Every parent knows how tricky it can be to find shoes that are the right fit for your child.
If you’re a parent and are wondering what the size guide for babies and toddlers is before you go shoe shopping, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I will cover some key information about children’s shoes, including a baby and toddler shoe size guide you can reference before getting your child’s feet measured.
Let’s get started.
Understanding Your Baby’s Feet
When babies are first born, they have underdeveloped feet. Whereas adults have fully formed bones, newborns have soft tissue that is similar to cartilage and needs time to develop through a process called ossification.
However, before they start walking (during their first 6 to 9 months of life) a child shouldn’t have their feet restricted by shoes.
Once they begin walking, this is when it is appropriate for them to wear soft-soled shoes on a regular basis, as they will be exploring the world around them on their two feet.
While some parents like to put their babies in shoes for special occasions or for warmth when they take their child outside, soft socks and booties are generally perceived to be a more comfortable option.
In addition to this, you will need to choose soft and breathable socks to ensure that they are warm and comfortable.
Shoe Size Guides
When the day comes that you’d like to invest in your baby’s first pair of shoes, these are the shoe size guides that you should use.
USA Baby Shoe Sizes
- Newborn – 0
- 0-3 month – 1
- 0-6 months – 2
- 6-9 months – 3
- 9-12 months – 4
USA Toddler Shoe Sizes
- 1 year – 5-5.5
- 2 years – 6-7
- 3 years – 8-9
However, it’s important to note that these should just be used as a guide, and you should get your baby’s feet measured by a professional to ensure healthy foot development.
It’s crucial that you measure your children’s feet accurately before buying them each pair of shoes.
Tips When Buying Your Child’s Shoes
Get Your Baby’s Feet Measured By A Professional
It’s important to get your child’s feet measured by a professional once they begin walking. Your child will be exploring the world for the first time, and poor fitting shoes can cause a variety of problems.
From minor issues such as pressure marks and blisters, to developmental issues down the road, you need to make sure that your child has the appropriate shoes as they take their first steps in life.
To ensure that you’re buying the right shoe size, make sure that you take your child to be fitted by a professional.
Check Your Baby’s Sock And Shoe Size Regularly
Babies grow in spurts, and you’d be surprised by how quickly your baby’s feet size up.
Bearing this in mind, you will need to make sure that you keep checking their socks to make sure they aren’t restricting circulation and are measuring their feet to see if you need to size up.
You always need to make sure that they have growing room within their shoe, as a shoe that is too tight can lead to friction, blisters, and a variety of other problems.
Choose Your Baby’s Shoes In Accordance With Their Age
As a newborn, your baby should only really be wearing socks and booties.
At 3 to 6 months, you should try to choose shoes that have flexible soles and try to avoid tight shoes that force your baby’s feet into unnatural and uncomfortable positions.
At 6 to 9 months, your child will be becoming more confident in their ability to walk, and will encounter all kinds of terrain. At this age, they need shoes with textured soles for extra grip, and should have at least 1cm of room at their toes for their feet to grow.
At 9 to 18 months, your child’s feet will be growing rapidly, and will likely go up two shoe sizes a year. That being said, most children have flat feet until they are about 5-years-old.
At 2 to 4 years old, your child will need soles that are sturdy in the back, but flexible in the front to help them navigate the world. During these stages, your child should still have flat feet, so you won’t need to buy shoes with arch supports.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should A Child Start Wearing Shoes?
A child doesn’t need to start wearing shoes until they begin applying pressure to their feet when they begin walking.
Before then, your baby won’t need more than socks and booties to keep their feet warm when you’re out and about on your family adventures.
How Can You Encourage Your Child’s Feet To Develop Naturally?
There are a variety of different ways you can help your child’s feet develop naturally. These i include but are not limited to:
Allowing Your Child To Walk Around Barefoot Indoors
As your child begins to stand and walk around, allowing them to walk around barefoot indoors will help to strengthen their feet.
As they apply more pressure to their feet, the tissue in their feet will begin to harden to become fully formed bones through the process of ossification.
Choosing Booties And Shoes With Growing Room
Ensuring that your baby has enough room in their booties or shoes is fundamental to their foot development. Make sure that there’s at least 1-1.5 centimeters of room for their feet to grow to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible.
Allow Them To Have Enough Room To Move Freely As They Sleep
When it comes to tucking your baby in for a nap or for the night, you don’t want to tuck them in so tight that they can’t move their legs or feet at all.
Make sure that they have enough room to move and kick with their legs freely, as this will help to promote normal movement and flexibility as their bones develop.
So, there you have it! Hopefully after reading this article you have a better understanding of baby and toddler shoe sizes and when your child should start wearing shoes.
When the special day does come, always make sure that you take your child in the store to be properly fitted.
Children also have rapid growth spurts, so you will also need to make sure that you are regularly checking their socks and shoes to ensure that they fit properly.
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