As your baby begins to walk, they need more support from you than ever.
Below are ways to support your baby as they begin to walk:
Avoid comparing your child’s development to other babies
Not all babies are the same, so don’t be alarmed if your infant isn’t walking at a certain age. The time it takes for a baby to reach a particular milestone, like walking, can vary due to different body weights or even different personalities.
Don’t be alarmed if it looks like your baby has flat feet
It’s just child fat plumping their feet up. By around age 2 to 3, that extra “fluff” on their feet should melt away and you should be able to see their natural arches.
Their feet may also curve inward, appearing like half moons, which is another infant holdover. Over time, their feet should straighten out.
Be assured your baby’s pigeon-toed feet will straighten out on their own
Also commonly known as “toeing-in”, pigeon-toed feet come from an internal tibial torsion, meaning your baby’s shinbones are turned inward.
This will correct on its own within six months of your child’s first steps. If your child still has pigeon-toed feet after six months, ask your pediatrician about stretching exercises to correct the problem.
Check your baby’s feet to make sure they can flatten them
Some babies will have a natural desire to walk around on their tiptoes, which actually helps them develop their sense of balance. This is almost always a quirk that will go away on its own, but rarely, it can be an indication of a too-tight muscle in your child’s heels or feet.
Read also: 16 Great Ways To Teach Your Baby How To Walk
If your child cannot physically flatten their feet on their own, or if they are walking on their tiptoes past the age of 3, let their pediatrician know, as this could be a sign of a developmental issue.
Consult with your pediatrician if your child falls excessively, their legs seem very stiff, or they continually stumble to one side
There may be signs of possible nerve, joint, or spinal issues.
Let your baby explore as they get more comfortable with walking
As your child gains more confidence and becomes more comfortable with walking on flat, smooth surfaces, allow them to also try walking on an incline or on uneven surfaces. These new environments will help to develop your baby’s sense of balance.
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