Buying the Right Shoes

Month 12, Week 3

Infants don't need shoes, but once your baby starts learning to walk, proper footwear provides much-needed protection.

Here's what to look for when shoe-shopping:

  • Children learning to walk should wear shoes made of soft, lightweight materials. Soles with rubber grips can be a good idea if your floors are slippery.
  • Make sure the shoes are long and wide enough, with some room to grow. The toes shouldn't hit the front of the shoe.
  • Comfort is most important for babies learning to walk. Shoes should fit well in the store; kids don't “break in” uncomfortable shoes. Tripping and limping are signs of discomfort.
  • Look for breathable materials, like leather or canvas, because baby feet sweat a lot.
  • Buy new shoes often. Your baby's feet grow quickly, so he'll need a new pair every two to four months.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Now that your baby has better control of his hands, he'll enjoy more meaningful playtime with his toys and other items around the house. You can encourage him to learn and explore not only what his toys can do but what he can do.

Here's what to expect:

  • Your child will notice that some toys have similar shapes, sizes, or colors. This year, he'll begin grouping them together.
  • He can throw a ball and will be delighted to see how far it rolls. Encourage him to throw it to you for play!
  • When you break out the vacuum cleaner, gardening tools, or mixing bowls and measuring cups, your baby will want to help. Letting him join in (of course, keeping safety first in mind -- no sharp objects!) or giving him toy versions of your items helps him feel needed and involved.

Month 12, Week 3 Tips

  • Don't expect your 1-year-old to share his toys with other children. Sharing is a concept that he can't understand yet, so offer lots of toys at play dates.
  • If your baby is bothered by friends playing with his favorite toy, make it off-limits to others, but encourage him to start learning to share.
  • Supervise play dates closely. Make sure hugging and touching don't get rough: Kids this age may not realize that they're poking or squeezing too hard.
  • Let your eager baby do more for himself, such as turning the pages when you read to him or brushing his own teeth (with your help).
  • Once your baby begins walking, offer him pull toys to add a new dimension to play.
  • Be wary of hand-me-down shoes. Footwear fits every child differently, and shoes mold to the feet of the first person who wears them. This could harm your baby's feet.
  • Are clothes too small already? Do a sweep of your baby’s closet at the beginning of every season. This can help you better plan your baby’s clothing needs.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on July 25, 2019



American Academy of Pediatrics: "Healthy Children, Toddler: 1 to 3 Years."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Zero to Three, 12 to 15 Months: Your Child's Development."

Mayo Clinic: "Child Development Chart: Preschool Milestones."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Social Development: 1 Year Olds."

American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society: "How to Select Children's Shoes."

American Podiatric Medical Association: "What You Should Know: Children's Foot Health."

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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