Spica Cast Survival Kit

There are so many things that a parent needs in order to care for a baby in a spica cast! Thankfully a lot of what we already had for Addison was easily modified to accomodate her different shape/size in the spica cast, but here is a list of the things we can't live without.

1. Handy Sitt Chair
I cannot say enough about this chair. Addison loved to sit up in her high chair before her surgery and cast application, so it just follows that she was going to want to continue to do that following her surgery! Unfortunately she no longer fit her high chair due to how she was positioned in the cast. So we came across this ingenius little invention. It is meant for babies 7 months - 3 years, but Addie was just 4 months when we bought her this chair. Because of her cast, she fits it like a glove. It travels everywhere with us and is easy to pack around. It allows her to sit like a big girl at the big people table to play with her toys or join her dad and I for a meal. I love, love, LOVE this chair. You can find out all the details about the chair on their website: http://www.minuihandysitt.com/ The one we bought for Addie is the Portable High Chair.

Addie loves her Handy Sitt

The Handy Sitt just fits on any normal chair and is super portable so you can take it with you where ever you go!

2. Swing
Addie's grandparents had purchased her an automatic swing shortly after she was born, thinking it would give me a break during the day. Have I told you yet how fabulous(ly right) grandparents are? Anyway, Addie loved her swing. I could put her in it after her morning feeding and she would happily swing away while I had my morning shower. I was very worried that she would not fit it following her cast, but with some clever padding with blankets, it still works great and she spends quality time in it each and every day. Ours is situated in front of the tv so that she can get her daily dose of cartoons as well. She is a little heavier with the cast, so the swinging motion is slowed down somewhat by that, but still a great great thing to entertain a little spica babe. The swing we have is the Fisher Price Precious Planet Blue Sky Cradle and Swing: http://www.fisher-price.com/fp.aspx?st=7171&e=product&pid=52876&pcat=pp_living_room

Swinging the day away

3. Britax Hippo Car Seat
As I mention in the blog, this has been a wonderful loaner from the hospital where Addie had her surgery. It also required customization with some memory foam, a head rest, some rolled up blankets to cushion her little arms and teething rings to tether toys to her seat for her to play with. I don't know what we would do without this car seat!

The Hippo is made specifically for spica babes

4. Baby Bjorn Carrier
Again, it is right up there with the Handy Sitt Chair. Addie spends close to 4 hours a day in this ingenius invention. We go for walks, do the housework, yardwork, walk the dog, stroll the shopping mall - all in this handy, light-weight carrier. The one we purchased has great back support, so it helps in that respect as well. You are never quite prepared for what a toll a babe in a spica can put on your back! Some other spica parents have given me a hard time about this carrier on the hip dysplasia message boards claiming that it is not very good for the baby, but I don't think they should judge. She loves it, our ortho has approved it and it works for us. Like anything, find one that works for you. There are a lot of great carriers out there, this one just works for us!

Best carrier, hands down!

5. Abdominal Pads
A great weapon of choice against diaper leakage up the back of the cast. We just stumbled across these in the hospital after Addie's cast was first put on and they do a fantastic job of keeping the mess contained within her diaper. For more on exactly how we deal with diapering, see my post on it, with pictures, here:

8 x 10 abdominal pads, Kendall Tendersorb 9194A fit Addie's cast opening perfectly once cut in half

6. Waterproof Tape
We petaled all around the cast opening with this stuff in an attempt to keep it dry...and so far so good. It take a bit of time to apply to the cast opening, but is really really worth it once you have your first explosive diaper!

7. Moleskin
Because the water-proof tape is not as soft as we'd like it to be against Addie's skin, we put Dr. Scholl's moleskin over the waterproof tape around the cast opening. It is so soft and provides a nice cushion against our bub's skin. We have also used it around the top of the cast where the cast was a bit sharp and chafing our lil one's arms, as well as around the ankles when the cast stuffing began to fall out and she began to rub her lil legs on the hard cast edge. Wonderful stuff!

Waterproof tape (orange), Moleskin (tan) and Abdominal Pad stuffed in the opening all help tremendously to keep the cast diaper area clean and dry!

