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Pavlik harness

(13 Posts)
pomski Fri 04-Dec-09 10:12:38

I'm new to this site and really need to know your stories of having a baby in a *pavlik harness*. My daughter was put into one yesterday (5 weeks old) and I am heartbroken and finding it hard. Will it get easier? Any tips for coping, particularly with nappy changing which is a nightmare. Any contact would be much appreciated.

JAKEJEM Fri 04-Dec-09 15:14:48

Hi there, Big hugs to you. Both my daughters have had DDH and my youngest is currently being weaned off her pavlik harness after being in it ful time since Oct 3rd. She is now 14 weeks old. It is difficult and very emotional because you cant give out proper cuddles, but I promise you it will get easier. email me on p n whiteside@bt (cut out all spaces). and go on the steps website for lots of support. Hugs, Nikki xxx

moonbird Fri 04-Dec-09 17:28:58

Hi my 5 week old daughter was fitted today with one. Any tips would be most welcome too, particulary on breastfeeding.

DrCosyTiger Sat 05-Dec-09 14:01:12

Pomsmi and Moonbird - hang on in there! I went through this with my DD - I am in a big rush just now so can't post at length but promise I will be back with tips before the end of the day. You will survive this although I know it feels like the end of the world just now.

robino Sat 05-Dec-09 14:26:10

Pomski and Moonbird - agree with what DrCosyTiger says, hang on in there. DrCosyTiger - we've met before on these threads I think - was it your DDs?

Even though you're in a horrible state of shock right now and can't believe what's happened, I promise, it gets easier. DD was in hers for so long that I even forgot what it was like to have a baby without one and it felt a bit odd when she came out of it. It becomes second nature - to both of you.

Briefly - DD1 was diagnosed with cdh at 6 weeks (she was breech), was put in a Pavliks at 7 weeks. Full time, no respite from it. Apart from 2 hours a week to allow for baths. After 3 months consultant said that it was working but slowly and he was willing to give it a while longer before using more intrusive measures. At 7 months he said the same. Shortly after I remember being in a mad panic because I could feel her hip "clicking" so packed OH off to the consultant with her who confirmed she was ok but wouldn't say anything else (I assume in retrospect that at that point her socket was forming but not formed enough to hold the ball of her hip in IYSWIM). At 10 months he decided it had worked enough and we weaned her off it over the course of a month.

Please don't panic at the thought that your DD might be in it for 10 months - DD was in a pavliks for longer than anyone else I've ever known or heard about but I am truly grateful that the consultant had the confidence to take the softly softly approach and spared her the more intrusive procedures that other consultants may have resorted to earlier.

You will get used to carrying her in a position that is comfy for both of you. I carried DD on my hip a lot from when she could support her back more because her legs fitted snugly (and she was tiny - 10lbs at 15 weeks). You will get used to changing her nappy - although I'm afraid to say that that remained my biggest annoyance throughout! I asked my consultant for a spare harness which meant that when the inevitable happened and it got covered in poo, I had a back up and could handwash the other (that took a bit of persuading but was really helpful). And your daughter will get used to it. Honestly. Won't even remember a time she wasn't in it. DD actually cried each time we took her out of it - although she was a baby who loved being swaddled til a ridiculously late age so didn't mind the constriction at all.

And after nearly 8 months in it full time and a further part-time month, taking her to 11 months - she still took her first steps just after her first birthday. She's 3 in January and you'd never know what she went through. She's been signed off by the consultant. She didn't get put in plaster or have any ops. It was worth it.

Let me know if there's anything you need to know or want to ask - can try to help. Good luck to both of you and your DDs.

DrCosyTiger Sat 05-Dec-09 19:09:04

Hi again Pomski and Moonbird, sorry about that. First can I just say again that although it probably feels like the end of the world at the moment, you will quickly get used to it. If you don't believe me, have a look at this thread: t?msgid=15902750. I posted on here a few months ago when my DD was put in a pavlik harness at 13 weeks old. You can see from my OP what a state I was in, but as you'll see from later posts, within a few days I was feeling much better. (And hi Robino - you were one of those who posted to reassure me, for which I was very grateful!)

You'll get a lot of tips just from reading my original thread. I would also say that although it might not feel it at the moment, both of you have been lucky in that the problem has been diagnosed early. The success rate of the harness for an early diagnosis like yours is over 90%.

To answer your question, you will soon get the hang of nappy changing, I promise. Robino's tip of getting a spare harness just in case of poo accidents is a good one (wish I'd thought of that!) It's just a case of threading the nappy through the straps (assuming you're using disposables). You'll need to adjust your LO's wardrobe for a bit. It's a bit harder for you as it's winter. My DD wore hers in summer so just wore lots of big dresses. You may find you need to dress your LOs in babygros that are a couple of sizes too big to go over the harness (that's what we did at night - and we are now re-using them as DD is the proper size for them!) If you are worried that your LO won't get used to the harness, please don't. My DD was older than yours but still adjusted within a few days. They really don't know any different at that age - it's much harder for you than for them. And they won't remember a thing about it later.

