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How to care for a baby in a Pavlik harness?

Pavlik harness
Pavlik harness

It can be challenging looking after a baby who needs to wear a pavlik harness 24 hours a day.

Nappy changes

Allow extra time for nappy changes. As you will need to pass the nappy opening under the harness and then pull the nappy from the bottom. So trying not to lift the legs.


Change baby’s clothes regularly, be careful when changing clothes as the top part of the harness needs to come off. You can buy pavlik harness clothing, but we found that an oversized vest worn under the harness worked well. Knee length socks can be worn beneath the lower leg straps to help prevent chaffing.


Wash and dry baby's body carefully, especially under the arms, feet, hands and nappy area. Babies wearing a harness will not be able to have a bath. I washed baby's hair, even though we couldn't bath baby, it was nice to have a hair wash and a gentle head massage, which is very relaxing. It's important to keep your baby's skin well moisturised.

Play time

When wearing the harness we were restricted to what we could actually do. But we still enjoyed daily play time. We did lots of black and white visual stimulation. Singing songs and music time, playing instruments would be a good activity. We enjoyed bouncy chair time and looking out of the windows.

There are so many things you can still do together.

But most importantly remember that they will not be wearing the harness forever and to enjoy spending this special time with your little one.


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