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Komarovsky answers: is it worth worrying if a child walks on tiptoe

The first steps of the little man in the big world are a touching and joyful sight. If the child goes on tiptoe, mom and dad should be alerted, because such a walk is most likely associated with muscle hypertonia. Doctors call it the cause of oxygen starvation of the baby in mom’s tummy or during childbirth.

At what age does a baby tiptoe?

Pediatricians consider it normal to go on tiptoe during the period of mastering a new method of movement: walking, running, jumping. Walking on tiptoe allows kids to try out the possibilities of their walk. Muscle hypertonus, which is relevant in 1-2 months, usually passes by 3-5 months of age. If this does not happen and the baby takes its first steps on the socks, then in most cases it is connected with the increased tone, which has not yet passed. While maintaining the walking reflex, it is perfectly permissible to tiptoe, parents should not worry about this.

A baby may tiptoe due to a number of neurological problems, but other symptoms must be present. When the development of the child meets the age standards and the baby looks completely healthy, then tiptoeing should not disturb the parents. If, however, dad or mom is experiencing, then you can go to an appointment with a neurologist to identify any deviations or dispel doubts.

Doctors attribute uneven muscle tension to the most frequent reasons for walking on socks - this problem is solved most easily. American experts argue that you do not have to worry if a child under the age of three years old is able to tiptoe. The kid learns a new form of movement for himself, experiments and tries to walk in different ways.

Causes of irregular gait

There are several reasons why a baby walks on socks:

  1. It is believed that the baby gets up on his toes, just to be taller, because he is interested to see everything around, to find out everything. Such a reason is solved at the moment when the baby himself wants to stand on a full foot.
  2. Children often practice different ways of walking and experiment, which is also one of the reasons for walking on socks. Kids are trying to understand how they are more comfortable to walk.
  3. A high level of activity can also cause the child to walk on socks. This problem is solved by increasing the physical load of the child - for example, they include additional sports activities.
  4. Muscular dystonia. Such a diagnosis suggests that the muscles tense unevenly, which in most cases passes by itself. Recovery is ensured by physical activity: crawling, standing up, walking on all fours, climbing, and mostly does without medication and procedural treatment.
  5. Cerebral palsy is another cause of abnormal circulation, but this serious disease is accompanied by a number of other signs that any therapist can notice.
  6. Result of birth injury. The decision in this case is possible with the help of doctors and special medical procedures.

Consequences of not treating

It is recommended to visit a neurologist or pediatrician, who will be able to give an objective assessment and establish the true causes of this manifestation.

There are many external signs and symptoms for which a specialist can make an assessment of motor functions. If there is such a need, the baby will be provided with timely assistance and help the mother with advice on what exercises should be performed at home. Mom and dad need patience in the fight against this seemingly simple disease. If measures are not taken on time, the consequences may be as follows:

  • violations of posture,
  • clubfoot,
  • torticollis,
  • delay in physical development.

When a baby walks on toes, the foot does not have a support on the heel, and it is in a non-working state - because of this position, the heel does not develop at all, only the front of the foot grows. It increases disproportionately, the Achilles tendon also does not work. As you can see, an abnormal gait, which did not receive a correction before the age of 6, is very dangerous.

Lack of proper treatment can lead to disorders of the musculoskeletal system in adulthood.

The help of specialists

We considered the various causes of tiptoeing. Medical care is not always needed, but if it is needed, it can consist of many procedures:

  • Physiotherapy - a specialist doctor prescribes appropriate procedures based on the diagnosis made.
  • Electrophoresis, like physiotherapy, helps relieve muscle hypertonia.
  • Massage - professional help is available at home. Learning massage skills simply enough to be able to provide the necessary assistance to the baby at home.
  • Baths aimed at relaxing the muscles. Use different herbal infusions to perform regular baths: the series, chamomile, lavender, motherwort.
  • Paraffin boots (we recommend reading: how to make paraffin boots for a child at home: video) - this is a medical procedure involving the imposition of gauze dressings soaked in paraffin or ozokerite. Such procedures are prescribed strictly by the doctor and only after careful analysis of the child's health, since such boots are contraindicated for children with diabetes and children with cardiovascular diseases.
  • Physiotherapy. Regular exercises with your baby will help develop an ankle and stretch the muscles you need.

