Do newborn babies have kneecaps? The answer could be a Yes , no , sort of or all of the above. The confusion is all the more, because what sounds like a simple question, the answer to it is not all clear. The answer to this question lies in the fact on how clear you are with the term kneecap. Say for example, if one is an adult, then the knee cap also referred to as the Patella, goes on to resemble a flat sort of a circular bone which is the front of the bottom end of the femur. This happens to be the long bone of your thigh as well. This is connected by a tendon to the muscle in front of your thigh, with the help of a ligament to the tibia bone of your lower leg.
In fact the main purpose of the patella is to help in the extension of the knee. It is bound to increase the leverage that the tendon of the thigh muscles, goes on to exert on the femur and your leg tends to look all the more better. You need to take note of the fact that the patella is a sesamoid bone, and that means that it is a bone which is embedded in a muscle or tendon.
So where does all this stand in terms of the knees of the baby? At the time of birth, the baby has a patella, but it is not made of bone and is of cartilage. This piece, which is present in the knee of the baby, will eventually turn into a bone ,which is referred to as a process of ossification. All the bones in the human body, start out as cartilage and before the birth, they slowly and steadily turn into a bone. In case of the whole kneecap it does not turn into a bone till it goes on to reach the stage of puberty.
The ossification of the human kneecap starts around the age of 3. The areas of the bone slowly start forming within the cartilage of the patella and all of this together develops into a bony kneecap. The whole knee cap does not take charge till it reaches the final stages of puberty. So if one is of the opinion that a kneecap is a piece of bone, then the baby has one for sure. If one considers a kneecap as a piece of cartilage in the middle of the tendon that is connected to the femur, then for sure the baby is bound to have one. Here you can go on to see both sides of the argument, sort of and all the above.
But baby knee caps are present at the time of birth or not? The answer to it is not all the clear, but the lack of a third knee cap is indeed a good thing when you take note of the fact that crawling on a hard bone is much better.