Isn’t it amazing how tiny and precious baby feet are? Babies grow at an incredibly fast rate, and their feet go through drastic changes to accommodate their development. That is why it is important to know how to care for them and what footwear is appropriate at each developmental stage.
From the time they are born, babies explore the world around them, including their body! Give them many opportunities to kick, wiggle and feel their toes. Once they are sitting or crawling, it may be tempting to put footwear on them, but babies should be barefoot until they are walking. Being barefoot will give them opportunities to use their feet in an unrestricted way and will aid in normal muscular and structural development.
It is exciting to see your baby learning how to walk, but despite the temptation of toys and walkers, it is important to avoid forcing your toddler to walk before they are ready. Once their bodies are ready, toddlers usually take off in no time, which can be any time between 10 and 18 months. When they are learning to walk, allow your toddler to be barefoot indoors, which aids in strengthening their muscles and grip. A flexible and lightweight shoe would be appropriate for the outdoors.
A child’s foot goes through many changes in the first 8 years until their bone structure is well formed, and there are numerous foot problems that may arise along the way. Flatfoot, in-toeing and out-toeing in older children may lead to more problems, so it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as you notice any abnormalities in your child’s feet or gait. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico of Syracuse Podiatry is an experienced, board-certified podiatrist who cares for patients of all ages all over Central New York. Dr. D’Amico is skilled in diagnosing and treating not only pediatric foot problems, but can also treat plantar fasciitis, nail fungus, bunions, and performs complex surgeries. Call our office in Fayetteville at (315) 446-3668 to make an appointment or ask questions regarding our podiatric care!