Such therapeutic procedures will help to wean the baby from the wrong gait and teach yourself to rely on a full foot, walk normally. Do not delay treatment - help your child in the earliest terms.

Dr. Komarovsky is of the opinion that all children up to 4 months have hypertonus, then he passes by himself - this specialist insists on timely qualified diagnostics to distinguish the norm from the pathology.

Gymnastics and massage at home

Massage and gymnastics - this is what the mother of the baby with the wrong gait should learn. Dr. Komarovsky claims that the simple exercises included in the daily charging complex will help the child learn how to walk properly. Active games give good results: have the child jump, walk like a bear (on the outside of the foot), duck-like, on an inclined and along a soft surface. Massage exercises develop and knead all leg muscles: Achilles tendon, ankle and calf muscles.

It will be extremely useful to write down the kid for swimming. Also pay great attention to the choice of shoes - it should be orthopedic.

Tips for doing massage at home

We offer the following recommendations for massage exercises:

  • Massage the foot, writing out a figure eight with your finger.
  • The calf muscle must be massaged with two fingers: the thumb and index finger.
  • Bend the foot away from you and towards yourself.
  • Take a fitball for exercise (big ball) and place the kid on top. Roll the ball smoothly back and forth. It is better to do a useful and simple lesson with dad, then one of the parents will support the crumbs, and the other will roll the ball. The child should be encouraged to step on the ball either forward or backward.

Massage is important at any age, do it at 9 and 10 months, up to a year when the baby starts to walk. For learning massage technique is useful to watch a thematic video.

Why does a baby tiptoe?

“Moving a small child on toes in most cases is not a pathology,” Dr. Komarovsky calms the parents.

Most often, getting up on the tiptoes of your baby is “made” by the increased tone of the gastrocnemius muscles. But, the more the child walks, the faster the rest of the ankle muscles develop. And then the toddler will stand on the whole foot.

The second important reason for the “ballet walk” in a child, according to Komarovsky, is a walker. Very often parents, having bought a new-fashioned device, forget to adjust it for their baby. Therefore, the crumb is forced to spend a long time in the "half-hanging" position, relying only on the tips of the fingers. It is not surprising that, having learned to walk, he will, out of habit, move on socks.

In addition, Dr. Komarovsky calls a few more reasons for tiptoeing:

  • Scarce copies some characters from cartoons or TV shows.
  • The floor in the room seems to him too cold or too dirty.
  • He just masters a new type of movement.

Parents who are very concerned about walking on their socks, Komarovsky gives advice:

“Buy your karapuzu comfortable shoes with hard soles. In them, the baby will not be able to stand on tiptoe and will quickly get rid of this habit. ”

When you should see a doctor

So, if a child walks on socks only from time to time - there is no reason to worry. But when the baby constantly moves on tiptoes and lasts for more than one month - there is cause for alarm. This "ballet dancer" must be shown to doctors - a neuropathologist and an orthopedist.

First of all, because prolonged walking on tiptoe can cause atrophy of the calf muscles and Achilles tendons. In this case, the doctor will recommend the baby a course of massage, as well as special therapeutic exercises for the legs.

Unfortunately, sometimes tiptoeing (or heels) is one of the manifestations of cerebral palsy or autism. Therefore, if the child has other warning signs, it is necessary to show it to the neurologist without delay.

