36 answers

Toddler Walking on Tippy Toes


I don't know if I should be concerned about this or not.
But my son just turned two and has been walking on his tippy toes ever since he started walking and in the beginning we tought it was cute and funny. But people ask why he does this and some say its because he is flat footed or because he just likes to do it.
So, I went online and did some research and it says that its nos unusual that kids do this but its an early sign of autism if they keep on doing this after 3 years old.
When we went to have doctor checkup for his 24 months he did an autism screening and everything went fine he is developing great. But now that I read this im a little concerned.

Is there anyone going trough this or has any information regarding this subject I would really appreciate it.



What can I do next?

So What Happened?™


Thank you so much all of you for your advice it helped so much. Today early inthe morning I called his ped. and spoke to the advice nurse. She gave me really good advice. Looking at his health reacord and visits, she said that he has been developing just great and that it is not unusual for kids to walk on their toes some up till 6 years old. So my immidiate concern has been settled.

And againg
thanks for the advice.

Featured Answers

My son walked on his toes until he was 10 or so, then I asked the doc. We discovered that the muscle that runs under the foot and up the back of his leg was too tight. He could not pick up his foot from the toes at all. He went to physical therapy and now he is fine.

SAHM mom of 5 ages 21 to 14, whew!

I'd be more concerned with the proper growth of his tendons, particularly the achilles. If they aren't growing at the same rate that the rest of his leg muscles are, it may be that it's impossible or at least uncomfortable for him to walk properly, heels down.
Good luck!

Hi J.,
One trick that I use for my daughter is to always keep her sneakers or sandals on her. Its harder for her to walk on her tip toes when she has weighty shoes on.


More Answers

My mother-in-law told me that my husband used to walk on his tip toes. She told him to the doctor and the doctor said that his muscles in the lower part of the backs of his legs and feet were tight and to massage them to loosen them up. After a month or so of doing this his muscles loosen up and the doctor said he would be fine.

Let me assure you..it doesn't always mean autisum. My sister did that when she was little and she does not have autisum. We just joked that she was just born to walk in high heals..lol Now in your sons situation...maybe he will just grow out of it. I am sure he is just fine. =) Sometimes we can let the diagnosis of the computer scare us but believe me, it isn't always what it seems...like I said my sister doesn't have autisum...infact sometimes she still does it...without shoes on.

God Bless..
A. T

Hey J.,
I've seen lots of kids in my mom's group walk on there tip toes, and for the most part I think they do it because it's a new thing they've discovered. Touch sensitivity is an issue for autistic kids, but if he doesn't seem to care about other things like particular shoes, or doesn't like to touch things, gets upset with new textures, then I wouldn't worry too much. I practice homeopathic medicine in my house and I've done research on autism and ADHD(on the autism scale now)for some clients, and there are some key factors relating to it. 1.) Too many immunizations- they strip the coating on the nerves so they "short circuit" just like electrical wires.
Remedy- rebuild the coating with lots of Omega 3's- chewable supplements are available at target.
2.) Too many toxins- cleaning products, food, air it's everywhere- Start by doing non toxic cleaning and try to eat organic, limit vaccines.
3.) Lack of minerals- our poor american diet doesn't provide enough and it's hard to absorb in supplements unless you pay big bucks- try to eat mineral rich foods.

I hope this helps and don't worry, I'm sure he'll be a normal happy kid.

I wouldn't be extremely concerned. My daughter did the very same thing! We found out that the muscles in her leg were tight and we learned how to stretch them out (we took her to some therapy session). We also learned to give her queues when we saw her go up on her toes - "flat feet". She now does fine and walks very normal. I would check with the pediatrician to see if maybe this is the case for your son.

I am a pediatric physical therapist (and a mom of a 2 and 4 year old). Typically kids walk on tip toes for added stability. That seems counterintuitive but being on your tiptoes locks out the ankle which has the most degrees of freedom (meaning directions it can move). By standing on your tip toes you limit the degrees of freedom. Some children do this as they learn but some kids keep doing it out of habit or out of the need for that stability. The problem that can arise is that the gastroc and soleus muscles in the calf can shorten and make it difficult for him to begin walking with a normal gait pattern. I am sure he is standing flat footed which does stretch the muscles somewhat. However, if he always walks on his toes or does so more than 50% of the time you need to change the pattern. With some kids it is as easy as telling them to walk on their heels first and showing them how. For others they are doing it because they need stretching and strengthening in other muscles to help them. If you can't get him to do it, I would suggest getting a referral from your pediatrician to see a pediatric PT. I worked at Children's Hospital for years and they have many out reach centers in the area but are hard to get into. There are plenty other pediatric PTs in the area as well. Good Luck and hope that helps.


When my son was a toddler, he also did that, and still does, from time to time. It is random. Nothing brings it on. We had him looked at back then, for concerns that there may be issues with tendons/muscles/ligaments not being fully or correctly formed. He was also flexing in his sleep. But once he really started getting around, it subsided. Some folks just
enjoy walking that way. I have a friend whose husband does it. He says its just something he has always done, and will walk flat as well. If you are really concerned, have them check out his legs and feet, and if they say he is good..I would not worry. Autism at this age should be known by other behaviors that would be present. But always seek the advice of a Doctor, rule out the issues, and then have a great day!

Dont worry about that at all! Use it as a time to teach your son about his "tipy-toes" I had a song that I would sing to my kids...and I would demonstrate as I sang...and to this day we sing the song...and laugh...it went like this. "tipy, tipy tipy toes....heel, heel,heel heel..." Make up a catchy tune and walk on your "tipy toes...then heel, heel heels! Its fun...

Don't worry J....my cousin walked on his tippy toes until he was 8 years old! All of his footwear looked like clown shoes because of this :) For some reason, he said he enjoyed the feeling of walking on his tippy toes. He developed just fine and is now 20 years old.

Since the Doc ruled out any health issues, if someone comments that something must be wrong when he walks this way, tell them that it's just a phase. Remember---he's not the first nor the last to explore the world in an elevated manner(smile). Happy parenting!

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