Lesson 63: Your baby’s shoes are important!

Does it really get much cuter than this?

Yes, they’re cute. But they were also one of our worst parenting fails. Oops.

Never put hard-soled shoes on your baby!

When J was about 9 months old he started pulling up on his own. We realized he was close to learning to walk and decided he needed some shoes. I bought hard-soled shoes because I wanted his teeny baby feet to have extra protection.

Go ahead, those of you who know better, taunt me now.

Before your baby is learning to walk, there’s absolutely no reason to put shoes on him at all. Cover those tootsies with socks when it’s cold, but otherwise save the cutesy baby shoes for later. Your baby needs to bare his feet!

The bones in a baby’s foot are made of cartilage and the most foot development occurs from infancy into toddlerhood. Shoes that are too rigid (such as hard-soled shoes) or shoes that do not fit properly can actually change the natural shape of the foot.

Once he starts pulling up and shows interest in walking, it’s still best to let him go barefoot as much as possible. The more he walks without shoes, the more his feet develop naturally. If the floor is cold, put some no-skid socks or soft-soled shoes on him. If you take him outside, he’ll need a little extra protection. In this case, go with lightweight shoes made of natural materials (synthetic materials do not allow your child’s feet to breathe as easily, which can cause odor and the growth of bacteria–yuck). The bottoms should be smooth so that they do not grip or stick to the floor. Not only do sticky bottoms pose a risk for the child to trip and fall (which, let’s face it, they’re going to be doing a whole of that anyway, so whatever), but they also run the risk of changing the child’s natural gait.

So when it comes time to purchase shoes for Baby, consider having your child professionally fitted. We usually go to a local shoe store that specializes in fitting infants and toddlers, have them measured, then order online if we can find a better deal. Our favorites are Robeez,

Pedipeds,

and Stride Rites.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of commission.

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