Your child 1-3 years

Why is he walking oddly?


Feet in duck, knees touching, cowboy step ... his first steps do not seem to be a good one. From trivial to less common abnormalities, everything you need to know before you run it to the pediatrician.

He has arched legs

  • Legs open like brackets and feet turned inward ... your apprentice walker makes you think of a cowboy. That should not worry you: he spent a good time curled up in your belly, especially the last months, and his legs still remember it. It is the genu varum (outside), very common in the baby. As he will stand and walk, he will solicit his hips, knees, ankles ... and naturally straighten his lower limbs.

He has knees touching each other

  • From 1 year and up to 5 years at least, legs X (called genu valgum) are a common disorder. It is not a malformation of the joints but a lack of muscle tone and ligament. Under the weight of his body, your baby relaxes his effort at the knees, so that it is sometimes impossible to join the heels.
  • His knees will, in principle, naturally find their good position as and when walking. As a precaution, at each medical visit, the pediatrician will monitor the growth of your baby's pelvis, legs and arch.
  • Give him a rehabilitation that will make him happy ... a tricycle: ideal for developing leg muscles and strengthening ligaments.

He has his feet inside ... or outside

  • In your belly, it was common for your baby to twist his feet during his acrobatics. At birth, it often happens that they remain poorly positioned. Some children have feet that turn inwards (varus), others outwards (valgus). Sometimes the tip goes up to the shin, the toes overlap or, conversely, deviate too much.
  • In all cases, these deformations are temporary and correct themselves, a few months after the start of the walk. If his feet turn a little too much, you can help them position themselves by gently tickling their brim with a toothbrush three to four times a day for a month. Your baby will love!
  • For deformities considered a little more important, the pediatrician will prescribe in addition to this stimulation of physiotherapy sessions: simple manipulations that will avoid the use of orthopedics.

He has flat feet

  • Almost all babies have flat feet (the term "flattened" is also more appropriate!), Simply because their feet are chubby (above and below) and still lack muscle tone. For the arch to form, it takes 18 months to 2 years ... and sometimes up to 6 years for it to grow.
  • To help the small feet to get well, let them walk around naked as much as possible. And if they have to go shod, do not lock them in high shoes. The ankles cover an assembly of small bones that fit together in a very complex way so that they must not be subjected to any pressure. With low shoes, then, and a little patience, your child will soon have a nice arch, the safe step ... and the world at his feet!

Sit well to walk well

One of the reasons why your baby still does not have his legs straight around 1 year and a half-2 years old is simple: he has made bad habits! In your belly already, where he was huddled up. But also later: sometimes taking this fetal position so pleasant to sleep. And even later, sitting down on your knees, legs bent inwards.

If it is not possible to influence the first two, you can, on the other hand, help him to correct his sitting position. The purchase of a low chair or a small bench and a table at its height can make it sit upright with your legs straight and your feet on the floor. If this new furniture does not appeal to him ... teach him to play on the floor, cross legged cross-legged.

Laurence Dibarrat