It’s a proud moment for you when bubba takes his first wobbly step. It’s definitely a milestone to be remembered. But that also means that bubba will start needing shoes!
Though it might not seem important — baby’s only teetering on their feet a little — it is crucial that bubba has proper shoes while still getting the hang of walking. The right pair of shoes will give them the proper support they need.
But, “shoe” bubba only when they are ready to venture outdoors. If still practising at home, it is best that baby stay barefoot. “They will be able to balance and coordinate better if they have more sense of the ground,” says Fiona Hu Wenyan, chief podiatrist at The Sole Clinic.
“Going barefoot [at home] will also allow their feet to develop without being restricted.”
“Going barefoot will also allow their feet to develop without being restricted. A baby’s bones and ligaments are still in the state of moulding and development.” Thus if shoes are introduced too early, they could stunt the growth of your darling’s feet.
While all babies start walking and wearing shoes at different times, depending on their development, it should be between eight and 18 months.
When it’s time for your kid to start wearing shoes, how do you choose those all-important first shoes? They should be:
· Made with expandable and non-occlusive upper materials (covered).
· Flexible — “The soles should be hardy enough that if the child stands on something a little sharp it will not pierce the sole (protecting the feet) but flexible enough that baby’s soft bones are not damaged and the feet can ‘feel’ the ground,” says Helen Crawford, podiatrist at the Osteopathy and Podiatry Centre.
So what shoes should you avoid buying for bub? Click next…
On the other hand, avoid getting them shoes such as:
· Sports shoes.
· Small-heeled shoes.
· Slippers and thongs.
Basically avoid stiff-soled ones, made of hard materials, that are big and chunky. They will cause sores, blisters, under-developed leg and foot muscles and even ingrown toenails for bubba.
Another important factor is ensuring that any shoes you buy for baby are the right size. This will give them the opportunity to develop the required nerves, resulting in healthy feet — and it will keep them from falling. If the shoes are too big for baby, it might cause damage to the soft bones in their feet and might add to their falls.
An added benefit of buying properly covered shoes is that, once junior gets used to them, they will not resist wearing them — really beneficial when they starts school!
Helen Crawford is a Podiatrist at the Osteopathy and Podiatry Centre
Fiona Hu Wenyan is the Chief Podiatrist at The Sole Clinic