The baby and toddler shoe market can often be overwhelming and confusing for a new parent. Tiny baby shoes are often given as gifts to newborns, yet parents are advised not to put shoes on children until they are walking. Conflicting advice and advertising can make it hard to decide what is right for a child.
It is generally agreed that newborns will only need a foot covering for warmth. Newborns are always lying down, being carried or being held. Their feet do not touch the floor for the first few months and their legs and feet are not yet strong enough to bear their full weight.
Once children are crawling, they very often learn to stand at around the same time. Pulling themselves up and moving from table to sofa whilst supporting themselves (known as cruising) usually follows quickly after crawling.
At this stage, parents may consider protecting the developing feet of their child with pre- walker baby shoes. These usually have a soft sole, soft sides and back and often resemble a leather slipper rather than a rigid shoe. These shoes are ideal to protect your baby’s foot on indoor surfaces, and even outside on gentle or yielding surfaces such as grass or sand. Very often these baby shoes are made to fit a child from birth to ten months. Some parents choose not to buy their children shoes at all until they are fully walking, but this is often a personal preference rather than a medical matter. Vertbaudet the online children’s specialist has a range of shoes for newborns and toddlers that are comfy, practical yet stylish to sure you little one’s feet are taken care of. Pre-walking infant shoes are often lace-ups or a full shoe to cover the complete foot. This ensures they stay on the foot.
Once children are fully weight bearing, that is able to stand fully on their own, they will not be far from talking their first steps. First step shoes are an in-between shoe. Firmer than soft crawling shoes, they are not as rigid as shoes for the busy walker. Soft trainer-style shoes are the usual way forward, with firmer soles that can be worn outside on any surface and yet do not feel too hard against a child’s growing soft feet. Laces are frequently used as a way of keeping the shoe on the foot. A walking child just out of the crawling stage may still be spending time in a pushchair or even a sling, and so First Step baby shoes do not need to be as heavy duty as a shoe for a child who walks for the majority of the time. However, it is still important to buy the right size and measuring is important.
Measuring service in stores
Many high street shoe shops offer a thorough measuring service and it is useful to remember that width is as important as length. There is no obligation to buy in the store that measures your child’s foot if a better fitting pair can be found elsewhere.
Once a child is walking longer distances and spending less time in a pushchair, it is time to graduate to a walking shoe. It is at this stage that measuring and re-measuring becomes essential. Shoes for the walking child are more rigid and supportive both at the sides and at the back. A child who is just walking is also still growing, so it is best to be prepared to buy new shoes with regularity when first starting out. Feet should be measured every six to eight weeks.
Children’s shoes often need replacing frequently as their feet grow, but this does slow down in time. From baby shoes to walking shoes, what could be more important than giving a child the best start in life as their adventures begin?
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2 thoughts on “Buying Shoes for Your Baby or Toddler”
Very interesting post. Baby shoes and sizes are indeed a minefield! I’m from Italy and over there there is no width measurement, but then there is a near-obsession in buying good leather shoes, not the plastic ones that I seem to come across in the UK more often than not. I do sometimes wish that some brands out there decided that Girl’s shoes don’t need to be pink, patent and feature flowers or worst. My baby is 16 months, so no doubt she’ll want those soon, but until I rule give me “normal” colours, please…
This is a great post. Thanks for sharing your insight on buying toddler or baby shoes. It is an exciting and daunting task when buying baby or toddler shoes.