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Pavlik harness - hints and tips please!

(19 Posts)
TeamEponine Tue 21-Oct-14 18:46:14

DD was extended/frank breech and had her hip scan today at 5 weeks old. She is going to have to wear a Pavlik harness for six weeks, and it is being fitted on Friday.

I was wondering if anyone with a little one who has been through a similar thing has some hints and tips as I'm feeling quite anxious about it.

In terms of clothes, she is not quite in the next size up clothes, so would baby grows in the next size up be the best thing for her to wear?


HaPPy8 Tue 21-Oct-14 18:53:01

Hello, do you know about the Steps charity? They have got a hints and tips section. From what i understand treatment is very successful, especially if started early like your little girls will be. Best of luck with it and congratulations on your baby.

graffitimum Tue 21-Oct-14 22:41:17

Hi TeamEponine. I'd say try not to be too anxious (though I know that's much easier to say in hindsight) as the six weeks will pass quickly and your DD will barely notice it. My DD was in a harness for about 8 weeks from 3 weeks old and after the initial adjusment period of a day or so we found it quite easy - nappy changing was actually easier as those wee legs couldn't wriggle quite so much! For clothes you shouldn't need to worry too much about size, just see what fits best but jeans definitely won't work. DD lived in leggings and tunics for the harness weeks. Good luck!

TeamEponine Tue 21-Oct-14 23:23:59

happy8 - thanks so much for pointing me towards the website, I hadn't seen it and it has been really helpful to read through.

graffitimum - thanks, I am starting to feel less anxious about it, and it is only really the adjustment period that worries me. I guess we just need to go back to scratch and then develop a new routine. She's going to miss her baths as she loves those! Thanks for the clothes tips too.


sometimesyouwin Wed 22-Oct-14 02:58:19

My DS2 was in a pavlik from 3 weeks old for 8 weeks. I cried when it was put on but actually he adjusted to it really quickly. I think it's harder on the parents! You get used to things pretty quickly like nappy changes, feeding and holding. The best you can do is to avoid anything that brings the knees together so no tight clothes that restrict the legs etc. It was a bit more tricky for us with a boy so we ended up getting some great rompers etc and a sleeping bag from Kiek hip wear. There's a website if you look it up. The more you can avoid the knees coming together the more successful and quick the treatment will be. Hang in there as she'll be in and out of the harness before you know it smile.

louminous Wed 22-Oct-14 16:04:09

Our little girl has just come out of her Pavlik harness - It was a bit upsetting at first but so great that her hips have improved without needing anything more invasive doing. And the time has completely flown by!

We found dresses were the only option really and also got some nighties/bundlers to sleep in - they were a bit tricky to track down and I guess now it's cooler your little girl would probably be ok in a vest and sleeping bag. We found the straps meant that we couldn't get regular vests on and I bought some little t-shirty ones - Mothercare was the only place I could find any...

Are you breastfeeding? That was probably the trickiest thing and took us a couple of days to find comfy positions... a good feeding cushion made life a lot easier.

Hope all goes well tomorrow and some of these tips come in handy...

TeamEponine Fri 24-Oct-14 18:16:30

Thanks again for the advice. She was fitted today. Obviously she got very upset, but it seemed to go well. It's just a case of getting used to it now, for all of us. We've managed two nappy changes and two feeds so far. She seems generally ok, but sometimes she goes to kick her legs and gets quite upset/angry when she can't. Just hope the next six weeks pass quickly!

rhetorician Fri 24-Oct-14 21:38:11

My DD2 had a pavlik harness for 12 weeks and like you, we were concerned about it. But she did fine, although keeping it and her clean was a bit of a challenge (exploding poo?). She won't remember, and it's a wonderfully non-invasive way of preventing a life long disability; my little girl is nearly 3 now and was signed off for the last time after within-limits x-ray at 2.5. Good luck!

TeamEponine Sun 26-Oct-14 17:41:08

We are now 48 hours into DD wearing and we are all slowly getting used to it. Does anyone know if it is ok to use a wrap sling whilst little one is in the harness? She loves being in the Hana wrap sling in the position that is good for hip health, but I'm not sure whether she can go in it with the harness on (besides the logistics of trying to get her in it with the harness on!)?

Thanks again thanks

GoogleyEyes Sun 26-Oct-14 17:46:47

There are baby wearing consultants who specialise in just this sort of thing, if you google your local sling library they will probably be able to point you in the right direction for someone local.

AFAIK it's fine (and even recommended by some doctors) because it keeps their legs in the right position, but obviously you need a professional opinion.

