31 answers

My Kid Puts One Foot in When She Walks!

My 2-year-old girl puts her left foot in when she walks, and I realized that she also trips because of it. I talked to her pediatrician and he told me to leave it alone and that is not that big of a deal. Dose anybody has or had a similar problem?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would get an EI (Early Intervention) eval. This way you can feel better knowing that she either does not need intervention or you can begin intervention now if need be. you have nothing to lose and EI is free.
Good luck

My daughter did the same thing and her pediatrician told me to put her into ballet or gymnastics whenever possible . I put her into ballet and the feet resolved themselves! She loved ballet and still goes three years later.

My advice to you is that you either visit a Podiatrist or Orthopediest. The problem may come from bones in the foot or leg or often tightness in the hip. Children don't always growth out of it. special shoe or streching exercises might be the answer.

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My daughter has the same thing with her right foot. She is 4 now and it has straightened only a little, but she has become much more coordinated and rarely falls or gets hurt when she does. Our Ped said the same thing as yours and we brought her to a pediatric orthopedist when she was 2.5. He said this is the thing they used to try to cure with a bar between the feet at night; something he called "cruel and unusual punishment" and "useless." He did say she could have surgery when she was older if it continued to cause problems. By that point we had already been to the ER twice for stitches in her forehead and lip, and she had already lost one of her front teeth, all from tripping. The main things we did were: make sure she had slim, lightweight shoes on so she could maneuver her feet better, make sure she never, never walked or ran with her hands in her pockets, and minimized the normal tripping hazards for that age. We found crocs to be lightweight enough, but too fat at the toe and she tripped with them. We just used a narrow sneaker.

We also had her vision checked to rule out any perception issues.
M., Momma to 3 under 5.3 and one on the way.

I had the same problem when I was about that age. They called it "pigeon-toed". I remember them putting a brace on my feet when I slept. I'm sure they've come a long way since then (1960's). But I had to have special arches put in all of my shoes. It helped for a long time but once I became a teenager I noticed it happening again. I wasn't using arches then. I would take her to a specialist. Don't let it go without seeking other advice. Good Luck.

Get a second opinion. I wish I had. My pediatrician told me it was because of the diaper that my son turned in and looked like he was bow-legged. Then when he was a bit older and out of diapers I took him to an orthopedist who told me it should have been dealt with when he was a baby or toddler, if we were to do anything when I took him to the orth. it would have meant breaking bones and putting him in a body cast for 6 months. Needless to say we opted to leave it alone and now he walks just like his cousin. Yes he still turns his foot (or in his case both feet) in and he is now going on 21 years old. Don't make the same mistake I made. I truly wish I had followed my instincts, after all in my case my best friend is one of the top pediatric orthopedists in the country. Boys can get away with walking or running funny, with girls it gets noticed more.

My advice to you is that you either visit a Podiatrist or Orthopediest. The problem may come from bones in the foot or leg or often tightness in the hip. Children don't always growth out of it. special shoe or streching exercises might be the answer.

My son who is now 7 went through the same thing. I took him to the pediatrician and he told me to take him to a good shoe store and get him a good pair of sneakers and have Medial Arches glued into them. They helped a little, but at the time I was working at a hospital and I was telling a friend of mine who is a podiatrist and he told me to bring him into the office. he looked at him in many different positions and walking and he told me that he noticed the problem. He put my son in orthotics and a brace that he had to sleep in at night. It all helped!! He also suggested that he be in a good pair of sneakers that were purchased from a professional shoe salesperson, not a 16 year old making extra money. The podiatrist tole me something that really made sense. he told me that this if very common in 1st born children. He said that with the first pregnancy the muscles of the mom's uterus are tighter and therefor the baby has a harder time "fighting" the muscles and the feet (which are small muscles) are more likely to just stay on one position. With subsequest pregnancies the uterus has already been stretched and it is easier for the baby to move the small muscles. the podiatrist also told me that some children will grow out of this on their own. If I were you I would have a podiatrist or orthopedic look at your daughter. they will be able to tell you if it is something that whe will grow out of or if it needs to be treated. in my opinion it would be better to take her now. it she does need to sleep with a brace (like my son)or in severe case they need to cast the leg, it would be better to do it now while she is young. i couldn't imagine my son now 7 years old having to sleep with a brace on. Good Luck and let me know if you have any other questions!!!

My daughter has been toeing in with the left foot as well. She's 2 1/2 (3 in June), and my pediatrician told me to watch it but not to do anything right now. He said it will likely naturally correct. My husband is slightly pigeon-toed, so I think it's hereditary. Have you checked to make sure her shoes are wide enough? Sometimes it can look like a child is toeing in, but it's more of a matter of the big toe pushing out too far because the shoe isn't wide enough. Not sure if that makes sense :). I will say Jillian doesn't have a problem running or jumping. I notice it less now than I did say 6 months ago.

My son had both feet turned in when he walked. A friend suggested putting his shoes on the wrong feet. It worked!

