Are pigeon toes normal?

Q: My child seems to be pigeon-toed. Should I be worried?

A: If your child's shinbones or thighbones are slightly twisted, his feet will point slightly inward instead of straight ahead as he walks. Less commonly, pigeon toes (or intoeing) develops when the bones in the feet curve in. Both, however, are the result of your baby's position in the womb because the legs and feet fit most efficiently in that limited space when the feet are turned in. But this condition is nothing to worry about, and will usually improve on its own over time. Pigeon toes that are caused by curved foot bones usually straighten out during infancy or toddlerhood, but it can take until age 6 or 8 for twisted shinbones or thighbones to resolve on their own. Children who have pigeon toes may trip occasionally when they first start walking, but after a while this usually improves. --Tamekia Reece

Originally published in the July 2008 issue of Parents magazine. Updated 2009.