It’s great to see your baby preparing to take his first steps, and you can’t wait to get him his first pair of shoes until he’s really walking. Shoes serve primarily to protect a baby’s feet, particularly when going outside. The first pair of shoes should be lightweight and have a flexible sole to accommodate the natural movements of the child’s foot. The shoes must also have a sturdy heel cap that offers adequate support. The rubber sole provides the child with a secure footing on all surfaces.
The first pair of shoes for your child is one of the most adorable purchases you’ll make. But there should be more consideration than simply selecting a cute alternative (though you’re free to do so if you like).
Here is a guide to picking the appropriate walking shoes for your infant.
When should I get shoes for my infant?
There is no certain age at which your infant will need shoes, but a decent rule of thumb is to wait until he or she has learned to walk and has a desire to be mobile. The standard criteria for the age at which a newborn begins to walk is:
- Six to thirteen months: crawling
- Between 9 and 12 months: sitting upright
- Between 8 and 18 months: walking
It is essential to realize that not all infants develop in the same manner. If your child’s development does not match the given timeline, it does not necessarily indicate a problem. Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns with your pediatrician.
To keep your baby’s feet warm before she begins walking, you need merely socks or booties. However, as she begins walking outside, she will require appropriate footwear to protect her delicate toes.
Consider the following:
Do not buy your baby’s first pair of shoes as soon as he or she begins to walk.
You may believe that you need to rush out and get a pair of baby shoes for your child as soon as they take their first unsteady steps, but this is not the case. It will be some time before you need to begin searching online for “baby’s first shoes.” Initially, when learning to walk, it is advantageous for infants to have bare feet. They must feel everything and be able to move their toes.
However, even though their feet do not require walking shoes, they could benefit from additional protection from cold or rough surfaces. Prewalkers for girls and boys are the optimal choice in this situation. They are soft and lightweight enough to enable your baby freedom of movement, but they provide a little extra protection for the soles and toes to prevent injury.
At this period of development, you should just focus on allowing your child to gain balance and confidence. (And remember to baby proof everything!) (Now that they are upright, they will be able to access a whole new universe of dangers.)
Look for indications that your child is ready to move on.
The age at which a baby develops the ability to walk can vary from infant to infant. The majority of toddlers take their first steps between the ages of 7 and 18 months. Then, it may take some time for them to have the confidence to walk alone.
So how long should you wait following their first steps?
This question cannot be answered definitively or with a single number. The answer depends on your child. The best recommendation is to wait until your child can walk unassisted for the majority of the day. At this point, their feet will require the additional support that first walking shoes can provide. Once you reach this stage, your child will be ready to graduate from their pre-walker shoes to their first pair of baby walking shoes.
How to select the best infant shoes?
Infants are infamous for kicking off their shoes, and older infants may attempt to do it by themselves. A few tips for keeping baby’s shoes on:
1. The Perfect fit
- Look for shoes with a modest amount of toe room to prevent blisters and ingrown toenails caused by pressure or friction on the front of the foot. Narrow or pointed shoes can hurt the toes and inhibit healthy foot development.
- Search for footwear with a heel that does not collapse when the sides of the heel area are pinched. Some shoes contain extra padding around the heel’s upper edge for added support and comfort in the heel and ankle regions.
- Look for shoes with a flexible front toe box that will bend with your child’s walking toes.
- Look for shoes with a firm central area to prevent your child’s feet from twisting within the shoes.
2. The Correct Form
- Search for shoes with adjustable closures such as straps, buckles, Velcro, and laces. These closures permit you to adjust the apertures as necessary.
- Search for shoes with high-quality non-slip soles that give excellent traction. Leather and rubber outsoles provide excellent traction.
- Search for footwear with cushioning insoles.
- Seek out footwear constructed from breathable materials that allow perspiration to escape and keep the feet dry.
3. The Appropriate Function
- Select footwear appropriate for the activity for which they will be worn. During the first several years of life, your child will progress through many walking stages, ranging from toddlers’ shaky walking to school-aged heel-to-toe walking.
- High-tops and shoes with adequate heel support are suitable for daily wear and athletics.
- Open-toed shoes and dress shoes must have ankle straps or buckles.
- Seek for footwear with enough arch support.
- Look for shoes that are easy to put on and fasten quickly for school-aged children who may need to change shoes for Physical Education lessons.
A few parting thoughts
Putting shoes on infants who are only learning to balance on their growing feet is not only unnecessary but can actually be detrimental. Shoes with rigid bottoms can hinder a baby’s ability to learn how to flex and move its feet in order to walk. Pediatricians advise that babies learn to walk barefoot in a safe environment, such as the living room floor. This can assist strengthen your baby’s foot muscles and tendons. Consider that the aim of shoes (other than to look pretty, of course) is to provide protection for the feet.