You did it. You had a child and have successfully reared them from infantry to the one or two years of age. Up until now, your baby has worn soft little booties simply for the sake of shielding their tiny toes from the elements. However - they have started exploring the concept of pulling and pushing themselves up and have maybe even taken a few wobbly, adorable steps. This is a good time to start thinking about protecting their feet and setting them up for success.
Though most babies start to learn how to walk and become more active between 9 and 12 months old, it is perfectly normal to not start until around 16-17 months of age. When your baby is an adult, they will have approximately 26 bones in their feet. However, as an infant, only some of these bones have been formed and are much more fragile. This includes their ligaments and tendons, too! Injuries and deformities can easily happen during these precious years. Here are a few ways you can start thinking about your baby and the health of their feet and ankles:
1.) Consider your family tree! Does your family have a history of foot conditions or disorders that affect their feet, such as diabetes, bunions, or even hereditary wide, flat feet? Talk to your podiatrist about what you can do to prevent the onset of these issues or what signs and symptoms to look out for.
2.) When baby starts to crawl or push themselves up, switch to a pair of soft, fitted socks with a textured grip on the bottoms of the feet. Not only will this help them grip the surface of the ground to aid in developing the muscles needed for walking and mobility, but it will also help prevent them from slipping and hurting themselves.
3.) Keep their circulation in mind. It’s important to encourage circulation in your babies feet and ankles as it provides healthy blood supply and reduces their risk of swelling with overuse. This can be done by making sure socks or baby shoes are never too tight and by practicing good hygiene and therapeutic massage.
Trust us when we say that this is only the beginning of your tiny tots adventure into pint-sized podiatry! Be sure to ask Dr. Les J. Glubo and Dr. Rimawi any and all questions you may have about the health of your babies feet and ankles at your next appointment. Call us today at our Manhattan office at (212) 697-3293.