Some interesting facts about baby walking on tiptoe

  • The desire to go on socks can be inherited. So, before you curse the child, ask your mom if you had such a habit in your childhood.
  • You can get rid of the “ballet walk” faster if you walk barefoot on sand or sea pebbles every day.
  • Some children even after 5 years of age continue to stand on socks from time to time. According to surveys, most often they do this for no apparent reason, simply because they like it so much.
  • Swimming lessons contribute to the removal of hypertonus from the muscles of the ankle and help the child stand on the entire foot.

And Dr. Komarovsky says to parents: “

If your child is healthy, eats normally, sleeps and develops, then do not torture him with walking to the doctors. Because it will take a little time, and the baby will start walking "like all people." You will see. "

to read more:

Reasons for walking on socks at different ages

The first step is such an important and memorable moment. Each of the parents remembers how the baby stood on both legs and made clumsy movements.

The pacing reflex is present in the child from birth. Depending on age, there are various reasons for walking on socks.

See them in the table:

Muscular dystonia is manifested at an early age, before the child is three months old, it can be the norm.

To diagnose the disease will help the doctor. The first sign - the inflexibility of the limbs

Modern gadgets for teaching a baby to walk can damage the child’s skeletal system if used excessively.

The natural walking reflex will be broken, the baby will get used to walking with the help of additional devices, and will not want to properly fix the leg

If time does not find the cause of such a habit, then the older the child becomes, the harder it is to retrain and cope with the concomitant disease.

Improper gait can adversely affect the future physical development of a small body:

  1. Curvature of the legs. This problem is especially terrible for little girls who dream of becoming models in the future.
  2. Deformation lower leg and foot, the appearance of varus and valgus.
  3. Inflammatory processes in the joints and bones, the appearance of chronic diseases.
  4. Problems with back. Scoliosis, kyphosis and other problems with the spine may appear.

Foot treatment and massage

The treatment will be prescribed by an orthopedic surgeon or a neurologist after finding out the reason for this gait. To help your baby step on the whole foot correctly, you need to follow medical advice.

Perform the following procedures:

    Gymnastic exercises. Sport will always be a priority. Teach your baby to walk on heels, go on the contrary.

Show how this is done, turn gymnastics into an interesting game. Massage. Try to massage the foot of the child with light movements.

For maximum results, it is better to seek help from a professional masseuse.

  • Footwear. The orthopedic doctor will advise which shoes to choose for the baby, taking into account his level of development and physiological features.
  • Treatment takes place only in the complex. If neurological developmental disabilities are detected, drug therapy is prescribed to help the child develop mentally and physically faster.

    Opinion of Dr. Komarovsky about walking on tiptoe

    One of the public and influential doctors is Dr. Komarovsky. The Ukrainian doctor has his own opinion about a special children's walk.

    The pediatrician urges parents not to sound the alarm if, apart from the symptom of walking on tiptoe, there are no signs of neurological diseases, and the baby has not yet turned 3 years old.

    In some cases, the pediatrician focuses on the child's habit, and encourages moms and dads to see a specialist.

    Dr. Komarovsky does not deny the presence of neurological disorders and the need for medical intervention if the child has even more pronounced symptoms of abnormalities.

    The most common reasons for tiptoeing are:

    1. Muscular dysplasia. Increased muscle tone may take longer than several months. It is necessary to immediately take measures to eliminate tension: massage and gymnastic exercises.
    2. The nature of the child. Sometimes this walk is just a way to show your abilities and try something new. Curiosity is not alien to small children.
    3. Elevated physical activity. Children can play on their toes or try to accelerate using the tiptoe method.

    Prevention and selection of the right shoes

    Properly selected shoes - the key to successful correction of the shape of the foot. The sooner parents acquire special shoes, the faster the baby will master the classic ways of movement.

    Choose a model that will follow these guidelines:

    • It has a tight backdrop and an instep pillow.
    • Model with a closed spout.
    • The shoes are fixed with several velcro fasteners.

    In specialized stores, you can make a pair of custom-made according to individual parameters. Before buying consult an orthopedist.

