Watching your baby take her first steps is an exciting milestone for you and her. And now that she's cruising, you may want to consider purchasing her first pair of baby shoes. Numerous types of shoes are on the market, but which ones are best for supporting a new walker?
Children learn to walk by gripping their toes on the ground, and they don't need arch support. So at home, it's okay to leave your child barefoot to promote natural foot development. However, when surfaces are uneven, hot, cold or rocky, shoes should be worn to protect their feet.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gives three specific tips to follow when shopping for your baby's first pair of shoes:
- Shoes should be lightweight and flexible to support natural foot movement.
- Shoes should be made of leather or mesh to allow your baby's feet to breathe comfortably.
- Shoes should have grip soles for traction to prevent slipping or sliding.