First Shoes and Clothes
When to buy baby's first shoes?
Podiatrist Noah Blumofe discusses when your baby should don their first pair of shoes. When babies are first learning to walk, they need to be as close to barefoot as possible. They need to feel the ground and what is called proprioception, or the perception of where we are in space and time. This is a learned trait your baby will need. While babies are still learning to walk, keep them barefoot unless they are outside and their feet need protection.
- When should my child be wearing shoes and what type of shoes should they be wearing? When a child is first learning to walk, they need to be as close to barefoot as possible. So, they have to learn to feel the ground when they're walking. It's called proprioception, where we are in space and time, and it's a learned trait. So, you want to make sure that they have as much feel of the ground. So, shoes should only be worn outside to protect them from rocks, and glass, and sometimes even sharp blades of grass. So, when you do get shoes for a child learning to walk, you want to
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e as close to barefoot as possible. You shouldn't be wearing shoes until they are walking at least 10 consecutive steps in a row without holding on or cruising. That's when they go from that learning to walk to running, and at that point, that's when you need shoes to protect them from the outside world. In the house, socks or barefoot. Is it important to wear socks? For the most part, yes. Socks are just a layer of protection for the foot. When we are in shoes, we really don't know what's on the inside of our shoes. So, we're running around, our feet are going to be rubbing inside the shoe. So, socks just separate our feet from the shoe and help protect us from irritation and, a lot of times, infection. Is it okay for a child to wear hand-me-down shoes? Ideally, you should not be wearing hand-me-down shoes. Unless it is such a financial burden that you can't afford about $12, $15 a pair of shoes, which is pretty much all a child's shoe should cost when they're learning to walk. You should try and avoid it. The reason is this, whenever we wear a pair of shoes, we wear our walking gait pattern into the shoe. So, by taking someone else's gait pattern and forcing it on a child learning to walk is just like taking my prescription glasses and putting them on a child learning to read, and then saying, okay, you learn to read now, without ever taking them to see if they needed my level of prescription. Ideally, let the child naturally develop their own walking pattern. By forcing them into someone else's walking pattern, you're doing them a disservice. So, unless you are completely strapped financially that you cannot afford, what is it, two cups of coffee these days, you should try and avoid hand-me-down shoes.
Learn about: Appropriate shoes for each age from Noah Blumofe, DPM,...
View Noah Blumofe, DPM's video on Why pricey baby and toddler shoes are not necessary...
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