8. Blowdryer
Yes, that's right. It works wonders not only to dry the diaper area during a diaper change to help prevent diaper rash, Addison also gets a charge out of it simply being turned on -- it's a win-win for us and sits right beside her change table now. Firing it up always gets a giggle from Addie! Just remember, keep it on the cool setting and it works double duty to both dry the diaper area and cool baby off a bit as the diaper area tends to get quite warm with the double diapering!

9. Bean Bag Chair
Because no other chairs work for Addison, her grandma made her a very large bean bag chair we thought we would use for sleeping, but that we now use for just entertaining her. She can sit for extended periods of time in the chair quite comfortably as it just molds around her little body + cast. I discovered that it also makes a fabulous breastfeeding seat. Breastfeeding, as you can imagine, is not easy with a baby in a spica, but the bean bag chair makes it much, much easier!

Our little hip chick got a custom made bean bag chair from grandma - with a "hippie" theme

10. Crib Wedges
We have placed these in both her playard (which she currently sleeps in) and her crib. These wedges just help to elevate her torso and make her a bit more comfortable while she is playing in her crib or sleeping in her playard. She seems much more comfortable since we have added these to our arsenal. We also bought a smaller one (a pregnancy wedge) for her change table to do the same trick during diaper changes. Works really well.

The crib wedge helps Addie play in her crib in comfort

11. Memory Foam
This stuff works great for padding existing chairs, carseats, strollers to make for a cozier fit for your baby and relieve some of the pressure points they will feel in their cast. We also use it to pad under her little feet when she is lying on her back and we place it under her feet when she is in her jolly jumper to give her a bit softer landing.

12. Cast cooler
This baby works double duty -- it not only helps to keep her cool during the hot summer months, it also helps to dry up the cast and minimize odor should their be a diaper that leaks into the cast or if the cast gets wet for any reason. Addison loves the sound of the vacuum so this was a no brainer for us.
To my knowledge, these can only be purchased online via the website: http://www.castcooler.com/

13. onesies, Onesies, ONESIES!
These are the best for baby when she is in her cast. While dresses and t-shirts might seem like the key, the benefit of the onesie is that it stays in place. I found t-shirts and dresses just rode up on my poor bean. The onesies not only stayed in place, but helped cushion her little arms from the abrasiveness of the cast.She obviously needed a bigger size to accomodate the cast. She was 4 months old when she went into the cast and I found the 12-18 month onesies fit perfectly over the bulky cast. I even managed to find a few with long sleeves and legs that snapped up at the bottom so she could wear these and disguise the cast completely.

Make sure the onesies snap up at the bottom to ensure you can get them over the cast

14. A sense of humour and lots of love
By far the most important tools!! We are not perfect and all we can do is try our best, love our little ones with extra fervor and do our best to keep our little ones as comfy as possible for the duration of their casting!


  1. wow thank you so much for this wonderful blog! it has helped me so much and we are not sure if our daughter will be casted yet but she is also 4 months old and goes in this week to have the arthogram done to see if she will be casted. it looks like a lot of work but you have done an amazing job!

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  2. This is awesome. my daughter is in want cast and is 3 months this was helpful :)

  3. Our 4 month old will have the closed reduction and spica cast next Thursday. Thanks for the tips, really helpful and I've stocked up on all that you mention in your survival kit!

  4. This was an awesome blog..best one I could find online!!my daughter will be getting the cast on Monday I hope everything goes well and with me bookmarking your blog I will know exactly what to look for at moments!!and I agree love and caring and humor are the key your baby needs to know that your not stressed so they don't get stressed...remember they are smarter than we may think:) hope Addie is doing good now and running around :)blessings from my family to yours:-)

  5. Your Survival kit has alot of awesome atuff in it and the pictures are very helpful as well. My daughter is 4 months and she hasn't been in her spica cast a week yet and its proven to be quite challenging with 2 other children running around. Her cast goes from chest right to the tips of her toes. We've been usi nh newborn diapers on the inside tucked in and size 5 diaper on the outside. She is still healing from her surgery too so its a very tight sensitive area for her.

  6. Thank you for the great ideas! its a very trying moment for our baby and us. Seeing these tips is very encouraging!