Baby shoes are cute – but what about when your baby needs to transition from cute little baby booties to baby shoes that they will start learning how to walk in? It can seem daunting but don’t worry, your podiatrist is here to help just as much as your baby’s pediatrician when it comes to learning to walk. There are approximately 26 bones in the adult human foot. As an infant, not all those bones are fully formed yet. This goes for their tendons and ligaments as well! Babies are constantly growing and changing both internally and externally. One of the many ways we can make sure they grow safely into their own bodies is by ensuring their feet are fitted with proper footwear. Keep genetics and heredity in mind as well, especially if you or anyone else in your family has flat or wide feet!
In the early stages of infancy, simply cloth booties are sufficient to keep their feet and toes warm and safe. However, when baby starts to kick, crawl, squat, and eventually walk, it’s important to consider how fragile their feet still are when finding age-appropriate shoes. No matter the age of your baby, a pair of shoes that is too tight will always be discouraged. When those bones are developing they need to not be restricted in order to grow properly – this could potentially result in deformities in their later years, like bunions or hammertoes. Another important aspect to consider when choosing new baby shoes for your growing child is the support and grip of the shoes. Even if they’re not full-blown walking yet, a supportive pair of shoes is a great way to begin their relationship with shoes. Support translates into insoles that form to the natural curvature of the feet as well as providing a textured grip to help baby push their feet.
This is essential to helping them develop their muscle memory and ability to stand up from a sitting or lying position. To go the extra mile, ask your podiatrist about some ways to help your baby warm up and stretch their muscles by providing light massage and gentle manipulation of their lower extremities, such as their legs, ankles, and toes. This not only helps aid in healthy circulation but it also provides a great opportunity to check their feet for any abnormalities that may develop – if you ever do see something odd about your babies feet, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Scott McKinney and schedule them to be seen! Call us today at (713) 946-1500 to stay one step ahead of your baby’s foot health.