Some parents are eager to buy shoes for their babies. Few are even so hasty that they do not even wait till their babies are actually walking on their own. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the studies claim that your baby doesn’t need a shoe until they start walking. Here in this article, we will discuss as to when is the most appropriate time your baby would start benefiting from wearing shoes.
Shoes will “not” help your baby walk any sooner. This is a common urban myth and its high-time we bust it down into reality. In fact, it makes your baby’s first walking experience a lot miserable if you put shoes on their tiny cuddly feet.
If your requirement is just to safeguard their feet from rashes or any other possible obstacles that might scratch their feet, then I’d recommend you resort to soft socks with non-skid soles. As these are the best when it comes down to babies who are just learning to walk.
A simple guideline to buying shoes for your baby is when they start walking “OUTSIDE”. When your baby has just picked up how to walk on their own, let them be barefoot. At this particular phase in their life, they are trying to adjust and balance themselves on their feet. Buying shoes at this stage and forcing it on them would make that learning phase a lot difficult for them. They would be one, either completely reliant on shoes and wouldn’t gain balance to walk barefoot or wouldn’t want to walk at all. We as parents wouldn’t want that now, would we? Do not steal away your baby’s development stages by introducing something onto their feet that is actually not meant to be in the first place. Till the moment your baby starts walking and is confident to walk outside of the house, that’s the time that you should go about investing into shoes that are comfortable for their feet and is an eye-candy for you to look at.
SHOULD BABIES WEAR SHOES WHEN THEY ARE WALKING?
Now since your baby is all ready and set to take on the adventures of the outside world, let us go shoe shopping, shall we? It is always advisable to seek the help of the shoe-clerks at your local shoe-shop at the high-street or down at the town centre to measure your baby’s foot and advise a size that is most suitable for them. The topmost and perhaps the only thing to consider before buying your baby’s first shoe is that they shout fit them properly leaving enough space for grooming of their feet. Should be snug at the same time. Save yourself from the hassle of added features such as reinforced heels, special inserts, arch supports and whatnot. These are all marketing gimmicks and would do no good to your baby’s first shoes.
Being fitted for the first time in new shoes is altogether a whole new experience for your baby. They might not like it right from the beginning. So it is vital to seek the help of the experts at the shop to measure the baby’s feet as accurately as possible. Do not worry too much about them crying since it is natural and would eventually subside. As long as they are comfortable in their new shoes and they look fancy, you are good to go!
AVERAGE SHOE SIZES AND LENGTH FOR BABIES
Babies have different foot size and hence there is no one fit or universal fit that is applicable to all the babies out there. Normally the baby shoe length starts from size three (3). The width of the feet is in between D and H, with F and G being the most common widths out there.
Another word of suggestion here though. Always try to go for a Velcro fastening, or buckle to hold your baby’s feet in place during their first initial shoe purchases. This is so that they get accustomed to having an external thing on their feet and get used to walking around with it. This is just for the initial stages, not later on.
BABY’S FIRST WALKING SHOES
Choosing the first type of walking shoe is equally important as the size of the pair itself. Stay far away from plastic shoes! Yes, no Crocs either during the initial stages. These can and will make your baby’s feet sweat and can cause great distress to the baby along with uninvited infections that tag along with it. We wouldn’t want the first experience of the baby to be a horrendous one.
The shoe that you pick up should have at least 1 cm of growing room between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Also always make sure that the width of the shoe is right for the feet. If you want your baby to wear socks along with these shoes, then it is advisable to always carry a pair of socks with you whenever you go for shoe shopping for your baby. Make them wear the socks and then try the new shoes on. If along with the socks, the above conditions are met; feel free to buy that shoe. Make them look more adorable!
Another tip here is to allow your baby to walk around the shop wearing the shoes on. If you notice that the shoes are slipping back and forward or if the shoes are making the feet slide out, then this is not the safest of the size’s you choose. We wouldn’t want the baby’s feet to curl and fingers to be squashed just because as being a parent we weren’t careful enough.
After you are happy with the purchase and your baby is comfortable walking around in the new pair of shoes, it is highly advised to check the baby’s feet regularly for any possible sores, infections and sometimes even blisters. Often at times, a new shoe causes such things to happen with your baby’s feet. Please do not get alarmed. The most common solution to this is to seek the help of the clerk at the local shoe shop where you can buy babies shoes and ask them to measure the size of the feet again. Most likely the size has changed.
A general rule of thumb is that you should take your baby for foot-measurement every six (6) to eight (8) weeks in a year. This is because of the commonly known fact that a baby’s foot increases two (2) shoe sizes every year. In order to accommodate this, it is advised not to spend a lot of money on their initial shoes as you would be getting rid of them anyways in the near future.
Most importantly, if you are accustomed to putting on socks before your baby puts on their new shoes, then it also means that every time you buy a bigger size; you would be required to buy a larger pair of socks as well to accommodate the size increase.
Never ever go for second-hand shoes for your baby. Since shoes tend to mould according to the feet and having them wear second-hand shoes would have bad results on their feet and cause distress and would not be comfortable.
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