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Barefoot vs. Shoes for Babies + Toddlers

Does it really make a difference whether or not your precious little one wears shoes or not when they began to take those first steps?

Well, yes, it actually does! 

We're parents, we get it, those tiny little humans look so cute in those tiny little shoes! But did you know that by wearing shoes, your baby will more than likely take longer to learn to walk, or the shoes may delay the development of their muscles?

According to a study in 2007 called, The Foot, research suggests that certain kinds of shoes can cause changes in both the function and the shape of the foot. When a foot is forced to conform to the shape of the shoe, rather than having the freedom to move in a more natural way, the muscles are no longer able to react and form as they would if the child were barefoot. 

Tracy Byrone, a podiatrist who specializes in podopaediatrics also claims that “Toddlers keep their heads up more when they are walking barefoot. The feedback they get from the ground means there is less need to look down, which is what puts them off balance and causes them to fall down.”

This means that shoes can actually even affect cerebral development.

Read more here!

Obviously, children can't go barefoot everywhere. Some environments are not safe, clean or simply may be too hot or too cold. So, here's 2 important tips on how you can promote healthy foot growth and help your little one to have a more enjoyable walking experience.

1. Go Barefoot

The simplest and most reasonable tip there is, if you're at home, or outside in the back yard and the weather is nice, let your baby go barefoot as much as possible. There's a reason children are constantly outgrowing their shoes, those little feet grow very quickly, and when confined in a shoe that doesn't allow space, their feet may develop or cause other problems later on down the road. You want the muscles and ligaments to form correctly 

 2. Soft, Soled Shoes

When it comes to shoe shopping for babies + toddlers, a few things to look for when picking out a pair of shoes is:

  • Room for the toes
  • Flexible, flat sole – you want to make sure that the sole is able to bend near the toe.
  • Front of the shoe should be wider than the heel, matching the natural design of the foot.
  • A solid heel
    • Laces, straps or shoes that fasten tend to prevent little one's from being able to move freely or their feet are constantly slipping inside of the shoe. 

The more a child can feel the ground below them and freely move their feet, learning how to catch their balance, the easier crawling, walking and standing will be for them. 

That said, Baby N'anya has carefully crafted a soft soled shoe that is all of the above while being comfortable + easy to clean. Not to mention, they are made by loving hands, with a vision that every baby's first step will be taken in the soft bedding of 100% cruelty-free shoes.


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