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baby walking with curled toes

Mom’s Question:

My daughter when she’s in her walker bends her toes down where her toes touch the bottom of her foot to walk but it’s only the right foot…

I am worried that something is wrong with her feet (or foot).

Have you ever heard of any other baby walking with curled toes like this? Should I try to stop it? Any ideas?


Baby Helpline:

Baby Walking with Curled Toes, & Baby Walkers

Baby Walking with Curled Toes – Normal?

It is not easy to find any research or medical advice on what to do if a baby is walking with curled toes.  From what I’ve found, it could just be a phase, it could be that she finds it efficient or comfortable to use her dominant foot for scooting in this way, or there could be something about her physical development to have checked.

Some toddlers that walk with curled toes under one foot, have legs of different length – making the curling of the toes very logical when you think about it.

Some babies or toddlers seem to do this to get a better grip when learning to walk –  and they stop when they get steadier.

For some children older than 2 years, that only tip-toe, this can be a sign of autism, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy. (Reference here)

Since your baby isn’t actually walking yet, but just scooting, it is a bit too early to know how this will develop.

Chances are high, that this is just a phase and something she finds efficient, but if you are concerned your daughter is not developing normally then take her to get checked out by a doctor.

Remember too that babies and toddlers are way more loose-limbed than both adults and older children. So a baby walking with curled toes might actually be doing it just for fun, like in the video below! :-)

Word of Caution With Using a Walker

I have a word of caution with using a walker, though. Walkers have been banned in some countries, partly due to safety concerns – there are more babies injured in walker accidents than with all other toys combined. (Read about this in Harvard Health Publishing here)

But also there are concerns with the negative effect walkers are having on muscle development and even contributing to back pain in later life!

Walkers do not teach a baby to walk, they merely get them mobile.

Some studies have shown that babies that spend a lot of time in a walker are slower to walk than the average baby. Sitting in a walker does not develop the muscles correctly, nor does a baby learn to get her own balance.

Learning to walk is a complex process of muscle development, balance, coordination, and confidence. Walkers are totally misnamed as the only thing they do is develop false confidence and can even lead to a baby becoming reluctant to try walking because it is so much quicker to zap around in the walker.

I don’t know how much time your daughter spends in a walker.

Using a walker as a toy for her to scoot around in for a short period is fine so long as she can’t get into any danger, such as the top of stairs – I have even seen a baby scoot out the front door onto the street! I wouldn’t have your daughter in her walker longer than 15 mins per day.

And read about safety precautions when putting your baby in a walker here.

Make sure she has far more periods of walking with you holding her hand and being able to walk around the furniture. Even if you have to hide the walker from view so she doesn’t constantly want to get into it!

Enjoy your little girl, she is at such a lovely age, the world is opening up as she becomes more independent!

For ideas on games to play with your 11-month-old, read this article.

Paula

Who else has a baby walking with curled toes? Or a toddler? Share by leaving a comment! :-) 

You’ll also find all posts about 11-month-old babies here and lots of questions and answers regarding baby development here.

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  1. Avatar
    Mary

    When I read this, I had to smile. My little brother did exactly the same thing when he was around 1 year old. He would even run and jump keeping his feet like this – I can’t imagine how how he could; I would break my toes if I tried!

    But he liked it, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with his feet. If anything, he is probably a bit more limber than the average guy. He is 34 years old now 🙂