From the time your baby was born you have thought your little one was busy after learning how to crawl, but learning to walk opens up a whole new territory for them, which is freedom!
Those little feet will be pattering all over the place, and you will be the one who will be needing new running shoes just to keep up them. While most pediatricians agree that the best shoes for developing feet is no shoes, those trips outside the home require good foot protection that will not interfere with the foot’s growth. Knowing when to start your baby in walking shoes, as well as what type of shoes to look for are important factors for parents to consider, especially since baby’s feet grow very fast approximately half size every two months.
Once your baby begins taking his or her first step, then it is time to get them their first pair of walking shoes. However, you need to keep in mind that these shoes are for protection and should be balanced with a fair amount of bare foot walking in safe environments to allow the child to discover how the foot works before having shoes on all day.
Baby shoes should have arch support as well as have soft and flexible soles that will allow their feet to grip the ground so they will have better balance. The shoe should not impede the normal development of the foot and the learning process. The bottom should be non slip and should have plenty of traction, but avoid those extra thick soles that might trip baby up.
Some feel that high top baby shoes are necessary for ankle support, which is not necessarily true. As long as a low top shoe has a sturdy heel, then it will provide good support for baby’s ankles, but if you do choose high tops, then be sure that the baby can still wiggle his or her ankles so it is easier for them to walk in. Also, it is important to keep the baby’s feet cool and comfy with shoes made of a breathable material.
How do you know if the shoe is a proper fit? You should be able to put your pinky finger in between the heel of the shoe and the baby’s foot, and there should be about a thumb width between baby’s toes and the end of the shoe. It is a good idea to have your baby walk around the store for a while in the shoe so that you can see how your baby walks in it. It is also important to determine if the shoe appears to be too heavy and if the child seems to trip over the shoe. When removing the shoe, then check for signs of chaffing or pinching. Just like adults, baby’s feet may swell toward the end of the day, so it is better to go shopping in the afternoon to be sure the shoe will accommodate swollen feet.
From slip on loafers to Mary Janes, there are a lot of different styles of baby shoes. Choosing which one works best for you and your baby is really a matter of personal choice. Velcro shoes are the easiest for baby to learn how to fasten and refasten, and they are also quicker for you to put on and take off compared to lace ups, which you will have to retie often. However, it is important to choose a shoe that will allow your child to grow, because the majority of parents will want their baby’s shoe bronzed and personalized for keep sakes.