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Baby Steps

October 6, 2014

Did you know that their feet have been developing way before standing?

 

As soon as they start kicking, wriggling, crawling, grabbing and sucking their toes the feet are starting to develop. This is why I say keep those feet free and active, not restricted by tight bootees, leggings etc. You may ask "It's winter, wont they get cold?"  It is normal for a baby’s feet (and hands) to be cool, so covering is only needed in very cold weather.

 

A baby is born with 22 bones in each foot, by age five this increases to 26. The first few years are crucial important for foot development because the bones are made of soft, flexible cartilage that gradually converts to bone over time. The chinese have that bizarre trend of foot binding that actually deforms the natural formation.

 

I get asked so many questions regarding walking "When will my baby walk? Should I walk them?  I always answer - Babies walk when they are ready and shouldn't be rushed.  If they have conquered all the previous milestones I am all about letting them cruise around furniture until they feel ready to take those first few steps. They should cruise on a flat foot for at least a month before taking their first steps. First steps can begin between anything between 10 -18 Months, although some baby's maybe physically and emotionally ready before others the same age DO NOT rush them!

Why? Because it can be harmful to encourage babies to walk before they are ready. 

 

What not to do! DON’T use artificial walking aids. They can be detrimental to a child’s physical progress. Legs and feet develop best when babies learn to walk at their own pace.

 

 

What foot shape do they have? There are three main shapes, and they'll have inherited one of these from either you or your husband. Flat soles are something that all babies are born with, along a slight pronation (inward roll) and not to forget a signature waddle, when they first start walking. This is partly due to posture, and partly due to deposits of fat.


What shoes should I buy?  Don't rush to buy shoes. Even soft shoes should have enough room to move around with toes splayed. Check the size of your child's socks regularly, especially if you tumble dry them. Socks can shrink, and if they are too tight, this can restrict how your toddler's feet grow.

Barefoot or soft soled shoes are the best way to help a foot develop it's 2 natural arches, and will enable the foot to take those first steps forward with
 hips, spine, arms, shoulders, and head all moving in sync to keep the system in balance. 

 

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