Posts Tagged ‘learning to walk’

Bowlegs and knock-knees

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

bowlegsDo your baby’s legs curve or bow outward, not touching at the knees when the feet are placed together? It’s actually normal for the first couple of years, so no need to panic. Once your baby starts to walk, muscles will strengthen, his legs will start to straighten and they should be fairly straight by the age of two and a half.

After age three or four it’s possible that, when standing, the knees may press together but the ankles will not touch. This is called knock-knees. Overweight children are most likely to develop knock-knees because their developing bones and joints have trouble supporting their weight. This condition usually goes away once the structure of the knee matures, some time between the ages of five and seven.

Again, both bowlegs and knock-knees usually fall within the normal range of development and correct themselves over time. Occasionally, however, they don’t and the condition may be caused by a serious problem, such as an infection, a tumor, Blount’s disease (a disorder involving the shinbone), or Rickets (caused by a vitamin D deficiency). Talk with your child’s health care provider if:

• the curvature of the leg is extreme or present in only one leg
• bowlegs worsens after age two
• bowlegs still exist after age four
• knock-knees still exist after age seven
• your child is in pain or the condition interferes with normal physical activity

Although these conditions are fairly normal and usually correct themselves, it’s important to have your child’s health care provider monitor his progress. Make sure to keep all of your child’s appointments.

Baby’s first steps

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Who doesn’t love to watch a baby take his first steps? It will put a smile on anyone’s face! Look at these adorable tots and consider walking with us for stronger, healthier babies.

First steps to a 50 yard dash

Friday, February 25th, 2011

first-stepsWhen will your baby start to walk? Well, as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. You are likely to see some action somewhere around the first birthday, give or take a month or so.

Once your baby figures out how to pull herself up to a standing position, she’ll have to figure out how to get back down to a sitting position. (Knee bending is much harder to learn than it looks and is enormously frustrating for a few days, so prepare for some crying.) Once the vertical challenge has been conquered, cruising the furniture isn’t far behind.

Practice laps around the furniture pay off. As balance improves, curiosity takes over and can entice a toddler to take a step or two into thin air, her first solo flight, before she realizes what she’s doing. When that ah-ha moment strikes (Look where I am!), she’ll probably plop right down on her fanny.  Amazingly, most toddlers go from shaky first steps to serious walking in a matter of days. This doesn’t mean that she won’t continue to take a tumble or two for a while. Realize that bumps, bruises and boo-boos will show up regularly. Give them a quick check but don’t make a big deal about them. If you don’t fuss too much, neither will she.

By the way, the American Academy of Pediatrics tells parents not to use a baby walker because they eliminate the desire to walk, can tip over easily and lead to accidents. Let your little one cruise the furniture and hold on to your finger. When going outdoors, be sure to provide flexible nonslip shoes and often check the way they fit. Tots this age can outgrow their shoes in just a couple of months!

Baby feet

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

19393021_thbBelieve it or not, the human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body. It has 26 bones, including a complex system of ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. The feet of young children are soft, pliable and grow quite rapidly during the first year. For these reasons, podiatrists consider this period to be the most critical stage of the foot’s development.

Here are some suggestions from the American Podiatric Medical Association to help promote normal development:

Look carefully at your baby’s feet. If you notice something that does not look normal to you, contact the baby’s pediatrician or a podiatrist. Many deformities will not correct themselves if left untreated.

Keep your baby’s feet unrestricted. No shoes or booties are necessary for infants. These can restrict movement and can inhibit toes and feet from normal development.

Provide an opportunity for exercising the feet. Lying uncovered enables the baby to kick and perform other related motions which prepare the feet for weight bearing.

Change the baby’s position several times a day. Lying too long in one spot can put excessive strain on the feet and legs. Be sure to limit how much time your baby spends standing in an activity center to no more than 15 minutes at a time.

It is not recommended to force a child to walk. A child will walk when physically and mentally ready. When a baby first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. As a toddler, walking barefoot allows the youngster’s foot to grow normally and to develop its musculature and strength, as well as the grasping action of toes. When walking outside or on rough surfaces, babies’ feet should be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008