In the past, people would occasionally bronze their baby’s first shoes to preserve the memory of their first steps. Today, shoes carry a bit less emotional weight for parents, but they are nevertheless still an important aspect of any growing child’s life.
That said, there are certain guidelines you should follow to ensure you do not start putting shoes on your developing toddler too soon. As cute as shoes are, they can restrict movement and tamper with development if introduced before a child is ready to handle them. Therefore, you need to know exactly when and how babies should start wearing shoes regularly.
The History of Children’s Shoes
This is a smart question to ask yourself when raising a child, and you would not be the first worried parent to ask it. Today, 98% of people have ready access to the internet, and while the web can be a deep pool of useful knowledge, it can also cause more confusion than good. For example, you may decide to go online for advice about shoes. Some sources might suggest you buy rigid soles for your child, while others would recommend soft soles shoes for early walkers.
In the past, the belief was that rigid high-tops helped keep a child’s foot in the proper position and offered much-needed stability. After all, a child is not born with the skill of walking and must learn it through practice and time. Today, leading pediatricians agree that less is more when it comes to your child’s shoes during the first few years of their development.
Why You Should Wait
When your child begins to walk, you want to allow their muscles to develop along the right path. By taking away some of the work, you are actually making it harder for muscles to develop the strength they need to do it on their own. Flexibility is the most important issue as children develop their arch and begin growing the confidence to walk on their own.
The bones in a baby’s foot are soft and will not harden until the age of five, which makes it important to offer nonrestrictive options until this age. Although, shoes used for festive occasion or a family photo are not harmful in their own right. It is only when they begin using their feet to walk that you need to be careful.
At the age of five, a child can begin wearing shoes that have more support. This is also true of children who are pigeon-toed or suffer from foot deformities, though it may be a good idea to visit a podiatrist if you are overly concerned. Knowing when to offer rigid shoes is just as important as introducing new colors, shapes, and gestures to the baby as he or she develops. It is all done with the concept of development in mind, and being choosy in their footwear will help them along.
Sock Ya Baby socks. We make it easy to dress your baby’s feet with care and with style.