People often wonder, “Do babies need shoes or should babies walk barefoot?” The honest answer is that before walking occurs, babies don’t really need to wear shoes. They actually hinder the natural development of feet. Keeping your baby’s feet free of the confines of shoes allows them to wiggle their toes and develop the muscles necessary for walking. If you are worried about their feet getting cold, you could simply use a pair of socks or booties. However, once they begin taking their first steps, shoes become more important for protection. Choose a pair with sturdy and non-slippery soles so that they can feel confident when walking. You can allow them time to walk barefoot too. This helps them develop muscle strength and coordination.If you’d like to know more about your baby’s developing feet, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment in one of our three Massachusetts offices. The foot health of your entire family is important to us, down to the littlest member!