There are so many things I never knew were possible, during pregnancy, birth and with newborns in general. Myla was a breech baby - and I'm pretty sure she was that way from 20 weeks on. Her little bottom was wedged into place and she refused to turn and flip - despite the amount of headstands I was doing - and was born by cesarean. Due to her breech presentation, the doctors ordered an ultrasound on her hips at 6 weeks old to check for Hip Dysplasia. (Isn't that something only dogs get?) On the spot, she was diagnosed with DDH, Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip. In short, what this meant was that she had to wear a pavlik harness for the next 6 months. For most of those six months, she had to be in this harness for 23 hours a day, which left one hour per day for a bath, tummy time or the most delicious little infant cuddles a new mom could ever imagine.
Clothing her, let alone diapering, carrying, and playing, was quite difficult with velcro and fabric straps tied all around her little 7 pound body. She was diagnosed mid-winter and I needed a way to dress her warmly as only a onesie was allowed beneath this harness. (Say good-bye to all those brand new, super cute, little newborn clothes - that I already clipped tags off of and washed). I decided to embrace this experience and sew her some balloon bloomers. I made these outfits out of soft cotton fleece in funky patterns (easily paired with solid-colored, long sleeve onesies) and added snaps for easier diaper changes. Besides her being super cute - the best part was that they kept her warm and allowed her freedom of movement. At a little over 7 months, we declared freedom from the pavlik harness - what a glorious day for both mommy and baby.
Details of the bloomers and the "fancy" patterns I made... with paper bags. I didn't have any pattern paper and these actually worked out great! And because of the style of these bloomers, they didn't need to be sewn with precision and grew with Myla as she put on weight and lengthened.
UPDATE (February 2015): Since receiving several requests for the pattern/measurements, I'm SO happy to say that I finally got some time to clean up the pattern and turn it into a PDF to share with fellow 'hip' babies (although it may still not be perfect - it was 3 years ago that I originally made it). So, you can now download the Balloon Bloomer Pattern. I hope to work on the directions and helpful tips page soon. In the meantime, please make sure to print the pages at 100% scaling.
Some images of Myla rockin' her balloon bloomers.
Two images of Myla in her Pavlik Harness. The first is when we brought her home from her first orthopedist appointment, and the second is right before we put her to bed on her last night before saying Good-bye to the harness. As of today, her hips are still looking really good and her next appointment is a year and a half away!!!