DEVELOPMENT OF BABY’S FEET
In the development of a baby, the feet are one of the fastest growing and parts of the body. Baby will outgrow socks and shoes faster than any article of clothing. Choosing proper foot coverings for baby’s feet is crucial since the feet are actively part of motor skill development. Obviously, they are used for learning the motor skill of walking. They are also part of the motor skill of crawling since they assist in propelling the body forward. They coordinate with the hands in the motor skills of grasping and reaching as the baby demonstrates in the above video from 12stringssteel’s youtube channel This baby has discovered his feet and how interesting they are to touch. There are the short and stubby toes that wiggle and the smooth soles, very different tactile experiences. The developmental stage where baby plays with his toes and feet is an important one. Notice how toward the end of the video he takes his left hand to the right foot. This diagonal connection is a very important milestone.
BABY FEET AND BABY SOCKS
The only reason baby’s feet need to be covered during the pre-walking stages of infant development is for warmth. Baby’s feet can be kept warm with socks or a blanket, shoes are not necessary. Since the feet grow in size quite a bit during the first year, it is best not to cover baby’s feet in a way that constrains the length or width of the foot. Keep the socks fitting loosely. It is important not to stuff the feet into a pair of socks like putting sausages in a casing. Sometimes socks will shrink in the wash. In this situation the socks changed size rather than the feet but it is the same problem for baby of not enough wiggle room for the toes and uncomfortable pressure on the sides of the feet. It is important for baby to be comfortable.
Remember, barefoot is best for baby!