Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Entertaining your hip child

At the beginning of this journey, I was most afraid of having an unhappy baby. I wondered how I was going to keep Kennedy happy, how I was going to entertain her. I joked that at the end of her casting she wouldn't have bathed & neither would have I. With a lot of help we have settled into a routine that works for both of us. Kennedy is happy and I'm not too crazy (although it varies from day to day). A lot of parents recommend many different items to help entertain your child. One thing to keep in mind is what kind of cast you're getting. Kennedy's cast has a stability bar between her knees, attached to the front of the knees, which made it impossible to use many of the carriers that others recommend. However, I will mention what worked for us.

First of all, we bought a new stroller that would accomodate her cast. What you want to look for is a smaller stroller that has a shallow seat and will accomodate spread legs. However, you will learn that while something may accomodate one cast the next cast may require a little tweaking. With Kennedy's second cast her legs were a little wider spread so we stuffed a pillow into the back to push her further foward and then seat belted her in to keep her there. We kept the pillow there with Kennedy's third cast because the cast had more of a reclined position so the pillow kept her in a better strollering position. This stroller has proven to be invaluable and is well used. Kennedy always finds strollering outside to be fun and a great distraction so it has gotten us through a lot of rough days.

We also use two bean bag chairs, one in the bedroom area and the other in the living area, so I don't have to lug one around while carrying Kennedy. This is a great way to put Kennedy down with a toy so I can get a few things done (shower, eat, go to the bathroom...). In the beginning I would pull the bean bag chair up to a low coffee table so she could have some toys on the table and play. That was great although it was easy for her to slide from a sitting position to a reclining position and the toys fell off the table easily. Overall, the bean bag chairs are great and also invaluable for day-to-day living. I also used Kennedy's old bouncy chair from time-to-time although it didn't handle her weight well - I think she was just too big for it!

Probably the best purchase is our watermelon Ivyrose spica chair. We received our about 6 wks into our spica experience, with 9 wks to go. After 2 days with the chair I didn't know how we'd survived w/out it. The chair is built and designed by a mom with two spica girls and made to fit a variety of cast positions. I know the creator of Ivyrose spica chairs is undergoing some business changes involving upcoming federal laws so I'm unsure of the availability of her chairs but I highly recommend visiting her website and looking into getting one of her chairs to help you through this experience. Her website is:

Here are some items other people recommend:
strollers: umbrella strollers, Bugaboo Frog stroller, Mia Moda Cielo stroller,
BabyTrend Expedition LX jogging stroller
baby carriers: Mei Tai carriers, Ergo baby carriers, Hippychick hip seats
ride on toys - cars, trains - for spica casts without the stability bar

You can also visit and for more ideas regarding how to entertain your child while in their spica cast!

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I have enjoyed looking at your site and ideas as I am about to face the same situation. I have 5 children and my youngest daughter who is almost 18 months was just diagnosed with some major problems with her left hip. She is scheduled for surgery in a couple weeks and will have the spica like your daughter's with the bar in the middle for between 12-18 weeks. She already walks and is hard for me to imagine how hard it will be for her. I have been trying and trying to find her a table like your watermelon one but guess Ivy Rose is not making them right now as I have never received any response. I wondered if you had any other ideas about buying one of these? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,