Hip braces and sleep!

Posted by Tara Mitchell on

When it comes to little ones going into a hip brace, we like to approach this with an understanding that it takes time for little ones and for yourself to adjust. Having your little one go into a hip brace can often be quite upsetting for parents so first things first I don’t want to put any pressure on other things except for just processing the change that is taking place and knowing it’s benefits will be so worth the intervention.

Your little one is going to be okay but it will take some adjustment. Ensuring your little one is comfortable is a big focus. For example sleeping bags that are designed for hip braces, comfortable clothing that also allows for plenty of room, tips and tricks to make this adjustment as comfortable as possible. I also have no doubt there are online support groups with plenty of tips and tricks to guide you along the way. It is also important to keep an eye on general skin health where the brace consistently sits or rubs. 

In terms of Sleep, I always encourage people not to make any changes right away but to give them the benefit of the doubt or the opportunity to see if they will just go down as usual. Many of our clients have told us that their little one managed to stay right on track even when they were just new to the hip brace. So be sure to give them an opportunity to see if they will just continue as normal. If not that’s ok, on the first few nights I would definitely offer more support and that support can be hands-on, cuddle to sleep, whatever feels right based on how your little one is going. 

Remember if their sleep is a little more broken or they aren’t settling well your little one may need more support. You might be in there more frequently,  you might be remaining in there and just slowly lessening the roles that you are playing, I would step into that role for at least a good 4 to 7 days from there though I would start to get back on track with sustainable sleep. This doesn’t mean you can’t play that supportive role, but instead you shift from fixing them to sleep to supporting and comforting whilst they learn to sleep independently again. Yes this is something for everyone to adjust to but if you get into extended periods of sleep deprivation that isn’t going to help anyone.  

In times that your little one may not need to wear a brace really focusing on flat mat time for them to be able to kick and roll around. Distraction, connection and interaction help immensely.

During the night time if your little one wakes up very distressed when they first have the brace on you can definitely step in quickly. However, I would always give them the opportunity first to see if they will just drift back off to sleep and especially if they aren’t too upset.

Practice helps so if you little one has the opportunity to practice going into their sleep space with their new brace the adjustment will be quicker.

From there, remember your confidence is key. Your little one is looking to you to make sure that everything is okay and that is through energy. You may need to fake it till you make it but the sooner you can wrap your head around this change, the sooner they will feel that everything is okay. Keep reminding yourself that this is typically a short term intervention that has significant long-term benefits and it’s ok to really feel the feels with this change but everything will be ok.


Tara x


image @ergopouch

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