Q&A: 10 Month Old Standing on Tip-Toes

CME WebsitesChild Development, Infants 3 - 12 Months

blockquote_bgMy 10 1/2 month old son almost always stands on his tip-toes. He can not stand without support yet but when we hold him in a standing position or when he is in his exersaucer, he is on his toes. I have tried to manipulate his feet to a flat position but he rarely does it or only stands flat for a few seconds. Should I be concerned?

While it’s not entirely uncommon for kids to be on their toes when first standing and walking it can interfere with balance and make it difficult to stand on their own and take steps. First off I would recommend limiting time in the exersaucer for only those times when you need him to be in a safe place such as when you are cooking, etc. If you have a pack and play that may be a better option instead of the exersaucer as he can still play in standing and also has the opportunity to cruise and move around some while contained.

If you choose to keep the exersaucer adjust it so that his feet can be flat. Often kids will stand or jump on their toes when in exersaucers causing their calf muscles to get tight and making it hard for them to stand on flat feet. Without seeing your child I can not be sure exactly why he is standing on his toes but I would suspect tight calves.

You can stretch his calf muscles by laying or sitting him on the floor or in your lap using toys to distract him-hold his knee straight with one hand and with the other bring “toes to nose.” Stop and hold when you feel resistance. Try to hold at least 10 seconds, but if he tolerates it you can hold longer. Do not bounce his foot or push into the resistance. Be sure to keep his knee straight. Repeat (as tolerated) at least 3-5 times per foot and try to do this several times per day such as after diaper changes. After bath is also a great time to stretch as the warm water will help to loosen the muscles. Continue to reposition his feet so that they are flat when he is playing in standing. If the above suggestions do not seem to make an improvement in the next couple weeks then I would recommend looking into early intervention services in your area to get a physical therapy evaluation.