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Do Babies Have Kneecaps? Facts About Baby Knees

Legs and kneecaps of newborn baby

Do Babies Have Kneecaps?

If you are a new or expecting parent, this may be something that you are either curious about or want to have answers for. This is a question that a lot of people wonder when they have a newborn or are expecting. Do babies have kneecaps? Keep reading to find out!

Babies Are Born Without Kneecaps

The quickest answer to the question is that no, babies are not born with kneecaps.

At least not the traditional kneecap that a child or adult is used to seeing or having.

You see, babies are still growing and gaining parts of their bodies, even after they are born. When a baby is born, they have cartilage over their knees.

This is where their kneecaps will eventually grow. Over time, your baby’s early-life knee cartilage will form into the traditional kneecap that you and I are familiar with.

Cartilage is there on a baby’s knee just like it is on your nose or ears or joints. Right when a baby is born, they don’t necessarily need a kneecap in the way that an adult does.


Easy! It’s because they are learning to move and walk. Having the cartilage there in place of bone helps the baby when they are beginning to move around.

The cartilage is in place of the kneecaps for many years. This provides your baby’s bone a place to grow.

Why was my baby born without kneecaps?

If the baby had the bone right away, they would not be flexible enough to be able to learn how to move in the world. This would impede much of the growth a baby experiences.

It’s not something that might often be thought of enough, but babies need to be really flexible. They are learning and growing so that they can make all the movements that they need to in order to fully function.

Babies being born with that cartilage instead of a fully formed kneecap helps them do just that.

How Long Does My Baby Have Cartilage For?

Babies continue to grow even as they move into being a toddler and child.

The kneecaps are a big part of showcasing how a child is continually growing and developing even into being a pre-teen. Babies are constantly growing, moving and changing.

Kneecaps help us to see how these changes are affecting the baby and helping them as they make their way in the world growing and becoming adults.

Babies won’t have formed their kneecaps until they are about age four. But even then, there is still much growth ahead for the child and their kneecaps.

The kneecaps won’t be fully formed until they are about 12 years old. That’s when they will have formed into the kneecaps that an average adult is familiar with.

Up until that point, the baby or child needs to have more of the cartilage so that they can learn to move, walk and run.

Can No Kneecaps Negatively Affect My Baby?

The good news is that babies have cartilage instead of a fully formed bone on their knee to help from any injuries occurring. The cartilage is easier to crawl and move on and it cannot be broken in the same ways that a kneecap that is fully formed can be broken.

The cartilage is more flexible, so as your baby is moving, falling, and dropping, there is less chance of those knees being broken or hurt in any serious ways. However, this does not mean your baby’s knees are 100% immune injury.

Pay Extra Attention

You should pay extra attention to how you move and lift your baby. Because their cartilage is so movable and flexible, your baby can move in ways you are not used to as an adult.

If you were to pull or lift their leg, they don’t have that harsh bone stopping any movement that could harm them. This makes it easier to fracture or break a baby’s leg.

Keep an eye out on who handles your baby. Watch exactly how they are moving and lifting your little one so that no mistakes happen.

Conditions to Watch Out For

There are some issues that can arise as your baby’s cartilage is forming into a knee bone. Some conditions or diseases are:

Bipartite patella

This is something that can be less alarming because your child may show no signs of distress at all. This is when the cartilage is forming into a knee bone but doesn’t fuse all the way. It may cause issues or may not. But it can be something to look out for as your baby is developing.

Torn meniscus

This can happen even to an adult. This condition occurs when the cartilage is torn or damaged. A torn meniscus is typically associated with high amounts of pain.

While these conditions can sound scary and alarming, they don’t always happen to regular children who are playing and moving. Sure, a child who plays more sports is more likely to be injured.

But as your baby is simply growing and moving around, there isn’t much harm that can really befall their kneecaps.

Remember, don’t be overly protective. However, be diligent in remembering that your baby’s kneecaps are still developing.

How To Protect Your Baby’s Knees

Babies at a certain age can start moving. wiggling, and growing into themselves. This is good because you want your baby to start moving around, discovering how to get places, crawling, walking, and running. But it can be scary as increased movement also increases the possibilities of your little one getting harmed.

There are many things that you can do to make sure that your baby stays safe as they’re discovering their surroundings.

As they move around, their knees can become red or irritated looking. This isn’t something to be alarmed about. The action of crawling around on the floor can be enough to bother your baby’s kneecaps.

Purchase baby kneepads!

Consider purchasing a pair of baby kneepads to help keep your baby safe as they navigate your home. This will provide your baby’s kneecaps with extra cushion as they make their way around the house.

Overall, when it comes to your baby and their kneecaps, exercise caution. Mainly, just give your baby’s knees them the time and space to grow. Baby’s bodies are different from ours. Even a toddler’s body is different from a baby’s body.

As long as you are aware of what is different and why it’s different, you should have no real issues with your baby as it relates to their kneecaps. Just make sure to protect your baby’s knees as they start taking on the world.

1 thought on “Do Babies Have Kneecaps? Facts About Baby Knees”

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