Why should babies go barefoot up to 9 months of age? A physiotherapist explains the reasons
When a baby comes into the world, the first thing you think about is how best to protect them. You want your child to grow up happy and healthy. Sometimes, however, parents can be over-protective and this can lead to problems later. But how is it possible?
We are well aware that our body is a near-perfect machine that works exceedingly well. But if one of the parts of the body doesn't get the attention it deserves, this could lead to problems arising later. Let's take the feet for example:
We all know that feet allow us to stand, walk and move around. For this reason, they must be treated properly and from an early age (especially from birth to 12 months of age).
The feet are the little one's first real point of contact with the outside world. After the crawling phase, infants enter the upright phase (usually at around 12 months old). And during this phase, it is recommended by experts not to put your infant's feet into shoes. Why? A physiotherapist proves the answer:
Isabel Gentil García, a researcher at the Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Podiatry at the Complutense University of Madrid, has studied infant mobility extensively and come to the following conclusion: during a child's initial growth phase - especially around 9 months of age - it is essential that they go around barefoot as much as possible.
In the very first months of life, the little ones get to know the world and interact with it through direct contact with the surfaces which they move over. Being free from constraints such as shoes, helps instill a feeling of safety and trust in children. Not to mention that going barefoot also means preventing certain pathologies, such as flat feet.
In short, shoes are OK, but in moderation and only if necessary. For example, if you want to protect your child's feet from the cold or uneven ground it is better to use socks which still allow the feet to feel free. The lightness and flexibility of the socks will help your baby move around more freely.
What do you think of Dr. García's advice? Do you think it's valid?