First-time parenting can be nerve-racking as well as daunting. There is so much to take in, whether it is advice or doctors’ recommendations, and it all seems to come at you like drinking water from a fire hose. One of the last things that anyone thinks to talk to you about is the baby’s feet, let alone if you should be buy soft soled shoes for toddlers or if there is something better.
The First Foot Covering
Starting out a little bit earlier than the terrible-two years puts us back as a newborn. Most new parents are taught to swaddle their baby to not only keep him or her warm but it helps the baby feel like they are back in the womb, and thus comforted. In this way, there isn’t a worry about their feet getting cold.
There are a number of babies that don’t like to be swaddled, or don’t like it for extended periods of time. In these cases, and especially in cool or cold weather, it may be necessary to use socks, booties or some other covering.
Some complaints have been heard when it comes to the crocheted booties being too rough on new skin. The simple solutions this would be to either not use them and this sit in a corner gathering dust. Or, utilize a sock to act as an isolator to the foot.
The Crawling Stage
It doesn’t seem to matter if you have hardwood floors or soft plush carpet, the tops of your baby’s feet always seem to have that rug-burn look. For most babies, this doesn’t seem to bother them, but for those that it seems to irritate, having a layer of protection can be vital for them to get around and be happy. There are several companies and business that specialize in items that help to alleviate these types of issues.
The Climbing Up Stage
Without much encouragement, it is amazing to see the exploration on the floor taken to the next level, which is using the couch or and end table to get up their full height. This has it’s own set of issues, which is why baby-proofing became a real thing: corners and edges become weapons; lamps or anything with cords are in threat of coming down; food left unattended is at risk of becoming a messy toy, and so on.
The crawling socks employed earlier are usually good in this stage, too due to the fact that many manufacturers included tacky strips or textured material on the bottom of the foot for times just like these. It is just enough non-skid substance to allow for a little bit of traction, but shouldn’t inhibit small steps, and could prove to be extremely helpful on wood or tiled surfaces.
Taking the First Tentative Steps
A baby is watching you all day long, and as part of that is watching you walk around, getting to places much more quickly and less restricted than they are. There is an innate desire to be like you.
Some children start walking as early as 9-months old, but most are closer to 12-months old. You may notice them trying to step away from that couch or table they have used to prop themselves up from. These first steps are the start of them learning balance, stability and the power of gravity. Luckily, they aren’t deterred too much, and even if they get hurt, they are up trying it again soon after.
We also take time out of our busy days to hold their hands and steady them on their feet and they make their way across the livingroom. This action helps to build their confidence and show the reward for hard work.
Don’t worry if for a time your baby wants to revert to crawling, especially after a few serious falls; pain can prevent some initial progress, but usually not for too long.
Walking But Not Running
Once they get the hang of balancing those cute chubby legs, and the confidence to move across the room without any aids, there is almost no stopping them. Ordinarily, this starts out fairly slow and steady, but remember, they are trying to be like you and you are so much faster with your long legs than they are.
This is the perfect stage to introduce soft soled shoes to your toddler. There are a number of reasons for this —
- Protection – just like when they were crawling, there is a layer of protection that can be helpful
- Warmth – especially in the winter, having a level of separation from the cold floor can keep them moving
- Stability – walking on smooth surfaces can still be a bit challenging without the added help from soft soled shoes
- Inevitability – there are few of us that can go throughout all our lives without the use of shoes, so toddlers will have to get used to them at some point
Soft soled shoes for toddlers are a great solution to help protect those precious little feet. Just make sure that you are watching when those feet are getting close to the front of the shoe, because you don’t want the toes to be scrunched or pushed under. Baby and toddler’s feet grow very quickly and it isn’t uncommon for them to go through several different sizes in the space of a year. It is much better to spend a few dollars and have the child comfortable over the thought of saving a few pennies but having long-term foot problems.