Do make it clear what sort of sling and position, though, as obviously things like Baby Bjorns and other dangly type slings are a complete no-no for babies with hip issues, and some people equate slings with those types of carriers.

TeamEponine Sun 26-Oct-14 21:07:58

Thanks. I'll check out the sling library and see if there's one nearby!

KateMoose Mon 27-Oct-14 11:24:39

My DD was in one too. babies can wear nappies and tights underneath which is great in the cold weather. Definitely take the spare out and about with you in case the one your DC is wearing gets poo or something on it. they wash easily, but some health trusts harnesses are different and some have stiff feet, others not.

I did not use a sling as when I did have one I tripped over, fell and fractured DD's head. A pram has plenty of room for legs to splay. Car seats need to have an under bum cushion to raise hips up a bit. They get a break time out of it (for bath etc) and normally are NOT happy to get back in which can be stressful so it might help to know this in advance. Also, they get weaned off it as they get used to sleeping quite solidly with one on then struggle with one off. My DD went from an all night sleeper to intermittent.

TeamEponine Tue 28-Oct-14 11:34:02

We are not allowed to take hers off at all sad We have to thread the nappy under the harness (not easy!) and all clothes must go over the harness. That also means no bath for six weeks too sad

Luckily her car seat and bouncy chair are both quite wide, so she's ok in those.

Last night was very tough though. She spend two hours in inconsolable hysterics. I think it was a combination of over tiredness and the harness. Every time she calmed and started to doze she did that startle jerking reflex thing, jarred her legs and screamed again. There were real tears and it was just heartbreaking. I was so tempted to rip the thing off of her do that I could just give her a proper cuddle, but I know that would not be good for her long term. Just really hope she doesn't get into such a state again tonight. Don't think DH and I can take it two nights in a row. This is tough!

Thanks for all your advice and support, I really appreciate it thanks

TeamEponine Wed 29-Oct-14 21:31:42

We took the harness off tonight sad She got into hysterics again, and the consultant said to remove it if that happened. It has been lovely being able to cuddle and bath her properly, but I now feel so weak and an awful mother for not being able to cope. It just terrifies me when she's screaming so much she's choking. I thought maybe the harness was too small, but there were no red patches or sore looking bits, so not sure a bigger harness will be the solution. Not sure how to get through this, but I know it must be done. sad

snozzlemaid Wed 29-Oct-14 21:50:17

Oh you poor thing. I hope it gets better for you.
My ds was in one for 12 weeks, 6 weeks for 24 hours a day and then 6 weeks gradually reducing the time. But we were extremely lucky as he never seemed to mind it.
He's now a 6 foot, 17 year old who needed no further treatment after the pavlik harness.

TeamEponine Thu 30-Oct-14 21:31:10

Well, we had the larger size fitted today, so fingers crossed she gets on with this one better! The good news is that she can go in her Hana sling, which she loves as do I as I can manage to wee while she sleeps on me in it!!! Trying to be positive and make a fresh start grin

iloveaglassofwine Mon 03-Nov-14 12:01:49

Hi team,

DD was in a harness for 12 weeks from being 9 weeks old. I remember I found it really tough at first but DD dealt with it much better than me. The lovely consultant pointed out that babies don't know any different, they think everyone has one, and that made me feel a bit better. I managed to make it into the car park before I blubbed.

Not bathing her was hard and it felt strange to cuddle her in this harness thing. But I can guarantee that the 6 weeks will fly and then you'll look back and not really remember her in a harness.

And it's amazing that the harness is sorting her hips out without the need for any further intervention.

DD is 5 now, nearly 6 with perfect hips. She loves to look at photos of her in her harness and talk about it - you are making memories.

Hope your DD is getting used to it now and the larger size is helping.

snozzlemaid Mon 03-Nov-14 20:18:57

Also, forgot to say I had the same problem with my hips when I was born. It was in the early 70s and I had to wear a solid frame for weeks. It looked much harsher than the softer pavlik.
I've never had any further treatment either and no problems with hips.
Hang on in there it'll be worth it in the end.

TeamEponine Wed 05-Nov-14 06:26:51

Hi all,
Thanks again for all the support and advice.
We think that we've now worked out that the hysterics were not harness related, but that poor DD has been having bad colic. It started at around the same time as getting the harness fitted, but since trying to introduce colic remedies things have gotten a little better. I just assumed it was all about the harness.
Fingers crossed we get the colic a little more under control as I think she is used to the harness now.

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