Parents—especially brand new, first-time parents—are prone to obsessing and worrying over every little thing their child does (or doesn’t do). So perhaps it’s not surprising that we get plenty of questions from concerned parents about little ones whose toes point inward, a condition known as in-toeing, or pigeon toes.
Well, we have some good news for you: this is one of those things that you just don’t have to be too concerned about.
That doesn’t mean you ignore it, of course. We always recommend that parents take their little ones in for a check-up if they notice anything abnormal just so that we can rule out any rare conditions that might merit further attention. However, in the vast majority of cases, intoeing is totally normal, will correct itself in time, and will not cause your child any trouble or pain during development. As bones and muscles grow and develop, the feet should straighten naturally.
Instead of worrying about braces or special shoes—which don’t really work, anyway—we ask you to just keep an eye on your little one as they grow. It may be helpful to take pictures every couple of months so you have a frame of reference to compare. Basically you’re looking for these things:
- Is the rotation staying the same, getting better, or getting worse?
- Is your child showing any signs of pain or discomfort?
- Is your child experiencing difficulty learning to walk or run, beyond the normal waddles and stumbles of a typical toddler?
If you do notice any of the above problems, or a physical realignment hasn’t corrected itself by age 8 to 10 or so, it may be time to bring them back for a visit. However, the vast majority of cases will not produce any troublesome symptoms for your child. They may look a little awkward for a while, but most children with intoeing experience no pain and have no difficulty whatsoever learning to walk, run, and play normally with other kids.