I would take your daughter to a orthopedist. My daughter's one foot pointed in and it effected her development in running. We had a therapist work with her once a week and had to ensure that her sneakers were lace ups.

Honestly, for appearances it didn't look like any big deal but the orthopedist said it could cause her problems when she was older with running.

My daughter is pigeon-toed. I was as well as a kid and had to wear a Dennis Brown Bar (the shoes with the bar attached). My ped. says the same thing as yours, she will outgrow it. The DB bars are now considered a torture device, and I wonder if my sore knees are a result of it. When my daughter was 2 1/2 I started her in ballet class. She was incapable of putting her feet in 1st position. Even when I turned her feet out for her, she bent her legs awkwardly. Now after 2 years of class, she has a beautiful 1st position and her feet are straightening out when she walks. It may be totally coincidental and unrelated, but I think dance class has helped to slowly train the muscles in her legs and hips to turn her feet out properly. If you want to consider dance, Chendell Aufiero at Eleanor's School of Dance is a great teacher and her class starts at 2 1/2 yrs. old in September. Good luck!


I was actually pigeon toed myself when I was small and what worked for me was ice skating and walking aroung the house with my shoes on backwards (left on right and right on left). These things kind of force the feet outward to their normal position. She was probably sitting "funny" in your belly before she was born. Give it a shot if it sounds good to you. Good luck!

my daughter was the same, walking with her foot turned in and tripping a lot. I took her to a pediatric orthorpedist, he took x -rays and said that her hips and legs were both turned in, but not to worry. Wait until she turns 5 and bring her back if she hasn't improved. By the time she turned 5 we didn't notice a thing wrong with her. She is now almost 8 and plays sports like crazy and never has any problems falling over etc. He also pointed out that I also have a turned in foot and leg, which I had never noticed before!! He did say that years ago, othodics in shoes were used, but there is no evidence that this did anything, now the only option is surgery if the situation is really bad.

So I would wait, unless you notice it getting worse.

Hope this helps, and good luck.

Hello A.,

I had a similar issue with my son. I don't recall him tripping much, but he stepped inward so much, it almost looked like he had a limp. I asked my pediatrician about it too, and got a similar response that it wasn't a big deal. I asked if I should take him to be checked by a specialist and she didn't feel it was necessary. She said that back a few decades ago, a child with an inward step would be given walking braces (I remember a cousin of mine having them and she and I are the same age)... she went on to say that research has shown over the years that children with braces and children that are left without them have basically the same result... they grow out of the problem over time so they no longer put braces on unless there is a severe problem. My son is now turning three and no longer has any issues walking at all, so in my case the pediatrician was right. However, they always say a mother's instinct is best, so if you are not comfortable with what the pediatrician told you, you may want to see to an orthopedist who specializes in children for another opinion.

Good luck!
(Stay-at-home mom of three - daughter almost 5, son almost 3 and my baby girl who turns one tomorrow!)


I think by the variety of responses you have received it is obvious that this situation is different for every child. I actually am taking my 15 month old to her sister's pediatric orthopedic next month because I am not happy with the way her foot turns in when she walks, her knee almost juts out to the side, and she seems to swing her leg more than bend at the knee.

The pediatrician said it was developmental, but my other daughter has bilateral clubfeet (this one most obviously does not), but I do know that there can be many issues, and they should be dealt with early. It never hurts to get a docs opinion.

I had to wear the dennis brown bar when I was a baby for the very same thing, not club feet, but intoeing. To this day I have problems with walking on the outside of my feet and foot pain, so I would say that for some babies it is a real problem, that even if they appear to outgrow it, it may cause problems later on.

Don't worry about a brace being considered a torture device. It is not a torture device (my 3 year old has been wearing it since she was 6 months and will wear it for two more years, it is fine). Of course, like I said, my daughter wears it because if she didn't her clubfeet would relapse and she would have to have surgery. Different situation than your daughter, but the fact remains that it is not barbaric or tortuous to wear a brace.

I would agree that in non clubfoot cases, the brace is probably unnecessary, since it is really designed more to prevent in toeing than cure it. I would just have her looked at and go from there.

I think you should definitely get a second opinion from a specialist. My nephew had a similar problem and had to wear special shoes at night with a bar between them. While it was uncomfortable at first, it was for a short time and straightened everything out. It is so much better to address this problem now than when she is older. Also, a woman I work with walks with her toes pointed in and wears heels and looks ridiculous!!! Kids can be so cruel to each other, I think you should spare her of potential while you can. Talk to an orthopedist while she is young and if he says she will grow out of it then I would listen to him and put your mind at rest.

My daughter, now 4, also had this problem. My pediatrician sent me to an orthopedic dr to make sure everything was ok - and, like your pediatrician said, it is fairly common and something that children outgrow with time. Wearing shoes on the wrong feet- which she often did by her own doing- is helpful. I also reminded her (when we were out playing/running) to keep her foot turned out more - and she is outgrowing it. There were plenty of times I thought she'd take a spill b/c her foot was turned in, but thankfully her foot has almost completely turned "straight" like the other. Just give it some time.