    When it is necessary to guard

    Putting on the legs of the baby of the first days of life, it is clear that he is on his toes. This is normal, because in the first months of a child’s life the tone of his muscles is usually disturbed.

    But do not neglect the examination of the crumbs by a neurologist. Indeed, in the early stages of a specialist can identify muscular dystonia in an infant.

    However, in such cases there are other violations, in addition to standing on the toes.

    If the baby from time to time becomes socks, then it's not scary.

    But, if the child after six months does not get completely at all, then you definitely need to show him to the doctor, better to a neurologist.

    If there were complications during pregnancy and childbirth, the child’s legs are too tense, he often walks on socks, then in such cases it is worth consulting with a doctor to detect possible diseases in time.

    What reasons do most doctors call

    The child walks on socks: the causes of this phenomenon can be very different.
    What causes this position of the foot of the child? The following main reasons can be distinguished:

  • Trauma during childbirth. Doctors are unlikely to miss such a pathology in the first months of a newborn's life.
  • Pyramidal failure. In recent years, doctors often make such a diagnosis. It is associated with neurological disorders of motor function, most often expressed by an increase or decrease in muscle contractions. Usually caused by hypoxia of the fetus, transferred during pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP) - A serious neurological disease. In addition to the symptom of walking on the socks, has a number of pathologies.
  • Muscular dystonia - violation of the muscle tone of the child. Such disorders can lead to orthopedic abnormalities and improper formation of motor skills (for example, scoliosis, flatfoot, torticollis). Carefully observe its development will help you our materials that the child should be able to 1 month, 3, 4, 6 and a year and a half.
  • Psychological problems in a child, associated with his environment, can also cause such a walk. In this case, especially should alert the chin tremor.
  • Walker abuse. In walkers, children often put their feet wrong. If a baby learns to walk in a walker, then he may continue to put his foot when walking wrong.
  • Child's desire to imitate adults, to be higher, can also put a crumb on socks.
  • At your numerous requests, we wrote the article "Fetal hypoxia - symptoms and consequences."

    Каждой маме хочется, чтобы ее ребенок хорошо и опрятно выглядел, но не всегда просто бывает определить необходимый размер одежды и обуви. Таблицу для подбора обуви по сантиметрам мы опубликовали для вас здесь.

    What do doctors advise

    If serious diseases are not identified, the doctor may prescribe:

    • Electrophoresis with drugs,
    • "Paraffin boots" - bandages with paraffin,
    • Therapeutic gymnastics,
    • Special massage
    • Orthopedic shoes.

    Well helps walking barefoot. You can walk on the scattered cereals, peas, small pebbles.

    Do gymnastics with your kid in a game form.

    What to do if the doctor insists on taking medication

    What if a doctor insists on taking medication?

    Decide on the basis of the situation. If a serious disease is detected, then medical treatment is indispensable. If no other abnormalities, except for walking on socks are found, and the doctor still prescribed medication, then it is up to the parents.

    Trust your doctor - boldly give your child medication, in doubt - consult with another specialist.

    Perhaps it will be enough to restrict massage and physiotherapy.

    Opinion of Dr. Komarovsky

    Opinion of the famous pediatrician Komarovsky E.O. on the issue of the child’s walking on socks, differs from the opinions of many modern neurologists in our country.

    He does not consider this a problem requiring too close attention.

    To the question that a child is 11 months old walks on socks, the doctor answers so (quote):

    Causes (answers Komarovsky) for which the child walks on socks and, when it is impossible to do without the intervention of doctors: birth trauma, oxygen starvation of the fetus, early stage of cerebral palsy.

    But in such cases, the doctor emphasizes that there will be other visible disorders in the child.

    You can get acquainted with the opinion of Dr. Komarovsky on this issue by looking at the video of his program from the “School of Doctor Komarovsky” column.

