Supplies for Hip Spica Cast – Post DDH Surgery


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Our daughter was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip when she was 15 months old. When she was 17 months old, she had an open reduction surgery and was placed in her first hip spica cast. The 12 weeks that followed were some of the most difficult weeks we have faced. Luckily, supplies did help us pass the time quicker. Here are a few supplies that made surviving the hip spica cast more bearable.

Supplies for Hip Spica Cast – Post DDH Surgery

1. Bean Bag Chairmy #1 MUST HAVE! You need a place for your baby to hang out and she won’t fit in many places anymore. A bean bag chair works great! Sara often fell asleep in hers and her surgeon said to keep her in a half reclined state as much as possible during her recovery.
hip spica cast supplies for post DDH surgery

2. New Boba 3G Baby Carriermy #2 must have! Since Sara didn’t fit in the grocery cart, I had to have some where to put her during shopping excursions. The Boba was big enough for my husband to carry her and easy enough to use for me to get her on and off alone – a big necessity.

hip spica cast supplies for post DDH surgery

3. Baby legs– very handy for cold weather since pants don’t fit. I highly recommend baby legs – if there’s no bar on the cast. I found a great sale and stocked up. My favorite pair were Halloween ones with bones on them – they were our good luck legs for healthy hip growth. hip spica cast supplies for post DDH surgery

4. Shirts, onsies, flouncy dresses in one-two sizes larger than her normal size. Some of her old clothes fit, but not well. Going up 1-2 sizes seemed to do the trick. I stocked up on some clothes at Goodwill so I didn’t have to worry about them being ruined by the spica cast.
hip spica cast supplies for post DDH surgery

5. Duck Tape – sure wish I would have seen this MIZZOU duct tape while Sara still needed it…Duct tape came in really handy for “freshening” up her cast and a variety pack of duck tape was one of the favorite Christmas presents my kids received. Can you say country kids?
hip spica cast supplies for post DDH surgery

6. Moleskin – see if you can get some from your doctor, but if not, you might want to buy some. It comes in super handy for protecting not only baby’s skin, but also YOURS!

7. Incontinence pads, diapers of various sizes, flash light, hair dryer – diapering’s tricky in the Spica. You might want to have a variety of supplies on hand as you figure out how to diaper. The flashlight is a MUST HAVE to check for skin problems hidden under the spica. The hair dryer also helped me out more than once. I blogged more about diapering and supplies here.

8. Baby Advil & Tylenol – helpful right off the bat when the pain is bad (we gave this in between her doses of prescribed meds). There is some evidence of Motrin impairing bone growth, so check with your surgeon before you give lots of does of Motrin.

9. Medicine droppers and a notebook to keep track of meds – we had 3 different prescribed medications and alternated them Advil and Tylenol to manage her pain. Keeping track of when what was due was immensely helpful.

10. Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug – a super toy! Sara loved wheeling around on this – in her cast and in her brace. And so did several other hip children we have connected with.

hip spica cast supplies for post DDH surgery

11. On-The-Go Booster Seat – handy because your baby most likely will not fit in her high chair.

12. Spica Chair – a lot of people really recommend these chairs. Honestly, they didn’t work that well for us. Our surgeon wanted Sara to remain more reclined on the bean bag chair, and I just had a hard time getting Sara in and out of the spica chair. She always wanted to be on my lap anyhow. You can order a spica chair, or get instructions and build your own.
hip spica cast supplies for post DDH surgery

13. Car seat – you’re also going to need a wide car seat. Our hospital loaned us one to use. There are programs to help you afford one if you can’t get one from the hospital (Steps in the UK).

These were must have supplies for us when my daughter when she was in a hip spica cast after DDH surgery. What have you found to be helpful for your child?

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Great list, I’m sure many other parents and caregivers will find this helpful! 🙂 I had to laugh at the end with the Balloons…My niece Kylee(4) has always loved balloons, but to come home from the hospital and see a room filled with balloons really cheered her up and were played with for days and days! <–that's a list of helpful products that have helped our kylee through, I'd say the most helpful, must-have for Kylee was the Castcooler… It cost 80$ but was well worth the price, a couple times her cast got really wet, a hair-dryer just couldn't get it dry enough….the castcooler really worked and saved them a trip or two to the hospital to get a new cast put on… For Kylee, I'd say her must-have's through this have been her dolls, all her barbies and LOTS of arts and crafts supplies! 🙂

    1. $80 for a cast cooler?? I’ve seen them much cheaper on Amazon. Maybe the price went down. We had one for a while that we didn’t really use that much. But Sara’s cast stayed pretty dry. I’ll add the cast cooler to the list. Thanks, Corie!

  2. Great website you have here. My two year old has been in a spica cast for 7 weeks now. Last week they cut the one side of the cast to above her knee, so now both legs of the cast are above the knee. Now another 5 weeks and the cast gets to come off. Then Lorenz brace….

