Don’t know when to start putting shoes on your baby? Join the club!
When I was a young mum of a one year old, confused about baby shoes was an understatement. There were books about pregnancy and books about giving birth. Books about sleep training and books about breastfeeding.
But no one seemed to be able to explain to me when my baby should start wearing shoes.
Was it 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? 18 months? And what first shoes? Were they supposed to wear hard soles, soft soles, no sole? The list went on, as did my confusion.
I decided then and there to put my Inspector Gadget hat on and find out a little more about when to put first shoes on my baby.
What I discovered was that it is important for babies to walk barefoot as much as possible as it improves balance, posture and coordination as they receive lots of sensory information from the soles of their feet touching the ground.
However, it is also important to protect your baby’s feet from dangerous surfaces or surfaces that can cause a lot of impact on your child’s growing feet. Things like dirt, sand, rocks, hot or cold surfaces, can all cause harm to your child’s feet if left unprotected.
Therefore, as a general guide, it is recommended that babies be provided with lightweight and flexible footwear once they are walking comfortably.
Generally, first shoes need to be:
- Comfortable fit in length and width
- Plenty of room for the toes
- A flexible, flat sole that bends near the toe
- The front of the shoe wider than the heel, to match the natural shape of the foot
- A solid heel counter (part that goes around the back of the heel)
- Secure, to prevent movement or slipping of the foot inside the shoe