Preparing for Surgery

Understanding Hip Dysplasia

Infant & Child - Preparing for Surgery

Citation: “The Parents Guide to Hip Dysplasia” by Betsy Miller

With surgeries there is typically a window of time between scheduling the appointment and the dates. This can be anywhere from weeks to months. Planning will help to ensure both you and your child are prepared and are as comfortable as possible. Ask your doctor how long recovery will be so you can plan according to the recovery period as well. Be sure to ask your doctor if your car seat is appropriate for post-surgery transport as you baby may be in a cast.


  • Remember to take care of yourself. Ask for help from family & friends if you need it. Remaining levelheaded will reduce the baby’s anxiety.
  • New routines can be stressful for babies. Notify the medical staff/nursing staff of your baby’s daily eating patterns and sleep schedule. Keep the schedule the same the night before.
  • Plan for one parent to be present as much as possible, so there is a sense of familiarity in a new environment. This is crucial as there are many caregivers present during and after surgery.
  • Other forms of familiarity and comfort can come from items and sounds. Bring a security item that the baby can associate with home (blanket, bear). Record your voice reading or singing for the staff to place on the loop if you are unable to be present.
  • Surgery requires that no food or drink be consumed. Prepare to distract the baby with rocking, walking, and comfort.
  • Ask questions to alleviate any fears you might have. Familiarize yourself with the surgery process. Be sure and bring a relaxed presence, use nonverbal communication, with voice and body language. This can convey assurance to your baby.