Walk This Way: Understanding Baby's Walking Style

Your baby is ready to walk, but don't be surprised if she takes a while to hit her stride. Toddlers -- and even bigger kids -- often have issues like bowlegs, pigeon toes, or tiptoe walking. Here, what to look out for as your baby learns to walk, and when to worry.


Almost all babies are born with some degree of bowleggedness because of the cramped quarters in the womb, says Charles Shubin, MD, director of pediatrics at Mercy FamilyCare, in Baltimore. Since there isn't enough room in there for a baby to stretch his legs out, the leg bones (which are still somewhat soft) become a little curved. As children walk and bear more weight on their legs, the bones naturally straighten. New walkers tend to look particularly bowlegged because they bend their knees to help them balance and support their body weight. Don't stress about bowlegs unless your baby's legs are extremely or unequally curved, or the condition gets worse.

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