The Malta Independent 11 December 2018, Tuesday

Caring for little feet

Wednesday, 21 March 2018, 12:19 Last update: about 10 months ago

Like their first crawl or that first tentative toddle, your baby's first shoes mark a milestone in their development. That is why they have to be just right. They have to be flexible and soft enough to look after delicate little feet, and sturdy enough to protect against knocks or scrapes. This is why pre-walkers were created and are the perfect shoes for your baby. Pre-walkers have a rubber bumper at the front and on top to protect tiny toes against hard surfaces. Pre-walkers are lightweight, flexible and the grip keeps your baby firmly on their feet when they take their first wobbly steps. Pre-walkers should come in whole and half sizes and should also be fitted for width. Ideally parents should find a shoe that is completely washable.

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Pre-crawling

Babies' feet don't have bones yet, just soft cartilage which can easily be moulded into the wrong shape if it is constricted. Even tight socks or sleep suits (onesies) can damage the foot at this age. You may have seen lots of cute baby shoes, but don't be tempted yet. Barefoot is best at this stage.

Crawling

When your baby starts to crawl and shuffle, pre-walking shoes will protect those active little feet against bumps and knocks from hard floors and furniture. Carefully designed for this stage, they are soft and flexible and feature a special rubber bumper on the top of the shoe for added protection and grip. Babies' feet are very delicate, so never compromise on their footwear. For your peace of mind, find shoes that come in whole and half sizes and a range of width fittings and you will only find them in shops with a specialist children's fitting service.

Walking

When your child is walking with confidence, it's time for their first pair of walking shoes. There's a wide choice of walking shoes out there, but always make sure that shoes are fitted properly. Width is as important as length at this fragile stage of foot development. Choosing the right shoe will not only provide for your child's well being today, it will provide the foundation for the future of their feet and will help to avoid future problems. 
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