It's an exciting time when your baby begins to take those first steps and many parents are anxious to rush out and buy a pair of baby shoes. But there's a lot to consider and it's important that you follow a few key steps before you make your first baby shoes purchase.
Start at the Store:
The convenience of shopping online is a huge lure for busy parents, but it's best to buy baby's first shoes at the store. Have a trained salesperson measure your baby's feet to ensure you purchase the right size and make sure they also do the "thumb test," meaning that they check to be sure your baby's longest toe is a half-inch (or a thumb's width) from the tip of the shoe.
Pay Attention to the Feet:
The size and shape of your baby's feet are important when you're purchasing baby shoes. Let the salesperson helping you bring you shoes that match the shape of your baby's feet. Once they're on, tug on the shoe to be sure the heel does not slip on and off.
Comfort is Key:
As you can well imagine, flexibility is important to foot development. Put the shoe in the palm of your hand and try to bend it in half. If it fully bends, that's great; if not, try a different shoe. Remember to choose breathable fabrics such as cloth, leather or canvas.
Kick the Tires:
Or in this case, the tread. Tread should be plentiful. Nothing too deep because it can throw off your baby's gait, but avoid slick bottoms with no tread because your baby can easily slip.
Pay Attention to Your Baby
First impressions are everything and that's not lost on baby shoes. Leave his socks on so you can get an accurate fit and watch his reaction when he takes his first steps in the shoes. If he seems unsteady or uncomfortable, skip the shoes.
Buy the Right Size
With baby clothes, it's a good idea to buy big. With baby shoes, you need to buy what fits. Yes, he'll grow out of them more quickly, but buying shoes that are too big can lead to nasty falls and improper foot and gait development.