Baby Shoes - But They Match the Outfit!

Babies, both infants and toddlers, have unique issues when it comes to their feet and footwear. An infant's feet is essentially developmental in nature. The baby lifts up his feet and looks at these crazy things in front of his face. He explores his feet and toes and wonders what they may do. He moves them around and wonders who is making them do that.

As the baby progresses to crawling, they become more functional, to propel him across the floor. He then proceeds to pull himself up and, for the first time, bears weight on them. Then come those wonderful first steps. It's amazing that all this occurs in about the first year of life!

In order for a baby to be able to get a grasp of the weightbearing process, it's important that he has full sensation to their feet. A baby needs to feel the pressures in his feet, known as proprioception, to learn how to balance. Shoes with a real sole do not allow the baby to properly feel his feet. I'm not talking about booties or socks, but those really cute, tiny, Converse All-Stars.

You can take the smartest person...let's say a pediatrician (who really knows better)...tell them that their infant should not be wearing shoes yet and their response would invariably be "I know...but they're so cute!" or "I know...but they match his outfit!" I'm all for cute baby's and all, but let's not effect the kid's development!

Also, babies are rapidly growing creatures. A sock or soft bootie allows the foot to expand and grow as it should while allowing the baby to feel the ground. Keep those patent leather black Mary-Janes off of the girls! Keep those baby Nike's off of the boys!

Once the baby starts to take some steps, it's okay to put a shoe on him. When you do, make sure that you put on one with a flexible sole. Rigid soles are not appropriate for a new developing foot!

One thing is for certain. Once your child starts to walk, if you find that he sits down often, complains that their feet hurt, or would rather crawl then walk, they might be experiencing a true problem with their feet or ankles. If this is the case, be sure to visit your podiatrist to check them out!

For more information about pediatric foot problems, including an informative video, visit our website.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find the Find out more about how to find the right shoes for babies. The feet of a newly-born are different from regular feet, not just size but also in proportion. Unlike the regular developed feet, which are rectangular in proportion, infant feet are square-shaped.
by Luke April 2, 2013 at 09:43 PM
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