It can be a memorable experience to witness your baby taking their first steps. However, you don’t need to run out and buy shoes the moment they attempt to stand. Let them enjoy being barefoot for a while so that they can get used to the feeling of walking and wriggling their tiny toes.
There are prewalking shoes you can get your toddler that comes with a soft sole. Make sure they are comfortable for your baby’s feet and protect them from cold and hard floors. Look for a sole that is made of flexible soft rubber, leather or suede. There are also prewalkers that are made from a combination of these soft materials. A soft sole allows the toddler to feel the ground when they are learning to walk and it will not restrict their natural walking position.
Going barefoot will be a good option when your baby is first starting to take their steps. A moulded sole will be great if you have rough floors in your home. Avoid shoes that come with a PVC sole as they will not give the right grip or support. You have to be careful about the material of the shoe. It has to be made from a breathable material. While leather is a good option, canvas shoes are to be avoided as they don’t breathe and are not flexible. This will prevent the baby’s feet from overheating and it will keep them comfortable. The material should also have some give so it allows for freedom of movement.
Look for a shoe that gives a good deal of flexibility. You can check this by bending the shoe over on itself. If the sole can’t bend like this, then it will not be flexible enough. This flexibility allows for natural movement of your child. Let your infant be barefoot before they start walking as it can hinder their mobility. When choosing your baby’s first walker shoes, you have to prioritise perfect fit over everything. They can be barefoot when walking indoors but you can purchase shoes for them to wear outdoors so their feet are protected.
While you may be tempted to buy a shoe in a larger size as toddlers tend to grow quickly, this is not a good idea. It will hinder their movement and they will not be able to walk properly. If the shoe is only a little loose, you can experiment with a thicker sock. But it is very important to listen to your child and observe their response to the shoes. They may not be able to vocalise their discomfort but you will be able to see it.
There has to be about a half thumb of space between the tip of the shoe and the longest toe of your baby. This will allow them enough space to wriggle their toes and enough of a tight fit to keep their feet in place. You will need to check on the shoes monthly to see if they have outgrown the shoe. The back of the shoe should be snug while having a little bit of space for you to squeeze a little finger in between the heel of the shoe and the baby’s heel.