Do newborn babies have kneecaps? Yes, they do have, but they are just softer than yours. In babies, the bones are not strong enough to support the body, but soft enough to ensure growth. Till adulthood when they reach the final size and strength, they are a combination of soft cartilage and hard bone. The kneecaps are no exception in this regard. The kneecap of a newborn baby is completely developed out of cartilage, and it is around 3 to 5 years, the areas of hard bone begin to emerge in the patella, and in irregular patches. Plenty of patellas still remain, continuing the process of growth to the adult stages. In the later stages of young adulthood, they make a strong expansion. The net result is a pair of strong knee caps.
The baby kneecaps are considered to be a myth. If you have spent time around toddlers will be aware that walking or standing is possible earlier than breaking. The ability of them to keep on ticking on and one is something that deserves to be admired. Unless they see someone reacting something to fear, they bounce back with a smile on their face and move to the next movable object as quickly as possible.
Knees are known to bear the brunt of damage for the toddlers. It is designed for the babies, as their knees are soft, and feel like a rubber to touch. Whether you are 2 or 60, your knees work overtime to get you around. In the case of adults, they normally have 206 bones; babies start off with 300 different types of bones and cartilage elements. Adult bones, such as the cranium emerge in life at different fragments. During the stages of birth it has 3 unused plates, allowing for the passage of the baby, through the birth canal. Over the course of time these plates formulate into a single piece.
The bones start off as cartilage, but many of them are cartilage, still at the time of birth. Over a passage of time it develops into a bone through a process termed as ossification. When the cartilage develops a nutrient artery grows inside it. The patella is regarded as a sesamoid bone signifying that the bone exists in the middle of a tendon and as illustrated earlier, the patella is the second largest sesamoid bone of your body. It does take a longer amount of time than the other bones to become a bone.
It does not show in the x rays, but this again answers the question that are babies born with kneecaps. They are more mere bone caps. At birth, the knee caps are still cartilage and they still continue for a few years to remain the same. So all the falls which your kid is taking is not going to be a potential knee breaker. By the time the kid reaches the age group of 3 to 5, these cartilage plates would have developed into big lid knee caps and that too being made of real bone.