    How to teach a child to walk on a full foot

    To teach a child to put a foot correctly, you should follow these simple tips:

    1. Choosing the right shoes for your baby. Buy better orthopedic shoes, which well fixes the leg. Select the desired size.
    2. The baby should walk more barefoot. It is good to walk on the grass, pebbles, special orthopedic mat.
    3. Start every day with morning gymnastics.. Well include exercises on the development of the feet.
    4. Watch baby walktime to adjust.


    To correct the position of the foot, such exercises will be useful:

    1. Holding the baby's armpits, tilt him forward a little and let him take a step, leaning on the foot cavity.
    2. You will need a phytobol (big ball). Hold the baby by placing it on the ball. Roll the ball slightly. Make sure the baby, crossed legs and correctly put the foot.
    3. Drive the kid, holding the armpits, forward and back along the sloping board.

    Well combine exercises and massage.

    Possible consequences

    If time does not correct violations in the setting of the foot, then this may lead to the development of more serious pathologies: curvature of the spine, torticollis, deformity of the foot, impaired coordination of movement, and so on.

    Therefore, even if the child is not detected serious diseases, it is worth paying attention to his problem.

    It is not difficult to help your child adjust his gait with the help of massage and gymnastics, and this will save you from possible problems in the future.

    Dr. Komarovsky about why a child walks on socks

    What measures do not go to parents, to wean their child from walking on tiptoe! Some strictly prohibit the child to rise on his toes, others are beginning to actively lead the crumbs to the doctors, to pass tests and look for the disease that is to blame for everything. And all this because in this way of moving adults necessarily see some kind of “abnormality”.

    Complaints that a child walks on socks are addressed to parents and to the well-known doctor Yevgeny Komarovsky, who is pleased to explain what such a walk can mean and how to respond to her parents.

    Most often, tiptoeing is not a sign of any pathology, says Yevgeny Komarovsky. For children under the age of 2, episodic attempts to walk on their socks are an absolute norm, which should not in any way worry mom and dad.

    Anatomically, this phenomenon can be explained by the fact that in children, even those who have not yet begun to walk at all, the gastrocnemius muscle is quite developed. And when the baby stands up and tries to take the first independent steps, it is the tone in this calf area that can easily put the child on tiptoes. There is nothing terrible in this, because as the rest of the muscles develop, the calves will be less muscular, and the foot will take the correct position when walking.

    Quite often, parents are themselves to blame for the fact that the baby walks on socks. This may be due to the fact that from an early age, sometimes even up to 6 months, begin to use devices such as walkers. About the dangers of these devices in terms of the load on the immature spine, Dr. Komarovsky told repeatedly.

    There is one more minus in their use - the baby in the walker relies on socks. He does not always reach the floor, and then it is quite difficult for him to get used to the fact that you can lean on the foot in some other way. In such a situation, according to Yevgeny Komarovsky, the child then needs to be retrained, inculcated in him a new good habit of walking correctly.

    However, not all 100% of children who walk on socks have reasons for walking so harmless. There are situations when walking on tiptoe is a sign of some of the serious neurological disorders.. associated with impaired muscle tone and pathologies of the central nervous system:

    • cerebral palsy,
    • muscular dystonia,
    • pyramidal insufficiency.

    But when one of these diseases in a child is present, walking on socks will be far from the only symptom. Moreover, most likely, parents will learn about the disease much earlier than the baby starts walking. Therefore, if at 2-3 years old the child feels good, he doesn’t hurt anything, he is not disturbed by anything, and the only thing that parents complain about is walking on their socks, then there is no reason to worry, says Yevgeny Komarovsky.

    Such a child does not need treatment, you can not torment him or lead him to numerous medical offices.

    There are kids for walking on socks and the reasons for a different property are psychological. The little dog sees that he is praised for growing up, that he is already big. Naturally, he wants to be even bigger and taller, and therefore he occasionally rises on socks. Often such a walk is peculiar to children inquisitive, very mobile, hurried, impressionable, who are always in a hurry and running somewhere.

