Ask the Doctor

Question #12:

My mother says that my 10-month-old daughter should wear hard-soled shoes to learn to walk. When should I start buying shoes for my baby, and what types are best?

Answer:

Christy Fontana, MD, of CHKD Health System’s General Booth Pediatrics, says, “Until your child actually begins walking, shoes are unnecessary. It’s best to let your daughter go barefoot, putting socks or booties on her feet only when she gets cold. Once she begins walking, you can take your baby to a shoe store to find a pair of shoes that fits properly. You don’t have to buy the most expensive shoes, but make certain that you buy a pair with flexible soles that offer some traction and have at least 1/2 inch of wiggle-room between the toes and the end of the shoe. Shoes should be lightweight, soft and flexible, so look for canvas or other breathable material. High-top leather shoes are not proven to help babies walk and may be uncomfortable. Feet grow quickly, so check the shoes every couple of weeks for a proper fit.”


All Questions

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  3. Can weight lifting help overweight kids?
  4. My 8-year-old still sucks his thumb. I hate to pressure him to stop and don’t want to shame him, so what should I do?
  5. My teenage son received a paintball gun for his birthday, and I’m reluctant to let him play with it. Are paintball guns safe?
  6. I’m wondering when my child will be old enough to move from the crib to a single bed. Any guidelines I should know?
  7. Help! My teen keeps talking about getting her tongue pierced. What can I tell her to discourage her?
  8. My grandson was born with jaundice. Can you tell me what causes it and whether it’s serious?
  9. My 2-year-old can’t seem to get into a schedule of meals. She’s hardly ever hungry when it’s time for a meal, but other times she wants to eat all day long. I worry that her eating is too erratic and not healthy.
  10. Is it normal for my baby to hiccup a lot?
  11. What should I know about impetigo if my neighbor’s child has it and frequently plays with my child?
  12. My mother says that my 10-month-old daughter should wear hard-soled shoes to learn to walk. When should I start buying shoes for my baby, and what types are best?
  13. My child complains about sores in her mouth and our doctor says she has canker sores. What causes them?
  14. My teenage daughter thinks she’s fat, but she’s normal height and weight for her age. Should I be concerned she has an eating disorder?
  15. My teenage daughter has been told that cramps and nausea she gets after drinking milk or eating cheese or ice cream are due to lactose intolerance. Can you develop such a problem as you get older?
  16. When should my baby start seeing a dentist?