Babies are always adorable when they have those cute booties. Mothers cannot help but buy that cute footwear in order to complete their baby’s get up. Aside from that, they provide the needed warmth whenever the family goes out for a little quality time. There is a question, though, if babies need to wear shoes once they begin to walk.
Previously, pediatricians advocated the use of footwear for babies that are learning to walk to help them form their feet better for locomotion. This has been disproved by scientific research that resulted in a change in the use of footwear for babies. Letting him go barefoot is actually quite beneficial for balance. Observe your baby’s feet when he walks, especially on a smooth surface. His toes would actually curve to “hug” the floor so he would not slip. If he trips, don’t be too concerned and put on shoes. Some babies actually trip more when they wear either tough or soft-soled shoes.
By going barefoot, your baby will feel the difference between each surface that he walks on. He will be able to differentiate and appreciate the texture of smooth wooden surfaces, cool tiles, grass, and carpeted floors. This will help him in his development as he discovers what his feet can do.
There are times when your baby would need protection, especially during cold months. Do not splurge on those hard, fashionable shoes. What he needs are shoes that are both flexible and protective. A soft-soled shoe would be enough to give him the flexibility that he needs during walking, as well as protection from that rough and sometimes hot concrete floor. If you are concerned over the fit of your baby’s shoes, you can always have an expert measure his foot so you can have some custom-made shoes for him. Remember, though, that babies outgrow their shoes fast, so tell this to your shoemaker if you’re concerned about saving. Feel for the front toe of your baby’s feet when you’re fitting shoes. If you cannot feel his toe, it is most likely that the shoes you have fitted on him are too tight. Shoes of babies do not need “breaking in” to eventually be of a good fit. If you have bought some good pair of shoes, double knot shoelaces so your baby won’t trip on them – or be able to remove them when they still need to be worn.
What is most important is to consider your baby’s preference. If he prefers to wear shoes wherever he goes, you may let him. If he removes his shoes the moment he gets inside the house, don’t force him to keep it on. You will not affect his foot development any other way, so just put on those cute baby shoes for protection outdoors or on rough floors when necessary.