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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If you are asking this question, you probably need a professional to tell you the answer. Most of the time, go with your gut. Have your child evaluated by a pediatric PT.
Therapy is much easier when it is done sooner. A child left with any type of muscle imbalance or movement problem for a long time will end up with a list of problems later. Scooting to crawl is not cute, a “good baby” who never cries or tries to move is not normal, I could go on and on and on…So many times I hear the woes from parents who thought that their baby would just “grow out of it”. Your child will likely increase his or her skills but the way in which your child performs a skill can greatly affect his or her entire life, including cognitive development and later test scores. I don’t have the research pulled here to reference; but this has been well documented.
Don’t wait until that crack in the dam is a raging flood…seek help now to give your child the best chance that you can.
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Late last night I received a frantic email from a lady in California. She was very concerned about her baby not staying in side-lying position and he has developed a flat head. She was at a loss about how to work with him. I immediately sent her to my tummy time page and told her to check in tonight as I will post a large section on side lying and soon will post on torticollis (wry neck) and head flattening (many fancy names but the sort common type that you may hear is plagiocephaly). As always, don’t despair as you are not alone!! These are common problems that I hope to clarify in a simple and easy to follow post. See my Side-Lying page here.
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