Sometimes when you’re a parent you’re so bombarded with information and advice that you just want to crawl away into a corner and hide. Everyone has their own opinion, the experts will tell you one thing, retailers will have their own perspective and older relatives won’t hesitate to tell you how things were “in their day”. No sooner have you negotiated through the maze of giving birth, feeding, nappies and pram decisions than everyone is sticking their oar in and asking when you’re buying a pair of shoes. Maybe you were even given shoes as a present when your baby born. When exactly do kids need shoes and what sort should you buy?
It may sound very obvious, but babies who are not yet walking or pulling themselves up to standing do not need shoes. Babies’ bones are very soft, and the best thing for their feet is to give them plenty of room to grow and develop as nature intended. There is nothing wrong with buying your baby soft leather baby shoes, or keeping mother-in-law happy by letting them wear those fluffy knitted bootees, but steer clear of trainers or any other type of shoe which will restrict your baby’s feet. Socks on their own are fine for around the house, and bare feet in the summer is even better.
Crawling and First Steps
Even when your baby starts to move around under their own steam, there is no need to rush out and invest in an expensive pair of shoes. If you have wooden floors, it may be wise to invest in a few pairs of socks with grips on the soles so your little one isn’t sliding around, but if they’re just crawling an ordinary pair of socks is best. Many of the major brands of shoes sell a “cruising” range with softer than normal soles but whether or not to buy these is a matter of personal preference – you won’t harm your baby’s feet by allowing her to cruise around in her bare feet or socks.
You really only need to buy your baby’s first pair of proper shoes once they are walking confidently around the house and you want to take them outside too. Cruising style shoes are not ideal for walking in pavements as any bits of stone can poke through the soft soles and hurt little toes and feet. It is essential to take your baby to a shop where you can have feet measured and then try on a variety of shoes to see which style suits best. Sometime an independent store which carries more unusual brands such as TUK shoes, Babybotte or Start-Rite will be able to find that perfect shoe as they are not restricted to just one brand.
It’s great to have relatives who want to shower your child with gifts, but if your aunt calls to say she’s seen a fantastic pair of TUK shoes in the sale, it’s best to politely decline. Children’s feet need to be measured each time they get a new pair of shoes, and sizing varies between brands so it’s impossible to guarantee that they will fit without trying them on.
Guest author M. Peers writes regularly on a number of subjects including family and health articles. On this occasion My Amazing Shoes, who stock TUK shoes and other great brands, teamed up with Peers.