O-shaped legs are very common in babies, especially the newborns. When changing diapers for babies, parents will find that even if the baby's legs are straightened, they still turn out to O-shaped legs after loosening. For this reason, many parents suspect that the baby's O-shaped legs are caused by wearing diapers. Therefore, it is of great need to figure out the cause and treatment for O-shaped legs in babies.
1. Why Do Babies Get O-shaped Legs?
Many parents worry that the baby's O-shaped legs result from the deformity of leg bone development, but in fact, it is a normal phenomenon in the process of lower limb bone development. Because babies stay in the mother's stomach for a long time before birth, they are wrapped in a small space by the uterus and their legs cannot be straightened. Therefore, their legs will still keep bending posture after birth.
2. How Old Will Babies' O-shaped Legs Become Straight?
Under normal circumstances, most babies' legs will slowly straighten naturally with age, and their O-shaped legs will turn to straight gradually around 3 years old. After the age of 7 or 8, the legs develop into straight legs and the leg shape is basically formed. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) study, the development of baby's legs will leg will roughly experience the following process:
(1) Before the age of 2: babies are basically O-legged, but the outward leg shape will gradually improve;
(2) Around 3 years old: most babies learn to walk at the stage, and the O-shaped legs will disappear completely;
(3) Between the ages of 3 and 6: some children may become X-shaped legs in the process of walking;
(4) After 7~8 years old: most of them will develop straight legs and the leg shape will be basically formed, some babies may become straight slowly around 9 or 10 years old.
3. Do Babies' O-shaped Legs Need to Be Corrected?
As mentioned above, it is possible for a baby's leg to become O-shaped or X-shaped in the process of developing from O-shaped legs to straight legs. The APP notes that these changes are within the normal range and no intervention is necessary. Even if intervention and correction is done, it will not only play a small role, but may also hinder the development of cartilage tissue in the children's legs, and even bring negative emotional pressure to children, affecting their physical and mental health.
To sum up, wearing diapers will not cause babies' O-shaped legs, and it can be seen that O-shaped legs are normal phenomenon during children's growth, hence there is no need for parents to correct them intentionally.