The first year of your baby’s life will seem like a blur. Before you know it, your baby will be teetering around on their itty bitty feet. As cute as tiny shoes would look, putting shoes on your baby is a giant step. So, when is the best time to buy your baby their first pair of shoes?
With pliable bones and soft spots on their skull, it’s no secret that babies are fragile when they’re first born. However, not many people realize that the bones in your baby’s feet are also soft. Newborn baby feet are technically made up of spongy cartilage. The cartilage will slowly ossify and turn into strong bones as your baby grows and develops.
Until those bones are fully developed, they are malleable and easily susceptible to developmental abnormalities. So the best way to ensure your baby’s little feet are developing correctly is to keep them free of tight shoes and allow their feet to experience the world around them.
Being able to feel the ground beneath their feet is vital to a baby’s balance and coordination. Any natural movement is essential, including wiggling, playing in a jumper and crawling. Natural foot movement also helps your baby gain muscle and encourages proper posture. Putting shoes on a baby too early and too often can hinder a baby’s balance and coordination.
Putting your baby in shoes that are too tight or too structured can cause issues, including ingrown toenails and fungal infections. If you’re worried about the cold or protecting your baby’s feet from sharp debris, socks or loose booties are excellent alternatives to structured shoes.
While there’s not one specific age or stage, most experts agree that it’s best to wait until your baby has been walking for a few weeks or even months before using shoes for prolonged periods. This waiting period will ensure your baby develops the proper coordination, balance and posture in this new stage of life.
If you’re going to be at a park or an area with sharp objects where they need shoes to protect their feet, be sure they aren’t too tight or rigid. However, it’s still best to keep them barefoot while indoors or on soft ground for as long as possible.
If your baby isn’t walking yet, but you’re concerned about keeping their feet warm, these fleece baby booties are an ideal option. The adjustable snaps ensure they stay put and won’t squish tiny baby feet.
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The Velcro snap ensures these sneakers don’t fall off, while the slip-resistant outsole keeps them safe. Plus, they’re approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
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This shoe boasts a generous toe box to provide room for your baby’s developing feet. The full rubber outsole offers traction and flexibility. Additionally, they’re accepted by the APMA.
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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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