The question of when to put shoes on your child for the first time sooner or later arises for every parent. In general, learning to walk should always be done barefoot because this is the best way to learn and develop motor skills and sensory perception in the most unaltered way. When it is cold, stockings can of course be put on. Learning to walk shoes are usually not something that healthy children need.
When should I start putting shoes on my child?
Buying the first pair of shoes only makes sense from the point at which the child starts to move outside. Learning to walk should first be done barefoot. When children first walk outside is certainly different from child to child, especially because the first steps come at very different times.
In any case, however, shoes should be bought before the first common run in nature to protect the child’s foot from dirt, cold, wetness and unevenness. The first purchase of shoes should be made with calm and caution, because first shoes that do not fit can mean a negative association with the shoes for the child. The statement that children should put on shoes as early as possible because they learn to walk better that way or because their feet would otherwise be too wide is wrong and outdated.
Why should I put shoes on my child?
Shoes are mainly there to protect the feet! It is not for nothing that adults also say that walking barefoot as often as possible is good for the feet. And not only because of the sweating but also to train the arch of the foot, which is very important for running.
This rule should therefore be taken to heart all the more with children: Run barefoot as long and as often as possible. But at the latest when you take the little one outside, his or her feet need protection against external influences. Nevertheless, it is still true that walking barefoot should be preferred to walking in shoes as often as possible, if external circumstances permit. This applies to small children as well as to children, teenagers and adults.
What can I do if my child does not want to wear shoes?
There are numerous reasons why a child does not want to put on or wear the shoes. One of the most common causes is probably that the shoe does not fit in size, i.e. it is too small or too large. That is why children’s feet, especially when fitting their first pair of shoes, are best measured out carefully and in peace and quiet in a specialist shop.
Parents should also learn how to measure so that they don’t have to go to the store to measure each additional shoe. If the size is right, but the child still does not like the shoe, it is also possible that the shoe is too tight or pinches somewhere. Each child’s foot shape is different and therefore not every shoe fits every child equally well.
In case of doubt, you should therefore consult an experienced salesperson about the available shoe shapes and other possible alternatives. Another possibility that the child may not want to wear the shoe is that the shoe is too firm or hard and not flexible enough. Again, it can help to try out different shoe models, the choice of children’s shoes today is almost endless.
If all of the above reasons are excluded as the cause of the child’s unwillingness to wear shoes, the most likely cause is that the shoe is simply still very unfamiliar to the child at the beginning. Especially when children wear their very first shoe, it can be a strange and cramped feeling for the little ones at first. The child should then slowly but surely be introduced to wearing the shoes.
The shoes and putting them on can be integrated playfully into other activities that are fun for the child so that the little one develops a positive association with the shoes. If the child is not yet walking around outside, it can also be tried to get him or her used to shoes that are not really sturdy street shoes but light shoes, for example made of soft leather. This may take away the child’s first fears of contact with shoes.