How To Dress A Baby In A Pavlik Harness Complete Guide

So your baby needs a Pavlik harness? Knowing how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness can feel daunting at the start.

Trust me it changes things but in no time at all, you will be an old pro at it!

The best thing for your baby is to get help now! This gives them every chance of a normal life with healthy hips! You are doing great…

It is totally normal for you to feel overwhelmed and maybe even sad when finding out your baby has DDH.

As much as everyone will tell you; “yay you can get it fixed now”, “at least she won’t remember”, “It is good to find out now”.

Of course, every one of those statements is true! But remember you are still allowed to be sad!

This for me is a personal and important blog post to write. I was missed as a baby with hip dysplasia and found out at 7 resulting in three major surgeries.

Although it has shaped my life, I missed out and lost a lot in different ways due to my battles. To think my baby would most likely have it broke me. It is normal to feel that way.

You can do this… your baby won’t suffer with the harness but your heart may a little…

Just remember for healthy hips for your child it is 110% worth it.

Make sure you grab our nappy bag packing check list! It has helped me feel so much more organized as a busy mum…

10 Things That Made Me Feel A Little Better…

Here are my top 10 things that helped me come to terms with the diagnosis below!

How To Dress Your Baby In A Pavlik Harness Affirmations…

  • If we can help her now she has a good chance at a normal life
  •  She is young enough that she won’t remember this…
  •  It isn’t hurting her in any way
  •  I am armed with information that helps me know what to do if it did hurt her
  •  I can adjust it as she grows so she won’t be squashed (talk to the person putting on their harness for this info)
  •  This is only a little time in her life
  •  I can comfort her when she needs it
  •  This isn’t going to change my breastfeeding journey!
  •  We can handle this together!
  •  I am doing my best for my daughter even though it feels tough now.

Below are my top tips for dressing your DDH baby when in a Pavlik harness specifically.

Managing Change

Managing the change when adding a Pavlik harness to a baby can be tough but there is a multitude of ways you can make things easier for yourself.

Top Tips For Putting On The Clothes

  • Up a size
  •  Stretchy fabric
  •  Nappy flaps go in and under the harness straps and around the belly
  •  Can sometimes add extra warmth remember this

Buy Clothes A Size Up

The first and most important thing to know is that your baby can still wear grosuits and most other normal clothes if you simply buy a size up.

My daughter is in 3-6 months so for her I would size up to 6-12 months. This would allow her adequate room to still be clothes but not interfere with the harness.

Your clothes mustn’t compromise the position the harness is put into as this is what is going to help your wee ones’ hips.

Dressing a baby in a Pavlik harness means a bit of adjusting to figure out what works for you. It is a learning curve but in no time you will be away.

The importance of sizing up is extensive, this allows your baby to still wear singlets and the wardrobe staples in a baby’s life!

how to dress a baby in A Pavlik harness outfit
Thermal and Dress paired together!

No Restriction Of The Legs

A really important part of the harness is not restricting it as that is what is going to correct your bubs hips.

The biggest priority when you are choosing clothes for your bub in a hip harness is choosing clothes that will in no way restrict their legs or affect the harness.

The harness has straps that sort of angle out and around and if any of the clothes you put on pull these in then this will change the angle that the hip is placed at.

So I can not stress enough that loose but comfy clothes are really important!

No Pants…

Pants are no longer going to work unless you buy specialized ones.

Still, my favorite thing to use would be stretchy thermal singlets.

They offer warmth but also can keep cool and are comfy and can be found in many different colors now.

These are perfect for both girl and boy babies and can be layered under dresses or cut-off overalls.

Your baby in reality can still wear anything they used to, you just need to size up with stretch fabric (minus pants which are sort of in their own category)…

Dresses And Baggy Clothes

Dressing a baby in a Pavlik harness can differ from boy to girl. This presents its own set of challenges as well.

Any baby can wear any clothes they are comfortable in always remember that!

Dresses are a fantastic option for girls. There is a large array of pretty dresses to try, going a size up ensures they fit.

It is important to make sure that there are no pants, or leggings built into the dress when you buy it.

Love To Dream Hip Dysplasia Swaddles

Although there are not heaps out in the market for babies with hip dysplasia/babies in harnesses one thing there are is swaddles!

Possibly one of the best options for young bubby’s the love to dream swaddles, and if your baby is already swaddled then it makes life so much easier.

Arms Up Swaddles

Learning how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness is daunting enough without worrying about swaddling! The harness is a big enough change without adding losing having their arms secured. Transitioning into this kept our sleeping routine similar and saved sleep deprivation, thank the lord.

Love to Dream Hip Dysplasia Swaddles are an excellent product for parents of babies who suffer from hip dysplasia.

 These swaddles are designed to help keep babies’ hips in a healthy position while sleeping, which is essential for babies with hip dysplasia.

how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness love to dream hip swaddle

The swaddles are made from a lightweight, breathable material that is comfortable for babies and helps to keep them warm, and is breathable.

The zip-up front allows for a secure fit and the swaddles come in a variety of sizes so that parents can find the perfect fit for their baby. This is essential especially when working with a harness.

All in all, Love to Dream Hip Dysplasia Swaddles are an excellent product for parents of babies with hip dysplasia. Something designated for hip babies is always a win!

But I Don’t Use An Arms Up Swaddle?

No problems Love to Dream has catered to both!

Love to Dream Transition Swaddles are a great way to help your baby transition from swaddling to sleeping in a sleeping bag. 

Not only are they great for making the transition but they do one in a hip dysplasia design! This means it can double as a sleep sack for those babies already in one.

how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness transition love to dream hip swaddle

The swaddle is made from a breathable, lightweight fabric that is designed to keep your baby warm without overheating, especially in their harness. 

