Depending on your little one’s age, you can attend weekly Stage 1 classes (from newborn to approximately 12 weeks) or Stage 2 classes (from 12 weeks to approximately 8-9 months).
When babies reach the exciting milestone of becoming mobile, they’re obviously off exploring the world around them, and sadly for our teachers, it’s often time to say goodbye to the little ones who have outgrown our fantastic classes!
Far from being sad times for you and your baby though, when our little ones start pulling themselves up, cruising on furniture and finally walking, we suddenly have new things to think about! Like babyproofing for example, which becomes even more important if we also have older siblings around the house.
This is a question that our BabyNatal Developmental Massage Teachers often get, so, although we are by no means feet or shoe experts, we have put together a few useful tips for you in this blog post.
- First things first, remember that every child is different – some will reach mobility milestones earlier than others, and some will reach them a little later. This is all fine, but if you are ever concerned, make sure to speak to your Health Visitor or GP.
- It’s important that your child wears the right type of shoes for the development stage they’re currently at. Baby’s feet, like adults, have different shapes and sizes. To ensure the best possible fit, more shoe retailers will have whole and half sizes in up to 5 width settings (D to H).
- Specialised shoe shops will be able to advise you on buying crawling or pre-walking shoes, if this is something you want to do. These have toe and heel grips and are made of soft, flexible material to help feet develop naturally.
- Once your baby is standing, they will often rely on you to help them by holding their hand at first. Or they will just cruise on furniture for balance. So it’s important that if you choose to get shoes for your baby, that they wear shoes that give wobbly feet support and grip as they learn to walk – you can buy lightweight shoes with flexible non-slip soles.
- The first shoes that you buy for your child when they start walking (especially if also walking outdoors) need to be lightweight and flexible, with padded support to help build confidence with every little step and protect your little one’s feet. Remember that their first steps will be a little wobbly!
- Always try and secure fasteners well so that your child doesn’t have to curl their toes to keep their shoes on properly.
- A toddler’s nerve endings are not developed yet, so they may not notice or feel pain or discomfort caused by ill-fitting shoes. And remember that they’re only little, so they may not be able to tell you, even if they do.
- But also, and most importantly, the bones in their growing little feet are not fully formed, so it’s important that their new shoes fit comfortably. Ideally, you’ll want a shoe that’s designed to match the shape of a child’s foot, with a wide front and a narrow heel and some built-in growing room around the toes, to allow for growth.
- It is recommended that until they are 2 years old, children’s feet are checked for width and size by a trained fitter every 6-8 weeks. This is of course only a recommendation, but children’s feet grow quickly, so for the above reasons, it’s important that their shoes always fit well.
We hope you found these little tips useful, and if you have any additional tips or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch or add a comment below!