As fathers, we have the manly role of toughening up the baby. To this end, you rock Lucy, throw her into the air, and perform other manly tricks, all to her delight. One of your tricks is to make her walk by moving her legs forward for the amusement of the whole family. But amusement quickly turns to aggravation, and when Lucy and her mom are both screaming at you, you may feel a little less manly…
Babies’ legs are stronger than you might think. Even in her first week, bearing weight won’t harm Lucy’s legs, unless she were to do it for hours. As far as bouncing chairs, saucer-shaped baby holders, door-frame swings, and the like—all of these are fun for both you and the baby once Lucy has developed enough upper-body strength to keep her head up (around six months). They’re also fine on the legs. Babies love the bouncing, and you can snatch a few moments for yourself until you have to come up with the next activity.
I don’t know of any babies with straight legs. They all have slight bowing, and some have a little more than others. But their legs always straighten with age, although some adults keep a slight residual bowing, which is of no concern, especially if you’re a cowboy. Many years ago, when babies were put in walkers for hours at a time as early as six months, accentuated bowing of the legs did result and sometimes even persisted [See: Walkers].