16 answers

How to correct a tiptoe walking toddler?

My daughter has been a tiptoe walker since she could walk at 9 months and she is now 27 months. Most kids outgrow this. But I've been noticing more and more lately (now that the weather is nice) that she always walks on her tippy toes. We walked for about a mile today and the entire way she was walking on her tiptoes. People are always commenting about it too. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is it some thing I should be concerned about? She doesn't have her next Dr. appt until she is three, should I call?
Thanks in advance for your help.
T.

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Summary

Toe walking can be benign, a habit formed from trying to see up on higher surfaces or extended time in a jumper or activity center. Even though it is a habit, it must be broken, as muscle imbalances will become more pronounced. Consult your pediatrician.

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your advice. I did take her to the pediatrician and he prescribed physical therapy for her. He feels that she only does it out of habit, and advised that he doesn't think there are any further concerns.
Thank you all again.
T.
Now the real challenge begins...finding a Pediatric Physical Therapist in my area.

Featured Answers

I would definately call the doctor. Tiptoe walking can be a sign that the muscles are developing properly in her feet, especially if she has been doing it for so long! I read about it in an article in Parenting Magazine.

More Answers

I would definately call the doctor. Tiptoe walking can be a sign that the muscles are developing properly in her feet, especially if she has been doing it for so long! I read about it in an article in Parenting Magazine.

My husband is a tiptoe walker. My in-laws said they took him to doctors & nothing stopped him from walking that way. My daughter walks on her tiptoe and i never bothered to check it out because i feel as though nothing can stop a child from walking the way they are used to. My left leg & foot is curved in, & I had special shoes when i was a child, & im still this way. so I really wouldnt pay mind to it.

I have a 6 yr old toe walker. Some kids do not grow out of it. Follow your instincts. Look into PT, starting early makes it much easier for the kids to get used to. My daughter HATED!!!!! it, they wanted to put her in full leg orthopedics. At that time she was in Kindergarten and I didn't want her to be teased. Good Luck. If you have any other questions you can email me at ____@____.com.

T.,

I know many others have urged you to talk to your ped. I am a physical therapist and am strongly urging you to call the ped. sooner rather than later. This is not a life-threatening emergency, but something that does need to be addressed. Most likely you will be given a referral for early intervention. THis may even take place in your home, where your daughter is most comfortable. Toe walking can be benign, a habit formed from trying to see up on higher surfaces or extended time in a jumper or activity center. Even though it is a habit, it must be broken, as muscle imbalances will become more pronounced. It can also indicate other problems. Have your daughter evaluated by someone who is qualified to educate you on the situation. Information can never harm, only enhance. Once you have been educated as to what is going on, you may be able to correct to problem simply on your own, or it may require professional services. Good luck with both your kids:-)

J.

I would recommend talking to your pediatrician sooner rather than later to discuss pursuing a physical therapy consult. If there is a problem, the fix may be something as simple special exercises if caught early enough.

My son is currently going through PT to stretch the muscles in his legs to help him walk. He is almost 3 and reactions to medication he is taking has affected his mobility. We are told if this isn't successful (he is responding well so we think it will be) other corrective measures include night braces, casts or surgery as a last resort. I don't offer these corrective measures to worry you but rather to encourage you to seek help now to hopefully avoid them.

I am having the same issue with my 25 month old boy. He was just diagnosed with unsteady gait and tip toe walks almost all of the time. He had an MRI last week which showed normal, thand god, but now they want him to be seen by a physical therapist. I'm currently having challenges trying to find one that will see a toddler which offers after work hours. PRETTY CHALLENGING! I live in Philadelphia. I was told about early intervention programs where someone could possibly come out to the home to treat him. Hopefully this will work. Goodluck with yours!

I remember doing this when I was little. I don't know how old I was, but I remember my mom trying to teach me to step with my heals first.... heal toe heal toe.

My son did this also. He grew out of it when he was three or four years old. He gradually stopped doing it. My nephew is also at that age and he does it occasionally. I wouldn't worry about it. My son is an active 7 year old with no problems walking, running or jumping. But if she is never walking any other way a phone call to the doctor can't hurt.

hi T.,
my son was a tiptoe walker to. he ran n stood on his tiptoes to. u may wanna check her shoes and make sure they suport her feet right. make an apt wit her doctor . my son had to end up seein a peds. bone dortor. he had to wear braces on his feet and legs for about 14 months. they said the problem was his musles was pullin to tight and was hard for him towalk flat on his feet. these braces sstreghted out the the musles and and he would walk flat on his feet. he is 15 know and he is like 5'7 and he has strong legs and a very fast runner. good luck and ill say a pray for yall.
L.

I would definitely check with your pediatrician. If there is a problem, it would be better to find out how to deal with it now - rather than wait. I've read that this can be a sign of motor problems, etc. Or it could just be something she'll grow out of - but, again, better to find out now.

Hi T.

My son who is now almost 13 did the tip toe walking for a long time ! I told his doctor about it at a routine physical. She said he was fine. I believe they check the childs calf muscles to see if they are long enough. He did this until he was in grade school. We'd remind him to get off his toes, and he would. It was like he didnt even realize he was doing it. If you are uncomfortable with it, I would check with your childs doctor.

Good luck !
A. R

Along with the suggestions of sensory issues and the idea of physical therapy, I would like to include another thought. Tip toe walking can also be an indication of tendon or muscle shortness. I encourage a trip to an orthopedist to make sure there isn't any physical issue. My grandfather used to make corrective devices for children's feet and legs, and I recall him telling me this many moons ago when someone came to his store with this issue.

my kids did this as well but only when they had shoes off. so I stated makeing them wear their shoes more often which corrected the problem. since with shoes on they learened to walk proper and after awhile you no longer noticed them toe walking even with shoes off. But you really need to correct the problem as soon as possible walking on the toes all the time degrades the heel. so talk to your pediatrician about it. since the problem hasnt corrected itself now that shes two . my doctor told me to keep an eye on my kids since they toe walked. which most infants seem to do when they first learn to walk. but most children self correct by the time they reach there second year. she may need to see a specialst that can help her learn to walk from heel to toe.

Have you looked into the possibility that your child may have sensory isues? Its not a big deal, most people have diffrent quirks, some people get testing and help with issues that interfere with their lives. My child has autism and sensory issues and I recognoize the toe walking, she did that for a long time and still occasionaly does it. Its funny to see but if your child does it on a regular basis then you may want to look into sensory testing.

hi
i dealt with a tiptoe toddler as well my advice call her ped. my daughter learned to walk on her tiptoes and that all she did i told her dr and she got her a physical therapist and it has taken almost a year of therapy to get her to take flat footed steps. she also had to wear braces for awhile cause her leg muscles were tight. but the dr should be able tell you if that is y your child is on tiptoes. best advice call em though so can find out if there is a medical reason or if she just picked up a habit.

Yes, you definitely need to call. I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I do remember the pediatrician asking about this before, and saying that some kids go through a stage of this. However, if she does this consistently and for as long of a period as you said, you definitely need to check up on this. (It is always better to be a little cautious now, then to be kicking yourself later on for not acting sooner). Good luck!

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