Their tiny feet are so incredibly cute - what could possibly make them even more adorable? Teeny shoes are almost irresistible, but what do you need to look for when you buy infant or baby shoes?
- The first thing to know about baby shoes is that they are not usually necessary in the early months of life. Before your infant is walking, shoes only serve two purposes: style and warmth. That does not mean that you cannot get shoes for your baby; you just want to make sure that they serve their purpose and do not impede baby's comfort and natural development.
If you decide to purchase shoes for your baby, comfort is of the utmost importance. Your baby's shoes should be soft and should allow her to move and flex her feet naturally without constraint.
Look for shoes that are constructed of a soft and breathable material. You want shoes that will allow your infant's feet to breathe; suede, soft leather and natural fabrics are all good choices.
Make sure to buy the proper size of shoes for your baby. Shoes that are too big will fall off and get lost; shoes that are too small will make your infant's feet uncomfortable. A children's specialty shoe store will be happy to measure your baby's feet and help you select the correct size.
Just because the shoes are on baby's feet does not mean you can skimp on safety. Check carefully for items that could become detached from the shoes, causing potential choking hazards. Babies are notorious for playing with their shoes, and remember that most infants have no difficulty popping their own toes in their mouths.
Once your baby is ready to walk, you may want shoes to offer her tender tootsies some protection on some surfaces. While your grandma may have been told to put baby's foot into stiff walking shoes, the current thinking is that baby's walkers should be flexible and soft to allow his muscles to naturally develop and to aid with his balance. So, pliant leather moccasins are ideal when you need to guard against hot surfaces (such as summer sidewalk), pebbles or other potential discomforts. However, when baby is toddling at home, you should still let him do plenty of his walking barefoot or in non-skid socks.