How to use the Hip Harness Swaddle and Sleeping Bag
Learn how to use the Hip Harness Pouch collection for safe sleeping when wearing a hip dysplasia brace or harness
Our range of Hip Harness Swaddles and Sleeping Bags are for babies who wear a brace to treat Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip. The extra-wide pouch is designed to fit over a range of different DDH braces and harnesses, so your child can continue to sleep safely and warmly, without the need for additional blankets in their sleeping environment. This guide will help you understand how to use your Hip Harness Pouch.
Cocoon Swaddle Bag Tuck your baby's legs/brace into the Swaddle Bag. Fasten zip with baby’s hands in desired position (by sides, or across chest). To transition to arms out sleeping, unfasten press studs and release one arm at a time over several days. If your baby does not like being swaddled, it is safe to sleep arms out from birth.
Sleeping Bag Put your baby's arms through the sleeves and tuck their legs into the Sleeping Bag.
Hip Harness Pouches
Let’s check the fit!
An important safety element when using the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag or Sleeping Bag is to ensure it’s correctly fitted to prevent the product from riding up around your baby’s face. Here’s how you can check you’ve got the right size.
- Check you have the correct size according to your baby's weight using our Size Guide.
- Put the Cocoon Swaddle Bag or Sleeping Bag on your baby as you intend to use it (arms in or out).
- Slip two fingers into the neckhole of the Bag, and onto baby's chest. The material should feel firm and comfortable on your fingers, but not tight to ensure unrestricted breathing.
- Check your baby's brace, hips and legs. The pouch should fit comfortably around your child’s brace, with no tightness across the hips. Excess fabric length is OK! You can roll the excess fabric to rest under your baby’s brace, or simply leave as is.
Please do not be tempted to upsize, to get more wear out of the swaddle. A larger size may cause the material to gather around your baby's face. If your baby has their brace/harness removed, you can safely continue to use the pouch if the chest/neck fit is correct.
If in doubt, feel free to chat to our friendly Customer Service team who can help you check the fit for your baby.
Cocoon Swaddle Bag
Jersey Sleeping Bag
|Same as size
|Chest width (cm)
|Chest width (inch)
|Bottom width (cm)
|Bottom width (inch)
|Pouch length (cm)
|Pouch length (inch)
|Child weight (kg)
|Child weight (lb)
|13 -18 lbs
|18 - 22 lbs
|13.2 - 22lbs
|17.6 - 30.9lbs
|Child height (cm)
|Child height (inch)
|24.4" - 26.8"
|26.8" - 29.9"
Understanding TOG ratings
Your Hip Harness Pouch comes with a TOG rating. TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade and is a unit of measurement for insulation and warmth of sleepwear and bedding. Put simply, the lower the TOG rating the lighter the fabric. The higher the rating, the more padded and insulated it is for warmth. TOG rated fabrics are important as your baby cannot regulate their temperature like adults can.
Included in your pouch packaging is a Room Thermometer and Dressing Guide. Simply read the thermometer to find the room temperature of your baby's sleep environment, then follow the Dressing Guide on the front of the thermometer. The guide will inform how to layer your baby for sleep based on the TOG rating of your swaddle, and the temperature of your room. Simple, smart and sanity-saving!
Understanding TOG ratings
What TOGs does the Hip Harness Pouch come in?
Choose from three TOGs for the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag and the Hip Harness Sleeping Bag for comfortable sleeping no matter the temperature.
Extend the life of your Hip Harness Pouch
Your Hip Harness Pouch is made from GOTS certified organic cotton and elastane*, and filled with GOTS certified organic cotton. When cared for properly, this product will last several years and can be used for more than one baby. Our TOGs don't lose their warmth ratings over time, but a gentle fluff up in the dryer on a low setting helps maintain the fibre's loft, allowing air to circulate more effectively.
If you've received a second-hand Hip Harness Pouch, check for loose threads, stable zips and any stretch around the neck before using. Contact our Customer Service team if you're unsure if you have received the correct size for your baby's weight.
*1.0 TOG Hip Harness Pouches also contain bamboo viscose for added stretch.
How to wash and dry your Hip Harness Pouch
- Gentle cold machine wash
- Low tumble dry
- Moderately hot iron
- Dry cleanable
- Do not use bleach based stain removers
FAQs for the Hip Harness Pouch
Can I continue to use the Hip Harness Pouch if the harness comes off?
Absolutely! As long as the upper part of the pouch fits your child safely, it is safe to use without a harness. The excess fabric around the legs will not cause safety issues.
What DDH braces and harnesses will the pouches fit over?
Both the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag and Hip Harness Jersey Sleeping Bag have been tested to fit comfortably and safely over a Pavlik Harness, Denis Browne Brace and Rhino Brace in children who vary in age from 6 weeks to 2 years.
Do I use blankets on top of the Hip Harness Pouch?
The Hip Harness Pouches are TOG rated meaning they have an insulation grade making them warm enough to use for sleep without loose bedding, and are designed to replace blankets. It is recommended by safe sleep guidelines to sleep your baby with their face and head uncovered, and their bassinet or cot free from loose bedding, pillows and toys.
