Baby footwear are so tiny and cute! But do babies really need them?
Shoes can protect baby feet but they are not actually necessary in the early months when the baby is still in the crib or the stroller.
In their early years, babies should be allowed to move about barefoot so they can develop their balance, strength and coordination.
As a general rule, babies who have yet to learn to walk should wear soft-soled shoes because these shoes provide warmth and protection. Once they start to walk (usually around 24 months but maybe earlier), upgrade to hard-soled shoes to prevent babies from slipping and sliding.
It’s also good to know that there are different baby footwear as their ability to stand, walk and run changes. Here are the 4 types of baby shoes to take note of!
1. Crib shoes or pram shoes: 0- 9 months
Since babies at this age still spend most of their time in the crib, crib or pram shoes have soft bottoms. Its main purpose is to keep the feet of babies warm, hence sometimes they look like socks. The shoes are also usually put on when babies are out in a pram or chair walker. Alternative shoes include soft leather shoes or crocheted shoes.
2. Pre-walker baby shoes: 9- 12 months
By this age, babies are starting to crawl and adventuring on their knees. Some babies will also try to take small steps around 9 months old. The shoes perfect for this age is aptly called Baby Cruiser shoes too. They don’t help babies stand or walk but provide enough protection and traction to attempt standing properly. Find shoes with an elastic around the ankle for easy removal.
3. Baby’s first walking shoes: 12- 18 months
The age range here is a rough estimate because some babies start walking earlier. A baby’s first walking shoes aren’t confined to an age range so only get them when your baby starts to walk or toddle well. Good walking shoes should have a good grip, a lot of ankle support with flexible and non-skid soles (usually rubber soles) and a substantial upper.
The shoes need to be flexible enough to encourage natural foot movement. Soft and non-skid soles help first timers get used to feeling the floor with their shoes on.
4. Toddler walking and running shoes: 18- 24 months
When they can walk, you bet that they are going to run! You’re going to have a baby Flash in the house. Usually by this age parents get the squeaky shoes for their kids to put some fun in their steps. For good walking and running shoes, look for shoes that are not too tight or too loose. It’s to make sure their feet don’t get injured and they don’t trip.