As parents we get so excited for the first steps our baby makes. For most babies they start walking around 12-18 months. There is no perfect or “right” age for a baby to start walking, but there are things to look for to make sure your baby’s feet are functioning properly.
In the beginning most babies walk by holding onto furniture and move from one thing to the next until they have good enough balance to walk on their own. When they do this their toes spread out to give them more stability. Some babies even walk on their toes. This is fine in the beginning but if your baby continues to walk on their toes it can be a sign of a problem. If your baby has been walking on his/her toes for a few months make an appointment with your local podiatrist who will check to see if there is a tight Achilles tendon or a contracted muscle. It’s important to see your podiatrist soon so they can take care of the problem before it gets worse.
Another thing to look for when your baby begins walking is if the toes point inward (pigeon toed). Often times kids outgrown walking like this with no problems, but it can also be a sign that there is something wrong with the rotation of the foot or leg, and can lead to more problems later if it goes untreated.
Flat feet is another very common problem and you may think your baby is flat footed. The truth is that babies feet don’t fully develop until around 2 1/2 to 3 years so it is hard to know for sure if your child will have flat feet until they reach this age. If by 3 years old you feel like your child still has flat feet take them in to see a podiatrist so they can evaluate your child’s feet. This will get them the help they need to be walking correctly, preventing further complications down the road.
If you feel like your baby or child may be experiencing foot problems don’t wait any longer to make them an appointment online or by calling 541-776-3338. At Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle LLC we are here to help you and your family receive the best foot care possible. Dr Evan Merrill has 20 plus years experience in the field and is always up to date on the changes in podiatry and how to best treat your feet.