Baby Shoes: Knowing When Your Child Is Ready

James W. Rust
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As your new baby grows, you are probably looking for fun things to do without leaving him or her with a sitter. Here’s one: the Baby and Me Yoga Class at the Yoga Lounge. It’s a time to play with your little one and work on rebuilding your core, leg, and arm muscles at the same time. Exercising with your baby is one of the many “firsts” you will enjoy with your infant. Another is buying him or her that first pair of baby shoes. But when should you do that, exactly?

The podiatrists at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates recommend holding off, no matter how cute those tiny shoes look. Socks and slippers are okay for cold feet at first, but once he or she begins to stand, barefoot is best. Why? Your baby needs to feel surfaces and have unrestricted foot movement in order to develop proper balance and learn to walk. Also, going barefoot lets those little feet develop the way they were meant to, instead of squeezing them into stiff shoes that could hamper their shape and function.

Babies don’t need shoes until they begin walking outside, where they need protection from sharp objects, bites, and scrapes. When your little one is ready for baby shoes, go to a certified shoe fitter at a reputable store. They can accurately measure your baby’s feet and recommend the correct style.

Look for shoes that have a flexible sole, breathable material, and closures that can adjust to your child’s foot shape. Leave room for socks and about a half inch space beyond their longest toe. Your baby should walk around in them in the store, so you can check that they don’t slip off or pinch. Shoes will need frequent replacement as your baby grows, and feet should be measured each time.

If you have questions about your baby’s feet, call the experts at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates in Palm Coast, FL, at (386) 586-7373, or phone one of the other four locations on our website. We love taking care of children’s feet!

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici via freedigitalphotos.net

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