It is a great way to help your baby transition from sleeping in a sleeping bag to sleeping in hip-healthy arms out swaddle without any disruption to their sleep.

How To Dress A Baby In A Pavlik Harness… The Best Clothes

Different types of clothing are better than others so as a part of this I feel it is important to educate you on the better ones!

When you are just figuring out the Pavlik harness you want to make life as easy for yourself as possible.

Something I didn’t know that might be helpful for you too. All your clothes go over the Pavlik harness this is why pants are a no-go!

Other Posts you might like:

Clothing with stretchy fabrics…

When learning how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness knowing the best fabrics is important! My favorite fabric so far is thermals! Stretchy, warm, cool, and breathable what more could you want?

Anything at all that you put in your babe you want to pair this with stretchy fabrics. Even if you have already gone a size up!

The stretchy fabrics will ensure you’re not pulling the harness straps and moving the location the hips have been set in.

It also makes life easier for you as more stretch fabrics are easier to get on your baby. This means less manhandling for you and bubs.

Dressing a baby in a Pavlik harness is easier than you will originally think I can reassure you of that.

By making sure you buy stretchy fabric you make life easier for yourself.

babys harness and reusable little genie nappy

Putting on stretchy clothes over a Pavlik harness can make life much easier for parents and caregivers of hippie babies.

The harness is designed to help correct hip dysplasia in infants but can be difficult to fit under clothing as we have discussed.

Stretchy clothes, such as onesies, dresses, and singlets in stretchy materials, provide the perfect solution. They fit comfortably over the harness, allowing for a secure fit without the need for extra layers.

This makes dressing and undressing a much simpler process, and allows for more freedom of movement for your baby.


Dresses are fantastic they are open at the bottom don’t restrict the legs or harness when you get them a size up and still have the wee nappy holder bits that fit along with the harness.

Dress Tips:

  • Go a size up
  • No attached bits or pants underneath are a must
  • If sized up you can still have the 3 nappy holding buttons element to your dress!


Grosuits are the best PJs and you can keep bubs in them even with a Harness!

Grosuit tips:

  • Size up one-two sizes
  • If possible try the fit on
  • The arms will be long so roll up the sleeves if need be!
how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness in a grosuit


Singlets are another wonderful piece of baby clothing you can thankfully still use! Thermal singlets are some of the best out there, keep them warm, keep them cool. 

Singlet Tips:

  • Size up!
  • Get a stretchy fabric
  • Remember even when your baby is out and a bit nigger they will be able to use them!


  • Get long warm socks to make up for lack of pants
  • Buy a size up to fit over your harness
  • Some harness providers will allow you to put socks on underneath

Have you grabbed our First Trimester Must-Have Guide…?

Car Seats For A Pavlik Harness

Now, this was a tricky one for us because our daughter grew so quickly!

The important thing with a car seat is that they are both comfortable and safe!

Generally, it is a good idea to sit them in the car seat before buying, in their brace to make sure they fit and are comfortable! 

Some babies will still fit in the capsule but our daughter didn’t!

baby in carseat suitable for pavlik harness
Bit of an upgrade! (she has the little baby insert in)

You can have a bit of movement with the knees coming inwards but they shouldn’t have to go up or down. 

Talk to your healthcare provider to make the right choice for your situation!

Check out this post to learn more on car seat options when in a harness.

Specialized Hip Dysplasia Clothing

Now, why may you ask is this the last tip? Well in the world we live in today nothing is cheap so my go-to is always going to be advice that is easier on the family’s financial plans!

Learning how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness especially for wee boys who would suit the pants is worth it to make them comfortable. These specially made clothes can help!

But it wouldn’t be a helpful post on dressing a baby in a Pavlik harness if I didn’t mention you can buy specially designed clothing for your babies in the harness.

hip dysplasia outfit
Credit to the original creator!

Almost anything you can buy for them normally you will be able to buy in a hip dysplasia design by simply popping on google and doing a search.

Hippie clothes if you will 🙂

Specialized hip dysplasia clothing is a great option for your baby when they are in a Pavlik harness.

How To Dress A Baby In A Pavlik Harness While Providing The Utmost Comfort

These bits of clothing are designed to provide the baby with comfort whilst they are in the harness whilst also making sure it doesn’t affect the job the harness is doing.

The clothing is designed to fit over the Pavlik harness. Providing additional functionality and ensuring the harness stays properly positioned.

Breathable Materials Are Key…

The fabric is also designed to be breathable and lightweight, allowing the baby to remain cool and comfortable while wearing the harness. This is great as sometimes the harness retains warmth like an extra layer of clothing would!

With the specialized hip dysplasia clothing, you can be sure that your baby is receiving the best possible comfort while they are in the harness!

Always Remember:

It is important to talk to your healthcare team if you have any questions or need more information about the Pavlik harness. 

Your healthcare team can provide you with individualized information about the harness and its use, such as how long it should be worn, how to adjust it, and how to care for it.

 They can also guide you on how to recognize and address any potential problems that may arise. 

Additionally, your healthcare team can answer any other questions you may have about the Pavlik harness and its use.

Last things…

Finding out your baby has Hip Dysplasia can be a tough time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor, health team, harness parents on Facebook, and anyone you think will be able to support you!

Learning how to dress a baby in a Pavlik harness can be tricky to start with, but you have got this!

Also, don’t forget you can use reusable nappies with the Pavlik harness!

Your baby needs you to do this for them, and truly they will thank you for it in the future.

For more information on Hip Dysplasia in babies check out this website…

Pavlik harness in a grosuit
A grosuit over the harness…


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