Here in our home no shoes is a way of life. Emery & I are what you would call, “California girls”, during the warm California weather you can usually find us barefoot or in sandles and loving life. Its liberating to feel the grass under your feet & the sun kissing your shoulder … your shoulder covered in the highest SPF lotion possible. With summer days approaching us fast, I’m reminded of last summer and where developmentally my daughter was and what we were doing while my husband was deployed over seas for work.
Emery had just turned one and she was on the go! We were two barefoot mama’s enjoying the hot summer & water at our feet. Her great grandparents would keep telling me that she needed to wear shoes because she was new at walking, so her feet wouldn’t get all rough and so that she wouldn’t become bow legged. As a new mom I take in all the advice I can get. Especially from my grandparents but I couldn’t have her walking in shoes! Blasphemy! No baby of mine would wear shoes, not now, not ever! Okay maybe I went a little too far but its me … the girl who wears sandles in winter! My grandfather would tell me stories of when my mother was her age the Doctors had would have children wearing high tops to support the ankles. So the whole summer we wore our sandles and walked barefoot.
Six months later I read that it in fact it was better for my daughter not to wear shoes while she was first walking. It lets them grab the ground, feel the different textures and actually helps with balance and coordination. I was most surprised to see, ( & let me quote this from Baby Center),
“Teeny high-tops and Mary Janes are adorable, but they’re more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to practicing walking skills. The only purpose of a real shoe at this age is to protect tiny feet once your child is walking – from hot, rough, sharp, or splintery surfaces, for example.”
You better believe I called everyone who gave me grief that summer about her not wearing shoes! I guess it was my motherly instinct kicking in.