Today was a big milestone day as we got our baby girl fitted for her first pair of shoes…but it wasn’t quite as exciting as I had expected, as like so many things it was tinged with a bit of mummy guilt.
As a little girl I got all my shoes in the local Clark’s shop. They had special seats shaped like a train and it felt like a treat to go there. At some point they got an electronic foot measurer, that seemed so marvellous, and added a frission of excitement as the sides closed in and you weren’t sure they would stop. Therefore I was really looking forwards to the day when I could bring my baby shoe shopping and start making similar traditions and memories.
It’s also such a special day because it shows your baby is growing up, and there are so many cute styles available and they look so diddy that it’s a cuteness overload.
However I didn’t think this day would come quite this quickly. I had read the guidelines that said shoes aren’t really required until a baby has been walking a few months, and needs them to walk outside. Any earlier and it can cause delays in them walking as they find it harder to balance. My baby is standing and cruising round holding onto furniture, but she isn’t yet walking and doesn’t stand outside.
But then this week the crèche approached me and said she really needs to be in shoes because they are worried about her having a serious fall as she is always pulling herself up and trying to climb on things.
If we lived somewhere warm and she could go bare feet it wouldn’t be a problem, but the crèche require her to wear tights or socks, which means she doesn’t have much grip. To make things worse she loves nothing better than pulling socks off, and pulling tights so they hang off her feet. I tried to get some socks with grips on the bottom, and tried some ‘sock ons’ but her slippery feet find a way out.
A cynical part of me was wondering if the crèche were just fed up of putting her socks back on, but I figured they have a lot of experience with kids, and I’d never forgive myself if I made a fuss and refused and then she did have a fall. They had started putting her in an old pair handed down from the owners daughter anyway, so I figured it would be better to get her some that actually fit, so me and my husband decided to go shopping at the weekend.
I had heard that there’s some shops that make it a big occasion, with electronic footprint photos and a special certificate, but I was more concerned about getting the right pair, so I opted to go to Arnotts, a department store with a good reputation for measuring, and they stock a range of brands.
As we were heading in I was a little worried whether I was doing the right thing, especially as she has one toe that curls under slightly, so I don’t want to hinder any chance of that staightening out.
We arrived in the shop and straight away an assistant came to talk to us, and I explained my concerns, but she was very good and showed us the range of ‘pre walkers’ that are lighter and have a softer rubber sole.
My baby sat on Daddy’s knee and the assistant measured her feet quickly before she really knew what was going on. The little measuring guage looked so small, and my baby just looked at it bemused, but there were no tears.
There were three styles in her size in the sale, so the assistant tried them all on her, and was really helpful explaining where the toes should sit.
The first was a pair of Clark’s pink leather shoes with little flowers that I really liked, but the velcro didn’t come across her foot very well. Interestingly she seems to have inherited my high foot arch already.
The second were blue Start Rites with a silver star on the front and a buckle, but we decided against them as they were a bit fiddly to do up.
The third pair were Clark’s in nude patent leather and they fitted the best of the three.
I had a bit of a shock when I saw the price. Baby shoes are adorable but they grow out of them so fast that they seem expensive. Luckily they were 70% off so they came to 14 euro. So that’s a lesson learnt for next time – definitely keep an eye out for sales.
When I got home I saw the box has a cute poem inside which made me smile.
So that’s my baby’s first shoes purchased, another milestone crossed off the list. Now I really hope she enjoys wearing them in crèche and they don’t hinder walking. At home I might not see her in them much because I’ll be trying to counteract with lots of bare foot time, but hopefully she’ll be walking soon and we can take our first steps outside together.