    How to fix your walk?

    If the child has no pathologies, as well as neurological diagnoses, then the parents may be asked how to correct the baby’s gait. Evgeny Komarovsky claims that up to 3 years there is no need to do this purposefully. But some of the measures taken by the parents will help the child to quickly master the correct skills of the feet:

    A child walks on socks: reasons | Komarovsky

    | Komarovsky

    Parents often get a lot of joy, a strange and a bit funny gait of a child, who with each step tries to step on the toe. But often their affection is completely unjustified. In fact, tiptoeing should be disturbing, not amusing. There are many reasons that can lead to such violations. It is not necessary that they are associated with any serious pathologies. But let this situation take its course.

    Komarovsky about the reasons

    In modern medicine, a look at why this baby’s gait is formed has long been formed. But it is better to list the reasons Dr. Komarovsky. According to him, this gait should not be disturbed until the age of 3 years. Still, it is likely that while the baby is mastering the ability to walk. Perhaps he is just experimenting and trying different ways of setting the feet. Accordingly, gradually his ability to walk will develop, and the problem will disappear by itself.

    Nevertheless, the situation is far from always so rosy. And Komarovsky advises to find out the reasons for walking on socks as much as possible. There are quite a few cases that lead to the formation of this way of walking. The most frequent of them Komarovsky considers the following.

    1. Abnormal muscle tone. It can be either elevated or insufficient. When overstraining or dystonic gait with time can be normalized. And then no medical intervention is needed. But it is better if the parents at least on their own will try to return the muscle tone to normal.
    2. Curiosity baby. The child seeks to look around as many objects as possible. Lifting on tiptoe allows you to do this. Usually, the baby at any time can put the entire foot on the floor. He just needs to want.
    3. Hyperactivity Some children are so active that they throw out energy through running. To do this, they have to get up on socks, because it turns out to run faster.

    The above reasons do not talk about any pathologies. Also, in most cases, they can not lead to the development of diseases. And yet, unfortunately, sometimes the gait speaks about health problems. Komarovsky highlights a few more reasons that are much more dangerous.

    1. Birth injury. If complications arise during childbirth, walking on socks may be one of their consequences.
    2. Early stage cerebral palsy. This extremely dangerous disease manifests itself precisely by the lack of formation of the gait. Although parents should understand that cerebral palsy has many other symptoms. Therefore, it is not necessary to worry ahead of time.
    3. Oxygen starvation during pregnancy. The essence is the same as in birth trauma.

    In these cases, it will not be possible to do without the help of doctors. But it's too early to worry. Most likely, the child is doing well. If parents want to make sure that the child is healthy, they can consult a doctor.

    How to help a child

    Depending on the reasons that led to the "clubfoot," therapy may look different. Usually therapeutic measures are as follows.

    1. Physiotherapy and electrophoresis. Both of these procedures allow you to get rid of hypertonus.
    2. Foot massage It is better if it will conduct a professional. Parents themselves are able to learn how to perform the procedure, since there is nothing fundamentally difficult in it.
    3. Physiotherapy. With this method of getting rid of "clubfoot" the child himself must be active. Kids love gymnastic exercises, but they are also very helpful.
    4. Baths with infusions of herbs. They have a relaxing effect, help to eliminate hypertonia. Well, in this case, motherwort or lavender will do. The classic version is chamomile infusion added to a small amount of water.
    5. Gauze bandages with paraffin. This is not the most pleasant and safe procedure. Usually it is resorted to, if it is not possible to repair the defect in another way. Paraffin dressings performed by a doctor. You can not use them if the child has any cardiovascular disease.

    Most often the first four effects are sufficient. They allow you to cope with most reasons. But if a child walks on socks because of some serious pathologies, the help of a doctor will be required.

    You need to follow the gait carefully. The sooner parents notice violations, the easier it will be to get rid of them. Delay can lead to not the most favorable consequences.