Development FAQ: 12-18 months – Other Advice

My son Harry has just started walking at thirteen months. Over the weekend, while my mother-in-law was staying, and watching Harry, she commented that he had “flat feet”. I have checked on the Internet, but cannot find any advice on the subject. Harry has had the appropriate medical checks during his first year, and the doctor didn’t seem to find anything wrong with him. Is this something I should be worrying about?

All babies appear to have flat feet. The reason for this is that a baby’s foot initially has a large fat pad on the inside arch which slowly decreases as they grow. The ligaments that hold together the bones of the arch of the foot are also lax and flexible. This wad of fat causes them to have a waddling gait when they first start walking and the high inside arch seen on most adults’ feet doesn’t start to develop until around two years old and will not be fully developed until around six years old. Children usually start to take adult-like heel-toe steps around three to four years old.