If you're breast feeding and you can afford it, I highly recommend buying a "my brest friend" feeding pillow (corny name but great product). You can then lie your LO flat on the pillow and turn their head towards your breast. It worked brilliantly for my DD while she was in her harness (I had one anyway due to back problems). They are expensive I'm afraid but you might be able to pick one up on ebay. Here's the link to where they are sold on amazon:

If the harness is rubbing at all (some are made of softer material than others), you might want to put in some soft pieces of lint - I did this under the leg straps especially. The hospital gave us these, but you can also buy them from chemists.

The only other thing I would say is that the harness did affect my DD's digestion a little bit - I had to be more careful to keep her upright and wind her properly after feeding. But not everyone has this problem, she was a bit prone to digestive problems anyway.

I hope this helps a little bit at least. I know exactly how you are feeling at the moment, but I promise, it will get better. You will soon forget what it's like to have a baby who isn't in a harness. When my DD finally came out of it, she felt all floppy and fragile! She's now a bit behind in terms of crawling etc. (she's 8.5 months)but is quickly catching up and is the most active wriggly baby imaginable.

If there's anything else at all you want to ask, please just post. We are here for you. And if you look at my profile, I think there's a pic of my DD in the harness tucking into a yummy BLW meal of broccoli and carrots and looking very pleased with herself.

MadameOvary Sat 05-Dec-09 19:16:42

HI, my DD was put in a Pavlik at 4 months and it was no trouble at all, in fact it made nappy changing easier. The specialist we saw recommended putting a nappy under DD and whipping out the soiled one IYSWIM. We topped and tailed her and put rolled up pieces of gauze tucked in at her hips to absorb any sweat.
The worst that she suffered was dry skin on her legs, and she cried when the harness came off 12 weeks later as the freedom of movement was alien to her. Like DrCosyTiger she felt very floppy and fragile to me, but she soon adjusted and so did I.
Wishing you best of luck. X

moonbird Sun 06-Dec-09 11:46:32

Thanks, replies sound hopeful. My dd has been really quite restless and has been crying a lot more. As for digestive problems, she has been having that too. She has been bringing up milk after her feeds (also has possible reflux but has this under control with little and often feeds but now this!) and has been very windy, causing her discomfort. I have put this down to change in position with harness and when I feed her. She also has a cold and is not latching on so well as stopping for breathe.
As she is a breast feed baby, her poos are really runny, so dreading the inevitable leak, but the consultant did give us a spare harness - thankfully!
But I will cling on to the messages that things will get easier, so hope for improvement in the next few days.

DrCosyTiger Tue 08-Dec-09 16:47:20

Pomski, Moonbird, how's it going? Are things improving yet? We have been thinking of you.

moonbird Wed 09-Dec-09 10:03:16

Hi, things are getting better. At the start it is really strange as when you are handling her with this harness on you think you are hurting her because you can feel the straps but I think she is getting used to it now, as am I. As said before it is just as much, if not more, that I get used to this.
She seems much happier and is not crying so much. Am getting used to handling her and feeding her, although she is still bring up milk - her cold has gotten worse though, so think it maybe more to do with that now. Health visitor coming today, so will speak with her about that.
As for nappy changing, it does take a little longer but it doesn't really bother me.
Thanks for your message of concern DrCosyTiger.

robino Wed 09-Dec-09 16:11:59

Glad things are getting a little easier moonbird. Bad timing that it coincided with a cold, iirc DD got hers and had her first lot of immunisations on the same day which was quite traumatic! The nappy changing will remain a (relatively minor) pain in the arse.

Pomski - how are you doing?

DrCosyTiger Wed 09-Dec-09 16:28:37

Oh that's great Moonbird - that you're getting a bit more used to it, that is, not about the cold - that's a pita. I think it just takes a few days to get over the shock, especially if you weren't expecting the harness to go on. Just post if you run into any more problems. Pomski - hopefully you're doing a bit better now too -let us know!

NikkiNic Fri 19-Aug-11 22:24:53

Hi ladies
My little girl, Mia, was put in a harness 3 weeks ago. She is 14 weeks old.
Luckily for us she is sleeping well at night, but it's during the day that she gets grumpy. It breaks my heart as she was such a calm and happy baby before this, but now she cries and moans so much that it is a relief when she has a nap sad
Can anyone reassure me that it gets easier, as we might have another 9 weeks of this (at least)!!
We want our happy girl back!

Thanks smile

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