There is nothing more enchanting for parents than seeing their baby grow. Witnessing one’s baby taking those first tiny steps, which is one of the many hallmarks of growing up, absolutely enthralls parents. Now that the tiny tot has started putting his/her feet on the ground to cover considerable distances on his/her own legs, it’s time for parents to invest in a pair of shoes for their little ones. Moving around barefoot is helpful for those who have just learned to walk. However, outdoor trips and a walk in the stores surely demand that your baby’s feet are enclosed in the safety of a pair of shoes.
Like any other baby product, it is important that the shoes for the infant are soft and flexible. His/her skin is soft. Any hard material may bite into it or may make him/her feel uncomfortable while walking around. It is important that the footwear bought are soft and flexible so that the toddler can balance himself properly while taking his itsy bitsy steps. Canvas or soft leather is a good option.
Ensure that the shoes have a non-slip bottom. Avoid extra thick soles as your little one may trip on them. In case you choose high-top shoes, make sure that the movement of your baby’s ankle is not restricted. Many parents think that this type of footwear would provide their kids proper ankle support. However, it is not necessarily so. Some children find it difficult to move around in them and also struggle to take them off on their own.
If you are going for shoes with laces, ensure that the laces are long enough to be double-knotted. However, they should not be so long that the child trips on them and falls. Although many parents feel that once the laces are tied properly the shoes fit snugly on the child’s feet, the fact is that these laces tend to come undone frequently. Also, children take time to learn how to tie them. So, parents may find themselves tying the laces of their children’s shoes very often. Velcro solves these problems. Though this type also may become loose on a child’s feet as he runs and plays around, most often children can adjust the velcro fasteners themselves.
At the Store
When at the store, check for the material of the shoe. See if the child is comfortable in them and can move around without any problem. Then the most important part is the fit. Get your baby’s feet measured by the attendant at the store. Let him/her provide a few pairs for variety. You could also give him a price range to ease out the process. Let your child try them on and make him/her walk around the store a little in each pair. Check if your child’s feet slipped into the shoes easily. Take a note if your child is comfortable while walking around in them. Check to see if there are any red marks on your baby’s feet once the shoes have been taken off. Always carry a pair of socks that you intend to make your child wear before he puts on his shoes. Try the various pairs with the socks on.
When to Shop
Like adults, children’s feet may also swell up at the end of a hard day. Hence, it is best to go to a shop towards the later half of the day. Going to a shop after the child has had his share of nap would be good idea. Making a tired and cranky child try out pairs of shoes is certainly not what a parent would want.
How Often to Shop
Different babies grow at different rates. However, it would be wise to check the size of the shoes once a month. Also keep an eye for any wear and tear. Replace them in case the sole cracks or if there are holes in them.
Be it infant walking shoes or baby shoes, parents have a lot of choices nowadays. Though a cute looking pair looks very sweet on kids, the most important criteria while buying them is comfort.