Baby in yellow vest wearing a pavlik harness

Our Hip Dysplasia journey – car seats, nappy changes and playtime

We are now 15 days into life with the Pavlik Harness, and for the majority it’s been easier than I expected.

Don’t get me wrong, the first few days were TOUGH. We had screams, frustration and tears, (from all three of us) plus the odd sleepless night. Then day 4 arrived and the fog cleared, he almost came to the realisation there was no point complaining because it isn’t coming off anytime soon.

Baby crying Pavlik Harness

Someone hates a harness….

As I mentioned in my last hip dysplasia post, I want to document our journey with as much information and detail as possible. Not only is it my way of releasing any built up emotion but I also know I would love to find another mums experiences and advice. This post is the first of these, and focuses on car seats, nappy changes and playtime.

But first,

Week Two Update

We had our first check up and harness tighten on day 7, and this did lead to an inconsolable 24 hours whilst he eased into the readjustment, but again that fog lifted. The good news was that our consultant was pretty certain the harness was starting to work. However, yesterday we had our second check up and first scan since the Pavlik was fitted and to our horror and surprise, Ace had made barely any improvement at all.

There was a lot of awkward silences before it was decided we’d give the harness another fortnight before re-scanning and discussing what the next steps would be. I didn’t ask, I’d rather not spend the next fortnight fretting.

What will be, will be.

Now, back to the helpful stuff.

Getting out and about

The biggest change for us as a family has been abandoning the car unless absolutely necessary. We have the Joie 360 spin, which on the whole, we love. But, with high sides it is counterproductive to sit Ace in there in his harness as it pushes his legs together.

Many sites suggest using rolled up towels underneath their bottoms to enable the legs to sit over the sides, but I just don’t feel comfortable risking his safety in this way. Car seat safety scares me as it is.

So, for now we have been getting out and about on foot. We’d moved Ace from his carrycot into the pushchair of our Mamas and Papas Occaro the week before his harness was fitted, solely because he’d outgrown it. Good job we did, as he definitely would of been bursting at the seams. The pushchair is a great width and allows him to sit with his hips and legs in the correct position. This also has the added bonus of upping my exercise levels, I’ve walked more in the past fortnight than I have in the past 12 months, and for someone who isn’t into the great outdoors, I must admit I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

However, not using the car does scupper our chances of getting away for the weekend, the train just doesn’t seem feasible with all our paraphernalia. Luckily, the wonderful world of Instagram and the hip community has led to discovering the Maxi Cosi Hip friendly car seat hire. I’m yet to hear back from them, but once I speak to their customer service team I’ll update here.

Child car seat

Maxi Cosi Car Seat

Speeding up the changes

We’ve now got our nappy changes back down to mere minutes. I’d only ever changed one nappy before in my life (I wouldn’t ever of called myself baby friendly…) and it took me a few weeks to get confident changing a normal nappy let alone working one around a harness. But now it’s like second nature.

Baby hip dysplasia clothing

Quick changes = Happy Baby!

We are no experts, but this is what’s helped us

  1. Having a peek to see what you are dealing with first- no one needs THAT sort of surprise when you aren’t prepared
  2. Tuck the legs of your baby grow and bottom edge of vest under the harness/around the straps to ensure they don’t get soiled
  1. For the same reason, pop some socks or soft booties on over the harness boots- socks can be washed, the harness boots not so much
  2. Pop a clean nappy under the bottom before you remove the soiled one. We’ve got used to this since the world of double nappies, but it does help to limit the mess damage. Especially if you have a boy who likes to wee in the open air 🙈
  1. Remember to lift the bottom and DO NOT move the legs. Pulling the legs together and up works against the harness and moves the hip from the optimal position.
  1. Finally take your time when doing up the sides, you need to thread it underneath the harness which is super fiddly, but if you rush you could end up regretting it later…. Also, it might be worth moving up a nappy size if you are in between sizes to give you more nappy to manoeuvre!

Finding different ways to play

Pre harness Ace loved nothing more than bashing about on his toy arch, swiping at his noisy baby gym and seeing the world from this angelcare bath seat (we’d often pop a blanket on it and let him sit in it whilst we played together in the nursery) but these have all taken a back seat in the past fortnight.

His toy arch and baby gym? Well unless we place him on a pillow he can’t reach the toys. We hadn’t noticed but he must of used his leg strength to propel himself upwards, and he’s now unable to. And he’s far too wide for the Angelcare.

Music and interactive toys have been our saviour. I’m now a dab hand at nursery rhymes (I don’t know the actual words mind…here’s hoping he doesn’t remember my versions!) and his musical taste has grown from solely Elton John to some Disney classics and broadway hits. Mothers son and all that…

VTech’s Singing Alfie, Moosical beads and our favourite hand puppet ‘Rabbit in a Lettuce’ have all been favoured, and Sophie La Girafe is now his bosom buddy. We are heading to a music class this week too, so I’m sure he’ll enjoy that more than ever.

Rabbit in a lettuce

Is there anything better than Rabbit snuggles?!

Anyway, I’ll leave it here for now. The next post will be live next week sometime and I’ll carry on updating via Instagram. I might even pluck up the courage to make a little video 😬

Lastly, I just want to say a massive thank you to every single one of you, old friends and new, who have messaged me with words of support or to discuss your little ones hip woes. I’ve never been more thankful for the World Wide Web than I am today.

Sian x

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