Things to Know About Down Syndrome – Physical Traits

by Carrie with Children with 14 comments

Not many people are familiar with the physical traits of a person with Down syndrome.  Honestly, before Molly was born – I didn’t know much at all.  Since my daughter Molly’s birth, I’ve become educated in the physical traits that come along with her diagnosis.  Some are very noticeable, while others are a little harder to see.

It’s important to remember that each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual, each carrying varying degrees of the traits.  Some of the physical characteristics of Down syndrome are

  • Low muscle tone – Molly’s muscles are somewhat weak, physical therapy and exercise are extremely helpful for her.
  • A  single crease across the palm of the hand – I still haven’t found one on Molly.
  • Small stature – From what doctor’s have told us, Molly is on target in terms of height/weight with normally developing children her age.
  • Upward slant to the eyes – My Molly has beautiful almond shaped eyes!
  • A wide gap between the first and second toe – Sometimes I think I see it in Molly, other times I don’t.
  • An enlarged tongue in relation to the mouth – Molly’s speech therapy is helpful in teaching control, feeding and speech.

Want to read past “Things to Know About Down Syndrome” series?  Check out my past articles More Things to Know About Down Syndrome and Things to Know About Down Syndrome.

What questions do you have for me?  While I’m definitely not an expert in this area, I enjoy the conversation that typically develops in the comments section!


  • Cam Brown

    You forgot to mention how much she likes to smile!

  • Denise McDonough

    Molly is so happy! and so beautiful! WTG mama she is perfect! and thank you for such an informative post!

    I found you at the KdBuggie blog hop! Hope you can stop by my blog…

    • Carrie with Children

      Hi Denise! Thanks for stopping by today! We are so proud of our little Molly!

  • jennifer Symmes

    Yes Cam..Molly’s smile is sooo sweet and pretty. You have beautiful girls Carrie!

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks, Jennifer! I appreciate it! We need to set a day for a play date!

  • Sally Adams

    My Melanie has the larger space between her first two toes – I say it’s perfect for flip-flops (which are a necessity since we live in the Palm Springs area).

    By the way – love Molly’s hair in this picture, so fluffy. 🙂

    • Carrie with Children

      Hi Sally! Thanks for reading! We live in Florida, so I think I’m going to borrow your “flip flops” line – I love it!

      Molly’s hair is fluffy in this pic. lol She was sitting in my lap when I took this picture, but really it looks like she took the picture herself!

  • jollyjilly

    hi Im a new follower from the uk and found your blog via the blog hop
    Really enjoyed reading your blog
    please come visit me anytime

    • Carrie with Children

      Hi there! Thanks for reading today! I appreciate it! Running over to your site now!


    Molly is such a beautiful, precious little girl!

    Thank you for sharing this post, there are alot of traits I was unfamiliar with. I’m your newest follower from the Give It To Me Monday Hop! I would love it if you stop by my blog and follow me as well 🙂

    • Carrie with Children

      Thank you so much for your nice words about our Molly! We are so proud of her – she’s a cutie! 🙂

      I appreciate you following along with my site. I’m running over to yours now!

  • Emily faliLV

    I love Molly’s eyes – her soul always seems to shine through them.

    I know sometimes they detect Downs on U/S how do they do that? Was Molly less active in utero due to her lower muscle tone?
    (I hope it is okay to ask)

    • Carrie with Children

      Hey Emily! Sorry I’m behind on my replies! Thank you so much for asking about Molly!

      In my experience, Molly was no different in utero than Maggie was. She was active and I never had any concerns. We didn’t know Molly had DS until after she was born. I’ve read that in some instances women that have a family history, etc are watched closely and the U/S is examined more in depth. With me though, I had no family history or even any notion that DS was even a factor. My bloodwork came back with an extremely low chance of any problems, so it was a surprise to us.