of our family history, our new baby will need to have an ultrasound to check for hip dysplasia when he is 6 weeks old if his hip exam is normal, and we will be referred to orthopedics sooner if his hip exam is not normal. Hopefully he'll be fine and we'll get to skip all the rigmarole this time.