Why does my newborn have bow legs?

Bow or bent legs are quite common in newborns - but why are they like that, and will they straighten out? We got a doctor to tell us...


When you bring your newborn home, you might notice lots of things about them you weren’t expecting.


They might be hairier than you thought, the contents of their nappy might not be quite what you imagined, and you might also find they’re a bit more *scrunched up* than you were expecting, with bent or bow-looking legs.

So, what’s going on – and should you be worried? 

We asked Dr Philippa Kaye (on Twitter here) who told us:

“Babies are generally born bow legged, after all they have spent the past 9 months scrunched up in the uterus.

“Bow legged means that if your baby were to stand with their feet and ankles together their knees would not touch.

“As your baby gets older, you are likely to notice that they are still bow legged when they learn to walk. But this tends to resolve by age 3, when they often become knock kneed!”

She also adds: “If the bowing only affects one side then seek medical advice.”

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