Why Do Babies Have Flat Feet?

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Babies are born with a thick layer of fat throughout their skin, including on the bottoms of the feet. These fat deposits decrease quickly as the child grows, but prior to this decrease, some parents may become concerned that their newborn’s feet appear to be flat. The excess fat helps to give that appearance, and the feet will gradually begin to look more normal as the fat deposits subside and further development of the arches occurs.

Since your baby’s leg and foot muscles and ligaments are unable to support the arches at this early stage of development, the feet will take on a flatter appearance. Because the young bones can also remain very flexible up to the age of three, full arch development will not be evident in the beginning. 

The bones will become more rigid as the child grows, and the feet will begin to have more normal looking arches in the vast majority of children. However, since there are a variety of conditions and complications that can inhibit proper arch development in children (including an Achilles tendon problem, congenital defect, or a problem known as flexible flat feet), see your podiatrist for peace of mind.

Having your foot doctor routinely monitor your child’s foot development is the best way to avoid any surprises and potential complications. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.