If the shoes fits.... tips on helping your baby put their best foot forward.

It is SO exciting to buy your baby’s first shoes and SO tempting to rush into doing so when there is really no need. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time- you will be buying shoes for many years to come!

If you want to buy some shoes, select the pre walking ones, they tend to have a grip on the bottom, which makes them less slippery than socks on indoor flooring. Perfect as your little one tries to find their feet indoors.

Before they start walking in earnest, shoes are really only helpful in keeping their feet warm or acting as a sock guard! You really only need to buy shoes when your little one is really confident on their feet and walking outside, otherwise it’s perfectly OK to let them toddle around indoors totally barefoot. Going without shoes is actually beneficial for their growing feet, because the bones in the foot are soft and you don’t want to restrict them with shoes unnecessarily. Top tip! Make sure you cut your babies toe nails regularly.

It is always best to got to a recognised shoe shop where they have professional fitters, that way you will know you are buying the right shoes for your baby, as the fitters have been trained to ensure they fit shoes correctly. It is vital for your baby’s growing feet to make sure they have shoes that fit them. At this stage the bones are not fully formed, so you do not want to damage them, leaving your baby with problem feet later on.

If your baby is not as happy as you at the prospect of getting their first shoes, don’t worry, maybe leave it and come back another day. Make sure you go back every 8 weeks to have their feet remeasured, as babies feet can grow pretty quickly. Keep a check on them at home.

You can choose whichever style suits you and your baby best at this stage. For example if you baby prefers to hot foot it out of there, then maybe choose shoes with a velcro strap, for speediness! Buckles or laces are also an option.

Check they have been done up properly when you baby is standing up as this is more accurate than if they are sitting down. Let you baby walk around the shop in order to get used to the shoes. The foot should not be able to move either backwards or forwards in the shoes. Take care to ensure socks and tights are on properly, as they can cause discomfort otherwise. Take a look at the Society of Podiatrists and Chiropodists tips on how to buy children’s shoes.

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