Hi A.. I am assuming that you mean her foot turns in when she walks. My daughter who just turned 3 has the same problems. Our pediatrician referred us to an orthopedist. The orthopedist examined her and said hers wasn't a serious problem and that a lot of children have it. He said she would probably grow out of it and there was no need for special shoes, surgery, etc. He said that when she got just a littel older, things like ballet, ice skating, etc. would help. He also told us to not to let her sit with her legs under her or with her legs in a "W" position. He also told us to discourage sleeping on her tummy with her legs under her and her butt in the air. All of these positions force the feet to turn in.

Good luck. If yo uare really concerned I would alk your pediatrician to refer you to an orthopedist.

At age 4 we noticed my sons foot turned in. His pediatrician said to leave it alone but we didn't agree with it. So we went to see an orthopedist and he to also leave it alone. He is now 8 and his feet are just fine. But to be on the safe side, I would take him to a ortho and see what he says

my son walk with this foot in and i would like to find a clinic near were i live cant you send me some adress and telefon number of clinic to treat my son.

My daughter did the same thing and her pediatrician told me to put her into ballet or gymnastics whenever possible . I put her into ballet and the feet resolved themselves! She loved ballet and still goes three years later.

My 18month old walks with her left leg turned in due to our car accident on 11/13/12 and I am seaking help for her and I really dont know where to start


My 18month old walks with her left leg turned in due to our car accident on 11/13/12 and I am seaking help for her and I really dont know where to start

my second son did a sort of limp for about 6 months to a year...we kept an eye on it(we as in doctor and myself) and it self corrected and now he is 7 and never had anyother issues...goodluck...any write on your calander when it started and if it goes for a year or so get another opinion but I wouldn't worry just yet!

You might have to get corrective shoes. The sooner the better.

I would get an EI (Early Intervention) eval. This way you can feel better knowing that she either does not need intervention or you can begin intervention now if need be. you have nothing to lose and EI is free.
Good luck

What shoes are you using? Our daughter walks on her toes or with feet out unless she is in strideright shoes. they are expensive for her age but worth it to have her feet straight and flat.

my daughter is 2 also and does the same thing. i've noticed that sometimes when she walks her foot goes in, but only trips over it when not paying attention, or very excited and running (other then that it doesn't seem to bother her) i've also noticed that it happens more when she's wearing sneakers that are a little too small (or JUST fit). when i put sneakers on her that are a little bigger she seems to walk just fine, but i try to make sure that they have some sort of arch support also (her father has an arch problem, but i don't) also, my mother is pigeon toed, and i have a slight case of it (though i grew INTO mine, didn't have it as a child, it started around high school...something in my back but that has nothing to do with my child, or yours...sorry) i basically wouldn't worry about it at the age of 2....i would wait it out if her dr said it's ok....if it continues another couple of yrs i would worry (i'm giving my daughter until 5 which is what her dr said). hope this helped a bit, though i see you got many replies to go by...gl.

I think that is why they call toddlers toddlers. Although it is more normal for them to have their legs apart, I think your ped is right. Babies figure out how to be more efficient at walking eventually. If it persists, then I would have another conversation.

They used to put babies in those high top shoes to keep feet straight, but I think that they found that it interfears with their own balance and foot development.

My daughter has that problem but she was born with club feet. Did her foot turn in when she was smaller or just since she has been walking? The Doctor told us she will out grow it when she gets older and learns to walk with her feet straight.

Hi A., Had you noticed this turned in foot before? When my daughter was 7 mos. I took her to an orthopedist for the same reason and he had me put her in shoes attached to a bar that straightened out her feet. There are also special shoes that can help this. Have it checked out, you don't want her tripping and falling. Let us know what happens. Best wishes, Grandma Mary

Hi A.,

My 2 1/2 yr old little girl does the same thing. I was very concerned about this and I brought her to the Peditrician. He too told me not to worry that she will out grow it. He told me that it is because her bones are still very soft and at their age there isn't anything that can really be done with out causeing further problems. Also he said that the older she gets the stronger her bones will become. I was not very happy with that answer but seems like that is all I can do at this point. I was even more concerned cause she walk just like my mother-in-law. Well looks like my MIL didn't out grow of hers.

Keep me posted what your doctor says, cause I hate being told not to worry especially whe it's something that I feel isn't right.

my daughter is now 8 and she has a similar issue, the peditricians all said dont worry we finally took her to a orthopedic dr who say it is steaming from her hip and she is flat footed, he said most kids out grow it without bracing because they have now seen that bracing doesnt always help in minor issues like hers. but she does now where a special arch support in her sneakers. But try buying good snekers or walking shoes too


I'm a physical therapist and I've seen a lot of kids grow out of this without any intervetion. I can't comment on your daughter specifically but if someone who is examining her is telling you that, it may be an acceptable answer. If she continues to trip and you really think it's hindering her activity, ask for a referral to a physical therapist who specialized in pediatrics - she might need an orthotic. (But probably not.) Good luck!

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