The moment your tiny tot takes his or her first steps is unforgettable. But as your baby starts to walk, the list of things you need to think (worry) about grows even longer. Uneven surfaces, sharp objects and slippery floors are just a few that come to mind. To keep your little one safe and sound, especially as they begin to venture outside, a good pair of shoes should be on your shopping list.
Before you get started, it helps to know your baby shoe sizes. When your child’s shoes fit properly, it makes walking and running easier. It also avoids any problems with your baby’s foot development. Look for shoes that are soft, flexible and supportive, and make sure there’s enough room for your toddler’s feet to move and grow.
Here are some other pointers to help you choose the best shoes for your baby or toddler.
Get your timing right:
As babies begin to walk, the first question most parents ask is when their little one should start to wear shoes. The short answer is: when your baby begins to walk outdoors.
As most paediatricians will tell you, it’s important that your child is able to feel the ground beneath their feet as they learn to take their first steps. This sensory information helps toddlers to learn balance and foot coordination, and allows little feet to develop and grow naturally. So barefoot is usually best, at least for the first few weeks.
But when your baby begins to venture outside, the soles of their feet need protection from rough, sharp or unclean surfaces. To help them continue to learn to walk naturally, a pair of shoes made from soft and lightweight materials is best, with a sole that is thin and flexible.
Choose the right shoe size:
As your baby starts getting comfortable in footwear, try to familiarize yourself with baby shoe sizes. Children’s feet grow very quickly, so it’s important to choose the right size for your baby, and continue to keep an eye on how their shoes fit every 2-3 months.
Most age-based shoe size charts display foot length in centimetres or inches, so the most accurate way to size your baby’s shoes is to measure his or her feet. If your measurement is in between sizes, choose the next size up — there should be enough room for you to fit your pinky finger comfortably behind the heel while the shoe is on.
Choose the right type:
When you have a clear idea of the size of shoe your baby needs, it is important to choose the right type.
It’s best to avoid shoes that are too rigid or restrictive, or shoes with thick or heavy soles. Select shoes that provide adequate support, flexibility and good grip on the soles. Dress shoes, sandals, sneakers and boots are all fine. The important thing is to choose a pair of shoes that are comfortable, soft and supportive.
Buying shoes for your baby:
Shoe size is just one of the important aspects when choosing the right shoes for your baby. As they begin taking their first steps outside or on different surfaces, make sure they feel comfortable and confident while walking.
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