How Do Babies Feet Develop?

baby development shoes soft soled shoes

In the first year of a baby's life, So. Much. Happens. Every week brings a new skill, they're constantly changing, and they grow at an alarming rate. As parents, we are perpetually thinking about the milestones that our babies have to reach at each stage of their development – it pretty much takes over our brains for the first 12 months of their lives. The significant milestones, like rolling, crawling, cruising and walking, are ones that we all look forward to and anticipate with bated breath. It's an incredible process to witness and be a part of, and our kids delight in the freedom that it brings them.

One thing a lot of these big milestones have in common is the use of our babies feet; however, it isn't something that we give an awful lot of thought to until those first steps are almost upon us. So, how do our babies feet develop? Well, to start with, those cute, chubby, soft feet only contain three-quarters of the bones that they'll have as adults, and they have no formed bone structure. No wonder they find standing and walking so tricky! To give you an idea of how babies feet develop in the first 15 months of life, have a look at this:

Birth to Crawling


First Steps and Beyond

Baby foot straight on Baby foot side on 2 Baby feet
  • Chubby, soft, round feet
  • Square, squishy toes
  • No arches
  • Soft pads
  • Chubby 
  • Rounded heel
  • Toes just starting to uncurl
  • No arches
  • Chubby and rounded
  • Heels and toes more formed
  • Protective layer of fat on the soles
  • No arches

Studies have found that in the first 15 months, babies' feet grow half a size every two months. That could mean going up over seven sizes before they're even two years old! If you're buying shoes every season, this adds up quickly.

From gait and instep to arches and knee position, the shoes that our babies wear have a vital role to play from the beginning of their mobility journey. Once they're on the move, they need shoes to protect them from bumps, chafing and scrapes; but, their shoes also need to allow their feet to move in a  free and natural way. If the shoes we are putting on our babies are stiff, unsupportive and restrictive, their first steps will be like watching a cat trying to walk with socks on its feet. Cute and funny, sure. However, it inhibits their natural instincts and delays their development.

It's important to remember that paediatricians and podiatrists support babies being barefoot for much of their early life because it aids natural foot growth and development and avoids foot problems later in life. Once babies reach the point where barefoot becomes somewhat bothersome, soft-soled, flexible shoes are an excellent option.

Narrow your search and take the hassle out of choosing the right shoes for your babies stage. Browse the wide range of sturdy, long-wearing baby shoes available at Buckle My Shoe.

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