At Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, we have a great interest in educating our patients about foot disease, conditions, and injuries of all types and for people of all ages. Today, we’ll focus on a population whose feet people don’t really think about too much (unless they’re busy tickling them) — babies. Here are 10 interesting – and perhaps surprising – facts about those tootsies we’re born with:
- A baby’s foot has no arch. Instead of a bit of a rise in the middle of their foot, babies have a solid little pad of fat. In time, the fat disappears, and the shape of your baby’s arch will be visible. But he’ll spend his first year or more with flat feet.
- Bones of the foot are pliable at birth. Your baby’s feet take shape as she grows, so they remain flexible for quite some time. The bones of her foot won’t be well-formed until she’s about 8 years old. Because they are so pliable (continue to #3)…
- Babies do not need to wear shoes. When it comes to infants, going barefoot is best. Your baby’s foot is in the business of moving around and growing. At this age, shoes only serve to inhibit movement and growth. So until he’s upright and walking, don’t bother with shoes for your little one.
- Walking takes place when foot muscles are ready – and that’s why children begin walking at different ages. Until the foot muscles are prepared, it’s not safe for your baby to walk.
- A baby’s foot needs exercise. Allow your baby to move her feet around while lying on her back. Change her position often so that she exercises more than just a few muscles.
- Doctors actually do count your baby’s toes. Polydactyly (“many toes”) means more than 10 toes are present at birth. It’s more common than you might think, and correctable with the proper surgery.
- Babies can be born with webbed toes, although they might not be noticeable at all and usually present no physical problems.
- Clubfoot occurs once in every 1,000 births. Even though it sounds like a condition popular around the time of Cro-Magnon man, clubfoot is a common birth defect that is easily treatable.
If problems do occur with your baby’s feet, turn to Dr. Michael L. Rosenberg and Dr. Heidi M. Christie, the knowledgeable podiatrists in Montgomery, Alabama, for skilled care and answers to all your podiatric questions. Call us at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online. For more information about children’s foot care, click here to read about it in our Patient Education Library.