Walking with feet outwards and losing balance/tripping

My 18 month old (walking since 16 months) walks with both feet turned outwards - one foot is worse than the other. When we went to get his feet measured for his first walkers the man said it is normal at this age due to the nappy being in the way and will correct itself. Is this correct?

My son also keeps tripping/losing his balance. I initially thought it was when he was tired but I’ve noticed it at all times of the day now. Is this something to worry about?

Thank you for reaching out. We do see feet turned out some when kids are first learning to walk but I wouldn’t say this is typical because of a diaper. When you add in that he is tripping and falling I think it is worth getting a PT evaluation. This way you find out if its just a matter of some strengthening or if it truly is nothing to worry about.

Will he play in squatting? Squatting is a great strengthening activity. So is crawling up stairs and over big obstacles like cushions. Any climbing is a great activity to do as well. Let us know how he is doing.

@Starfishtherapies is spot on that the diaper wouldn’t cause changes in leg alignment/foot positioning.
We can see discrepancies from one side to the other in the first few months baby is walking due to in-utero positioning, but within a few months that often self corrects.

The tripping/falling is more concerning if you’re noticing it constantly. Toddlers do often lose their balance as they’re learning to navigate, but if you aren’t noticing improvement, then it is worth seeing a PT for.

If you do go for an eval it’s helpful to come with answers to the following questions:

  1. Do you notice the falling more without shoes?
  2. More noticeable outside than inside?
  3. Do you have a lot of carpet or slippery floors-any differences there?
  4. Is he tripping “over his own feet” (out of nowhere) or over toys/obstacles that he doesn’t seem to notice.

Keep us posted!