Baby swaddling trend 'could cause hip problems'

The ancient method of swaddling babies is making a comeback but experts have warned that the practice could cause hip problems in babies.

A resurgence in the practice of swaddling babies has prompted leading medics to warn that it could cause hip problems in babies. Credit: PA

Newborn celebrity babies, including Prince George and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's baby North, have been pictured in what appeared to be swaddling garments, and demand for swaddling clothes in the UK has soared in recent years.

However, Southampton University Hospital's Professor Nicholas Clarke said evidence suggests that swaddling - which involves binding babies in blankets with their arms restrained and legs stretched out - could force hips to straighten and shift, risking the potential for misalignment.

Professor Clarke said: "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. The babies' legs should not be tightly wrapped in extension and pressed together."

His concerns were echoed by experts from the Royal College of Midwives, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health, University College London.