First, let me say that I probably get 50% of my emails about this and about foot/leg positions of children in general. I am so glad that you are watching and observing your child. Please be patient as your baby learns to stand and walk, as this usually develops over time with a LOT of changes going on in his or her feet and legs. See my page on toeing in and out for some more information.
The normal progression with leg position is that your child will have bowed legs as a baby and will look more knock-kneed as a pre-schooler. All of this is normal, but if you are not sure, it is okay to ask someone. The foot develops with weight bearing or standing. As your child learns to stand and walk, the foot will develop an arch. If your baby is flat-footed, that is normal, but as he or she begins to walk, if the foot remains flat, then it should be checked.
The good news is that your child will most likely grow out of whatever you are concerned about, but you should always as your pediatrician about any suspected problems to get their expertise. Many problems need to be caught early in order to correct for the best results, and if your mommy senses are “tingling” that something isn’t right, I would recommend a professional to evaluate your child. Most pediatricians know when to send you to a therapist. If you are not satisfied, please ask again until you get the information you need.
You are always going to be your child’s best advocate!
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For me…. lets see….Just kidding.
I get this question so much. I actually received a text about this as I was pulling up to post a response. I will let the cat out of the bag: YOU DON’T NEED SPECIAL SHOES to help your child walk. Now, if you have some specific areas that need attention, this may not be the case. For the average child, no special shoes are needed. Please don’t spend a lot of time or money searching out the perfect pair. Here are some tips:
–Get your child sized and keep up with his/her growth by getting new shoes when needed
–Wear shoes outside to protect feet. Barefoot is ok but just remember that there are numerous things from insects (bees) to glass, etc that you may encounter outside.
–High tops do add support. You don’t have to get these, but even little girls look cute in boots!
–Make a trip to a local inexpensive shoe store!
–Do let your child go barefoot inside the house. This is important for sensory feedback as well as strengthening the foot muscles.
–Spend money on expensive “supportive” shoes at these young ages. Toddlers’ feet are not supposed to have this unless they have a known problem.
–Buy the traditional “walking shoe” –it has a slick bottom and it is not really a great shoe for walking. Its only good attribute is the high top.
–Buy the cute flimsy shoe that matches the outfit oh-so-perfectly. Make sure it is a decent shoe and will not flip over or the foot slide off to easy.
Have fun with your new walking baby! It is not long before the leg hikes up and your toddler is on the move with climbing–this can happen within hours of the first steps!!!
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