Buying Your Baby’s First Shoes
Buying your baby’s first shoes is an important milestone in their growth. From the ages of around 9 – 18 months, baby’s start to learn to walk. Little feet need proper support and shoes made out of good quality materials to ensure they are continuing to develop in a safe way. Learn here how to get the most out of your baby’s first shoes, to soon have your child running all over the place.
The Right Type
Don’t rush into buying shoes for your baby too soon. Before they start to walk, children first learn to crawl or ‘cruise’, moving around holding on to furniture etc. At this stage, proper shoes aren’t necessary, but to protect delicate feet, investing in a pair of pre-walkers is a good idea. These shoes are lightweight, with a thin flexible sole that will keep little feet safe from injury but will still allow children to develop their walking skills, such as keeping themselves balanced.
Once your toddler is walking unaided, they need more support and first walker shoes are the next best step.
The Right Fit
Getting the correct fit for your child’s first shoes is very important – we all know the pain of wearing shoes that rub. Due to nerve endings that aren’t fully developed, toddlers might not be able to feel if shoes don’t fit properly or communicate that they are hurting. The best shoes to go for are ones with flexible soles and a breathable fabric, such as soft leather. The right material will mould to your child’s feet, shaping to a unique footprint and ensuring they allow room for bones to grow.
It is a good idea to go shoe shopping in the afternoon, as children’s feet swell throughout the day after they have been using them for a couple of hours. Children’s feet grow quickly, so have your child’s feet measured every 6 – 8 weeks.
With lots of fasteners to choose from, it is best to go for a type that is quick and easy to secure. Velcro or buckles are quick and easy to fasten, and don’t have a trip hazard like long laces might. Laces are better suited to older children, but if your toddler likes to kick their shoes off, laces are more secure. Try out different types and see what works best for you and your child.
As toddler’s feet change quickly, it is important to regularly check that their shoes still fit. Press down on the front of their shoes and see how much space there is between their big toe and the front of the shoe. It is recommended that there should be a half an inch gap. Look out for bad posture or nail problems which mean it is time for your child to move up a size. Up until the age of four, your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes per year, slowing down to one size before they start school.
Buying your baby’s first shoes is an exciting stage in your child’s development, so have fun choosing the right fit, style, size and colour and enjoy the time with your active toddler!