How do I know if I have the right TOG to keep them warm enough?
Included in your Hip Harness Pouch packaging is a Room Thermometer and Dressing Guide. Place the thermometer in your baby's sleep environment to check room temperature. Once room temperature is established, use the table to guide you on the correct TOG and under Layers combination. The Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag and Hip Harness Jersey Sleeping bag comes in three different TOGs to ensure your baby is comfortable no matter the room temperature. Our organic cotton fibres are excellent at keeping your baby warm, whilst being breathable to maintain a comfortable and safe sleeping temperature.
My babies hands feel cold, are you sure I have the right TOG?
It is normal for a newborn baby's extremities to feel cold to the touch during sleep, as their circulatory system develops. Their body is prioritising blood flow to keep the core warm and supply blood to vital organs. A better test for your baby's warmth is to put your hand to the skin on their nape or chest. If their skin feels warm and dry to touch in these areas, your baby is warm enough during sleep despite cold hands. If your baby feels cool to touch on the nape or chest, they are too cold and may need to go up a TOG in the swaddle, or need extra layers underneath. If they feel sticky or hot to touch, they are overheating and require less layers or a lower TOG rating for their swaddle.
Can I use the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag with arms out from birth?
Absolutely! The Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag is designed to be worn arms in or out. Not all babies liked to be swaddled, and if your baby is fussy when putting the swaddle on or fighting it during sleep, try releasing their arms using the press studs. Your newborn will still be sleeping safely in a TOG rated sleeping bag that is appropriate for their age and stage.
Does the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag cause chest compression?
When the correct size for your child's weight is used, the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag should be a firm fit to control the startle reflex, but should not cause chest compression. Every Hip Harness Pouch is made with stretchy elastane for both comfort and to enable unrestricted breathing when used with arms in or out.
How long can I use the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag for?
When using the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag as an arms in swaddle, it is safe to use until your baby shows signs of rolling over. Once your little one shows signs of rolling, it’s time to transition to arms out sleeping for their safety. Simply open the press studs and transition one arm out at a time over several days. As an arms out sleeping bag, the Cocoon Swaddle Bag can be used as a safe sleeping bag up to 12 months old; simply follow our Size Guide to ensure you are using the correct size for your baby's weight.
What does my baby wear under the Hip Harness Pouch?
This will vary from a nappy, through to warm pyjamas/onesies depending on the room temperature. Follow our What to Wear dressing guide (included with your pouch) to layer appropriately underneath, according to your room temperature and what TOG pouch you use. ergoPouch's under Layers are also TOG rated to help make dressing for sleep easy.
Do I need to remove the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag when doing overnight feeds or nappy changes?
This is optional, but the short answer is no. Your baby can remain swaddled for a feed, but you may wish to unswaddle for comfort and burping. You do not need to remove the swaddle for nappy/diaper changes. Simply unzip the swaddle from the bottom to release the legs and change a nappy.
Can I use the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag for sleep on the go with baby?
The Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag can be worn if sleeping in a bassinet-style pram attachment or travel bassinet/cot, but cannot be used in a five point harness. Please do not put your baby in a car seat wearing the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag.
Can my baby sleep with their arms up in a Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag?
A baby won't be able to get their arms all the way up to the sides of their head in an ergoPouch Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag. Instead, our swaddles are made from a stretchy fabric to allow for natural arm movement around the body. We find that babies will wriggle their arms and hands into a position that is most comfortable for them. The bag is stretchy enough for your baby to bring their hand to their mouth for self-soothing if they are inclined. If your newborn baby prefers to sleep arms out (i.e. not swaddled) – that’s OK! Simply open the press studs to let their arms out. The Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag is still the warmest, safest solution for non-swaddled newborn babies during sleep.
How many Pouches do I need?
We recommend that you start with at least two Pouches, one to wear and one in the wash. A baby can be a messy creature with leaking nappies and spitting up milk constantly! If baby's room is warmer during the day and cooler overnight, opt for two swaddles in each TOG rating. For example, two 1.0 TOG pouches and two 2.5 TOG pouches during cooler months, or two 0.2 TOG pouches and two 1.0 TOG pouches in warmer months. You can use the cooler TOG rating for day sleeps, and the warmer TOG rating for night sleeps.
Not suitable for use in a 5 point harness. Please don't put your baby in a car seat whilst wearing the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag or Hip Harness Jersey Sleeping Bag.
Babies don’t regulate their body heat very well and rely on their coverings to keep them warm but not hot. Do not overdress a baby underneath their swaddle and never cover their head during sleep (e.g. with a hat or beanie). Follow our What To Wear Guide to safely dress your baby for sleep and to avoid overheating.
If using the Hip Harness Cocoon Swaddle Bag, when your baby shows signs of rolling (usually from 8 weeks), it's time to open the press studs to release their arms for safety. If they do roll onto their stomach during sleep, their free arms will assist them in lifting their head to the side for unobstructed breathing.