OMG, my baby is flat-footed….hold on.
It is always important for parents and caregivers to pay careful attention to their baby’s health and development. This allows you to catch any changes and raise concerns with their pediatrician quickly.
If your baby is starting to walk, and they are experiencing pain, their feet point outward. Then it’s time to consult your pediatrician. Your baby could be flat-footed, and it’s best to catch it early.
Babies are growing and developing. Contrary to some beliefs, babies aren’t little adults. Their bodies are vastly different from adult bodies. Most babies are usually born with a pad of fat along the sole of their foot. This stage passes as their bodies continue to form, their arch is simply hidden beneath the padding of fat.
Every parent or caregiver needs to understand a baby’s development stages so that you can have a better understanding of what to expect during that stage of the baby’s growth. Remember that these developmental stages are guidelines for you to refer to, to have more information and that there is no need to panic or become upset if your baby doesn’t perfectly align with the developmental guide.
You reached this article because you typed my baby is flat-footed into your search engine. The first thing to do is to confirm this with your pediatrician.
Below are some suggestions on how to know and how to help your baby.
Does your baby just have baby fat? Or is it actually flat feet?
Flat feet are usually a genetic condition that results in the entire sole touching the ground when standing.
Flat feet occur when there is a fat pad along the inner border of the foot, which hides the arch.
Babies are usually born with flat feet because their feet are chubby, cute, and still developing. So one can only know if the baby has a flat fee after age 2 or 3 and truly diagnose the condition after age 4.
The flat foot in babies is a result of the arch being hidden by a pad of fat, which helps their legs because they haven’t fully developed their muscles that support their arches.
How to tell when your baby has flat feet:
Though most people with flat feet never experience any painful symptoms or complaints, some do, and it is important to monitor your baby or child for any pain they may feel when walking or performing an activity.
Flat feet can affect the body’s alignment causing knee pain or discomfort, ankle pain, back pain, or making walking a little challenging. They may also have their heels tilting outward and have an awkward walk – this is subjective unless it is extreme. They may also have difficulty wearing shoes.
People with flat feet often experience foot pain concentrated at their heels or their arch area, and this pain increases with activity. This can lead to obesity over time.
They also experience swelling of their ankles and having tight heel cords.
It is important to take a proactive approach if your child experiences foot pain and talk to your pediatrician for treatment.
Take your baby to get a diagnosis.
Pediatricians usually diagnose children with flat feet if the child is experiencing discomfort. If your baby’s case is extreme that they are in pain, discomfort, or difficulty when learning to walk.
It is best to contact your pediatrician so that you can start working with them as early as possible to help correct the issue. Starting early is best because your pediatrician can recommend different helpful ways you can help your baby’s feet develop in a way that is not painful for them and correct the problem. They may prescribe shoes that your baby can use as they walk to help the arch form better.
If the child experiences a lot of pain, then the doctor may order tests such as x-rays, eos-imaging, CT-scans, and MRI to fully understand the scope of the problem and give them a better way to treat your child.
Get your baby treatment for flat feet.
Treatment is usually given when the baby or child experiences pain when walking or standing. The treatment focuses on correcting this discomfort and ensuring they led a better, healthier, pain-free life.
Doctors recommend non-surgical and surgical options depending on the severity of the pain experienced by the baby or child.
For non-surgical options, Doctors may recommend orthotic devices placed inside your baby or child’s shoe that provide arch support and relieve pain and discomfort. These are available over-the-counter or can be custom made. As always, talk to your doctor before the use of any of these on your child.
Consider what you use to cover your baby’s feet.
Your doctor may encourage you to dress your baby or child’s shoes that provide adequate arch support and not sandals or slippers. Exercises that stretch the Achilles tendon are known to provide relief for flat feet. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy to correct issues that may lead to injuries.
Having your child avoid high-impact activities and resting often will help their feet. Encouraging them to pursue activities that do not require extreme foot impacts such as swimming, biking, rock climbing, and walking will help reduce the likelihood of injury and still give them a great quality of life.
The doctor may prescribe some medication for the pain, and if the baby or child is overweight, may discuss a change in diet and eating plan to benefit the baby or child.
Surgery is usually the last option in most cases of flat feet. It is reserved for those with injuries or deformities related to the structure of their foot or leg. Your doctor will be able to assess the need and provide the correct recommendation.
Pediatricians understand your flat-foot baby.
It is always important to have a great, constant relationship with your doctor. They can make recommendations based on your needs and lifestyle. Monitoring the growth of your baby with the support of your doctor is a great way to stay on top of your baby’s health and development.
So if your baby is waddling about, cooing and blabbering without pain or discomfort, let them be, remember their feet are still molding, and their arch is hidden beneath the padding. If you are still worried or concerned, check-in with your doctor to ensure you have all the answers and recommendations you need to ensure your baby is in great health and has a great, active, pain-free life.