There are lots of exciting stages when you have children. Buying their first clothes before they're even born, watching them grow, take their first steps and before you know it, it's time to buy their first real pair of shoes.
Unlike new clothes where the focus is all about how cute they will look, buying shoes especially for the first time requires a little more thought.
Children's feet are still developing and they're soft and pliable so it's really important that you buy them correctly fitted shoes to prevent problems in later years. That's not to say it's all boring, you can find some really lovely shoes too.
Here are my top tips.
Pre walking and cruising
Don't rush to putting your little ones in shoes. Barefoot is best for allowing muscles to develop and feeling the sensation of the floor below.
Get a professional fitting Children start walking anywhere between 9 and 18 months and that's the time to get properly fitted shoes for them. I'd definitely recommend visiting a shoe shop with trained professionals. I was really surprised that even after measuring my son's feet, not all shoes in his size fitted correctly. It's not just the length and width that are important and sometimes different styles will fit better than others. When you go for the fitting, dress your child in the usual thickness of socks that they would wear.
Easy shoes For first shoes, I've found a few little features make day to day getting them on and off much easier.