It is important to take good care of your child’s feet from the very earliest days to ensure they develop in the right way.
A baby’s foot is not simply a smaller version of an adult’s. At birth, the 26 bones that will eventually make up the adult foot are mostly cartilage, making them delicate and easily damaged.
For this reason you should never put your baby into footwear which will restrict growth or movement. Those tiny feet can easily be pushed out of shape.
While baby is tiny, there is really no need at all to wear shoes – warm socks or loose slip-ons on a chilly day are enough to protect and keep them warm.
Leave your little one barefoot whenever possible to allow feet to stretch and breathe.
As your child starts to toddle, going barefoot will also help to strengthen feet and toes, develop musculature and aid balance.
Don’t force your child to walk before they are ready. They will start when the time is right – usually between the age of 10 and 18 months. Late walkers are not unusual.
Once your child is on his or her feet and taking those first teetering steps, it’s time to think about that first pair of shoes.
Make sure you go to reputable shoe shop with trained fitters who will take their time to measure your toddler’s feet in both directions: length and width.
Do not buy shoes just because you like the look of them – ensure they are appropriate for your child’s age and size.
Get your toddler’s feet measured every two to four months.