    Anyhow, our first week we used a hair dryer for drying out the cotton when it got soaked in the cast. It worked ok. Now we use the electric blower that we have for one of our air mattresses. It’s from Ozark Trail. It has a 6′ long hose with it and the air is always cool/warm and it’s high volume. It does a really good job of drying the cast. We extended the hose so it’s around the corner from the changing area so we don’t have to listen to the noise.


    1. Hi Chris, Are you in Iowa? What you describe is exactly how my daughter was treated. I’ve only heard of that specific treatment at the U. Good luck to you! The brace is much, much better!!

      1. We’re from Central Iowa. Yes, we are going to the U of I Children’s Hospital. We initially were referred to a specialist in Des Moines, but he didn’t feel comfortable with the procedure and he sent us to his mentor/professor at the U of I that works with children’s pediatric hip disorders. Been happy so far with the folks at the U of I. Good to have such great specialists only a couple hours away…

  3. That’s alright, but thanks for the offer. At this point we have “stations” setup around the house to entertain her. They are working pretty well. She is getting along good. With the nice weather, we get to be outside more. She has a big wheel wagon that she likes to sit in and we have a table that can go over it. She sits outside with us and plays. She also loves rides on the 4-wheeler back into the timber. 3 1/2 more weeks…. wish us luck.


  4. My 4 month old daughter, Sloan, was diagnosed with DDH a couple of months ago and after time spent in the Pavlik Harness and Rhino Cruiser we are headed for the OR. We haven’t scheduled the surgery yet but will be doing so this afternoon. I am trying to get a head start so I will have as much information and supplies as I can as I am a planner and preparer. Do you still have the SPICA table available? We live in CO but I would be more than happy to cover the cost of the table and shipping.
    And thank you so much for blogging about your experience. It helps my husband and I prepare for what is coming to hear other people’s experiences…good and bad, what worked and what didn’t. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. I’m not sure about the spica table. I got an email today from people in Iowa who would like it. If they don’t take it, we’ll figure out how to get it to you. I’ll comment here after I hear back from them.

  5. We are planning on my daughter going into a spica in late July or August. She is currently 8 1/2 months old. This list (and several other things posted on your site which is HEAVENLY!) is so helpful in guiding us as we pray for discernment about the things we will need. Thank you for writing this!

    1. Hi there!! Good luck with your daughter’s surgery. Please feel free to email me with any and all questions!! Hugs!

  6. My 14 mo grandson is in a spica cast and it too has gotten wet and stinky. I read somewhere that eucalyptus oil helps with the smell.

    1. Essential oils are very helpful! I used some lavender and tea tree oil on my daughter’s cast today. She’s smelling much better. 🙂

    1. Kevin, that’s very nice of you to offer. I’m sharing your comment on a DDH board on facebook. Good luck to you and your family. <3

    2. Hi! Our 5 yr old was just diagnosed with DDH. We are now preparing for surgery. Do you still have this chair/ table? We are located near Sacramento but will be in San Francisco this weekend.

  7. Hey there. My 4 1\2 yo will be having a combined osteotomy on April 3. In an effort to prepare I am trying to network with other parents who have been through this experience. Would you please email meat [email protected]
    Thank you!

  8. My daughter is 8 years old, and was just diagnosed with hip dysplasia. It is very rare that it go undetected for so long. We are taking her to a specialist in St. Louis (about 4 hours from Indianapolis, where we live). We will need to get her home from the hospital after surgery. Any suggestions on how to make her comfortable and safe in the car?
    Thank you!

    1. Are you seeing Dr Schoenecker by chance, Kim? Are you being treated at Children’s Hospital or Shriners? I imagine the hospital will have a harness for your daughter. Did you happen to see my post with a picture of my daughter in the reclining cast? Please email me: [email protected] and we can chat. <3

  9. Hi my 9 month old daughter will be having an open reduction in early May. She is our first born and we have been through a lot since birth; when she was diagnosed. Do you have any more tips on diapering? Where did you get your bean bag from and how big should it be? We are just trying to gather our supplies. Thank you

    1. Hi Denise, we got the beanbag chair from Amazon. Diapering depends so much on how the cast turns out and you won’t really know that until after the surgery. Have you found the facebook group Hip Toddlers? Join that if you can as there are so many helpful people there!! Best of luck to you. ❤️

  10. Hi, My daughter is 17 months old and she is going into surgery on Nov 30. Matter of fact Shriners in Stl . I seen someone posted they were going there. You’re list is truly amazing. Thank you for putting time into this. I been trying to find as much information on this and this was so helpful.

  11. Thankful to have found your blog. My baby girl was officially diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 2 months old but we suspected it at birth. She’s been through the Pavlik and Rhino and we just found out today that she’s going to have to have surgery (x3) and the spica casts for a total of 12-16 weeks.
    My mama heart is hurting but I found you a couple weeks ago when we suspected that was the route we were going to have to go and it helped mentally prepare me.
    Will definitely continue referencing your info as we get closer to surgery and navigating the cast, etc

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet girl. Please feel free to reach out to me – [email protected]. Best of luck with her surgery. It won’t seem like it when you’re going through it, but it will be over before you know it. <3