Parenting: Clues on shoes when baby starts walking
June 30, 2010 (WPVI) -- Last week Sienna started walking. What a milestone that was!
Of course, she is still a little unbalanced and when she really needs to get somewhere...she crawls. It's still a more comfortable means of transporting herself and it is much faster!
So, with this new mobility, our lives will never be the same. I predict it will be weeks before she starts running and then the real work begins. In the meantime, I've realized I need to get her some good shoes.
For the first 10 months of her life, I bought her shoes simply based on the adorable factor: Cute little MaryJane's, savvy sandals and the retro looking "jellies". To be honest, most of the time she didn't even wear shoes. Now, they make socks that look like shoes and according to doctor's it is much better to keep their feet shoe free in order for them to develop and grow correctly.
I still try to keep Sienna barefoot. After all, she's only walking around the house and in the soft grass or if we're all lucky, on the beach down at the shore! But lately, when we have been out at the mall or a restaurant or even at the park, she wants to get down and walk. I not only want her feet protected but I want the best KIND of shoe so she gets the support she needs.
According the American Academy of Pediatrics, shoes are NOT recommended for children who are not walking. But when they start moving, here is its guideline for buying your child a pair of shoes:
"They should be comfortable and flexible with nonskid soles to avoid slips and provide room to grow; sneakers are fine. Your child does not need wedges, inserts, high backs, reinforced heels, special arches, and other features designed to shape and support the feet as they have no proven benefit for the average child. Her feet will grow rapidly during these months, and her shoes will have to keep pace. Her first pair of shoes probably will last two to three months, but you should check the fit of her shoes as often as monthly during this formative period. It's often best to have your infant's shoes fit by a professional trained in a child's specific foot needs."
Obviously, Velcro shoes make the task of putting on the shoes and taking them off, a lot easier, especially when your little one is intent on moving EVERY WAKING SECOND. But some warn although it's more convenient for parents it may end up being more of a headache. 11 and 12 month olds are pretty savvy and they may quickly discover how easy it is to take that Velcro shoe on and off.
And remember, don't go overboard - one or two pair of shoes should do; as tempting as it is to buy a coordinating pair for different outfits, especially for a little girl! Experts say plan on baby growing OUT of each size about every three months. YIKES!
erin o'hearn parenting reports, parenting, erin o'hearn
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