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Your baby's foot development

Baby feet are not just miniature versions of adult feet. In fact, at this stage, those kissably squishy tootsies have a long way to go before they can move and flex like ours. Once your baby is sitting upright - usually around six months - they will pass through the following development stages.

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01. Crawling

Child crawling

From a sitting position, babies start to use their hands for balance as their legs propel them along in a crawl. Once your little one gets the knack of this, they’ll be off like a whippet. However, some babies don’t crawl at all. Instead, they might shuffle along on their bottom, wiggle sideways like a crab, or slide on their tummy! Each technique is fine, not to mention as equally adorable as the other.

Child crawling

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02. Cruising

Child cruising

Once they’ve got the hang of crawling they’ll be looking for the next challenge, which we call cruising. As your baby’s legs become strong enough to stand, they’ll use the sofa, chair, table, wall, your hand, your hair – basically anything they can grab on to - for support as they side-step around the room. In time, they’ll gain the balance and stability skills needed for those wobbly first steps.

Child cruising

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03. Walking

Child walking

Learning how to walk is much like learning to ride a bike without stabilisers. There will be many brave attempts followed by many ups and downs. But, every toddler tackles it in their own way, and in their own time. First steps are often all stiff legs, splayed feet and zombie-style arms. They may walk on the tips of their toes at first, but this is all normal beginner stuff – they’ll soon get the hang of it!

Child walking

Your questions. Our expertise.

At this age, your little one’s feet are constantly growing. So, to ensure they are developing healthily and happily, it’s important that they’re wearing the right size shoes. To keep track of your baby’s growth development, we advise an in store check up every 6-8 weeks until they’re 2-years-old.

Does my toddler have flat feet?

Toddlers don’t have a visible arch in their foot like older children and adults. Instead, at this stage, there’s soft tissue in this area to protect the growing bones. This, combined with the posture babies adopt when they first walk, gives the appearance of a stompy flat foot, but they’ll usually adapt a more adult walking style by the time they start school. However, if you are concerned, there’s no harm in checking in with your GP.

Is it normal that my child's feet turn inward?

This is very common in young children as the developing leg and ankle bones cause the feet to rotate inwards. Their feet will usually align properly by the age of 7. However, if you’re concerned and find their walking style is not improving, visit your GP or Podiatrist.

Should my baby wear shoes when they're learning to walk?

It is best to allow your child to go barefoot as often as possible in the early stages of walking. This allows the feet to breathe and to feel the floor for stability. However, make sure there are no sharp objects that might cause injury and pop some shoes on when they’re walking outside or in public places.

My child has knock-knees, what should I do?

This is very common in young children and usually nothing to worry about. It should resolve itself by the age of 7. However, if you notice your child’s feet adapting to this by rolling inwards, known as pronating, you should speak to your GP who can give advise to help ensure this doesn’t become a long-term issue.

When should babies begin to wear shoes?

It is best to allow your child to go barefoot when possible in the early stages of crawling, cruising and walking. However, make sure there are no sharp objects that might cause injury and pop some shoes on when they’re walking outside or in public places.