Keep Babies Barefoot Until They Begin To Walk
Is there a new baby in your life? Have you found yourself eyeing trendy baby shoes? Be strong and walk away!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies really only need shoes when they begin to walk. Until then, cover baby’s feet only for protection and warmth. Even when they begin to walk, avoid baby shoes that have slippery soles or are not flexible which can make it harder for them to take those all-important first steps.
Walking Barefoot Is Good for Developing Feet
Walking barefoot helps feet develop because ligaments and muscles can grow and the arch strengthens. The bones in an infant’s foot are made of soft cartilage that will convert to bone as they grow. To maintain this flexibility, keep baby’s feet warm only with cotton or cotton and wool socks. Check frequently that they aren’t too tight and cramping those tiny toes.
As they begin to walk, babies love the feel of connecting to the ground and it gives them a greater sensation of walking. Walking barefoot can also contribute to good posture.
Sharp Smartly for Baby’s First Shoes
Tradition holds that the person who finds baby’s first tooth must buy the first pair of shoes. Whether that’s you or grandma, shop for baby’s first shoes as soon as they begin walking. Aim for protection rather than trendy styles! Here are some shopping pointers from Klein Foot and Ankle Specialists:
Always have both feet measured by a professional and check measurements every 6 to 8 weeks. A toddler’s feet will grow on average 2 sizes each year until he reaches age 4.
To get a good fit, look for shoes with different widths and that come in whole and half-sizes.
Soles should be non-slip and ankles should have padding for comfort.
Look for plenty of room in the toe area. You should be able to fit your pinkie finger between the tip of the shoe and the end of the toes. Shoes should be wide enough so that the toes lay flat.
Choose flexible and lightweight materials like soft leather with a skid-resistant sole. The fastenings should be secure to prevent the foot slipping and to hold the heel in place.
Avoid hand-me-downs! Shoes will mold to the foot of the prior owner and won’t fit another child properly.
Call Us with Any Concerns about Baby’s Feet
We would be very happy to welcome you and your baby to our office to check their feet and recommend footwear. Dr. Barry Klein and Dr. Debra Klein, board certified podiatrists have extensive experience with all types of foot and ankle issues. You can reach us at our Pine Hill office at 856-783-3366 or our Florence office at 609-499-1181. You can also request an appointment via email. Your baby’s feet must last a lifetime – let them enjoy going barefoot until they start to walk.