1. Should babies use baby walkers?
Baby walkers can assist children to learn walking. But it is recommended not to use it too early and pay attention to its height adjustment. When children use baby walkers, their feet are standing on tiptoe. Extended usage might easily cause children to walk on tiptoes.
2. My child is just a few months old but he already has O-shaped legs. What should I do?
It is common for a few months old children to have O-shaped legs. Since the shape of their knee joints will change at different stages of development as below diagrams, parents do not need to worry at this stage.
3. When should children learn to walk?
Generally, around 8 months old is the stage for crawling and learning to walk. First, they try to stand up and slowly learn to walk. Different children have different progress. As usual, children at around 15 months old should be able to walk steadily. At one and a half years old, they should walk steadily. Parents should avoid making their children learn walking too early because their small leg bones have not been fully developed. Learning to walk too early may cause problem like in-bending of small legs which affects appearance.
4. What shoes should children wear when they are learning to walk?
Before 15 months, it is best to for their feet to have direct contact with the ground. It is recommended to learn walking with barefoot. If you want to give some protection, it is recommended to wear soft shoes with extremely thin bottom (such as ‘pre-walk’ shoes) to increase their sense of grounding and enhance balancing. Because of hygiene and safety reasons, it is recommended to wear outdoor ‘pre-walk’ shoes when they are outdoors. The shoe bottom is anti-slippery and protective to their feet. Around 15 months old, since they may not walk steadily, it is recommended to wear ‘learn-to-walk’ shoes. Their shoe heads can be easily flexed which allows toddlers to walk comfortably.
5. What should I do when I find out my child’s foot flat?
There is a layer of fat beneath the foot arch of children before 4 years old that causes pseudo flat foot. Generally it will be absorbed by the body between 4-5 years old. If the situation is still unchanged after 6 years old, it can then be determined having flat foot. There is no need to worry at this stage.
6. Are there any advantages for children to learn walking without crawling?
At the moment, there is no data to reveal. Whether children crawl or not are both normal development. On the contrary, learning to crawl do have advantages for babies. During the process of crawling, all four limbs move in turn which can train their balance and eye-hand coordination. Crawling also stimulates babies’ spatial concept and sense of distance. At the same time, crawling builds up children’s whole body muscle. Therefore, it is recommended parents let their babies learn crawling before learning to walk.
7. Is it not good if babies often walk on tiptoes?
Baby learns to stand or walk often on tiptoes. It is possible that babies try to adapt their body weight during walking. Babies try to overcome the bumpy roads by raising their tiptoes because the roads are not as smooth as the floor at home. Usually, the frequency of tiptoe walking will decrease afterwards. That is normal phenomenon at early stage.
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