Parents always seem eager to get their baby's first pair of shoes. Almost too eager, in fact, and way before their baby actually needs them.
Shoes are meant to protect your babies' feet, yet do not help them to learn to walk any faster. In fact, babies' feet are still forming new bones in their first year or so. If they are in shoes all day the feet are subject to becoming malformed. Hence, shoes that are not flexible or do not have non-slip soles actually make it harder for your baby to take their first steps. According to the latest recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should not be wearing any shoes until they begin to walk .
In other words, you may not need to buy real, hard-soled shoes during your baby's first year. Some doctors recommend waiting until your child is a strong walker because shoes can interfere with development. Another important note to caregivers is, crawling is vital and researches have been showing a positive relationship between duration of crawling to literacy .
When it's finally time for baby shoes, you may wonder if hard or soft soles are better for your baby's developing feet. The rule of thumb is, until your baby's ambling well, cover their feet with socks or soft shoes that have non-slip bottoms.
Your child will then graduate start to take his/ her first steps. Once your child is walking, look for shoes that are flexible, non-slip or with skid-resistant soles. Even at this age, your toddler will likely do better in flexible soft-soled shoes and you want them to be able to feel the floor which helps with their vestibular (balancing) sense. In fact, many brands of shoes for kids are made of very soft fabric/ leather, which has the bonus features of being comfortable and washable. You can even skip the added expense of arch supports, special inserts, reinforced heels, or any other added feature, as long as your baby's shoes are flexible and fit.
At Special Delivery for Kidz, we encourage babies and young toddlers to wear soft fabric moccs/ booties. All our baby moccs/ booties are handmade by a talented artisan mom based in Melbourne, using only the best quality fabric with love. Featuring here momkbaby mini polkadot on black baby booties, available now at specialdeliveryforkidz.com
1. Shelov, S. & Altmann, T. R. (2009). Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, Fifth Edition. In Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics,32(2). Retrieved February 19, 2015 from http://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/Fulltext/2011/02000/Caring_for_Your_Baby_and_Young_Child__Birth_to_Age.4.aspx
2. Zachry, A. H. & (2013). Why is crawling developmentally important?. Retrieved February 19, 2015 from http://www.babble.com/baby/crawling-is-crucial/