Nowadays, there is a tendency to put children on early. There are shoes called pre-tread shoes and crawling shoes, but is it necessary for a baby who is not yet walking to wear shoes?
“Not only is it not necessary, it is also counterproductive for proper development”, affirms Isabel Gentil García, professor at the University School of Nursing, Podiatry and Physiotherapist at the Complutense University of Madrid.
Why should we not put shoes on a baby who is not yet walking?
Besides not being necessary, Isabel Gentil Gracía, in the guide ‘Preventive chiropody: barefoot children equal smarter children “, offers us different arguments based on scientific evidence as to why wearing them could be harmful. We review them.
1 Babies use their feet to get information about the world around them
The feet of the newborn have a much finer exteroceptive tactile sensitivity than that of the hand, and it remains so until 8 or 9 months. For this reason, in the first months babies use their feet to learn about the outside world, they touch everything in their reach with them, they manipulate them with their hands and they take them to their mouth, where the sensitive nerve endings are greater.
“Before the child begins to walk, he has needed the information he receives from the sole of the foot to be able to coordinate movements and maintain balance”
2.Shoes could interfere with your cognitive development.
According to Piaget’s Theory, the first development of intelligence is sensory-motor intelligence. Therefore, the baby’s interaction with his own body and, specifically with his feet, is essential for cognitive development.
3.The footwear prevents the child from exploring himself and, therefore, self-knowing
The baby begins to show interest in his own body from the third month. This interest makes him look at his hands, touch his feet …
Little by little, all these sensory, tactile, visual, kinesthetic experiences build the image of himself, that is, his identity. In addition, the newborn has difficulty differentiating his body from his environment, hence the need to put everything in his mouth (including his feet) to establish the limits of his body and differentiate his self from the environment. Shoes are a barrier for the child to satisfy that need for self-exploration.
4.Not wearing shoes favors proprioception
Proprioception is the sense that humans develop and that allows our brain to know the exact position of all parts of our body at all times. The child needs tactile stimulation, pressure, and irregularities in the terrain to develop proprioception, improve joint position and strengthen muscles.
“The self-defense movement that children use to remove their shoes as much as possible has a greater meaning than what we apparently interpreted”
But if he goes barefoot, won’t my child get a constipation?
Despite the fact that many mothers and fathers know that it is good for our children to go barefoot, for fear of constipation, we put their shoes on them. But, what is true in this that the cold is caught by the feet?
Our family pediatrician, Lucía Galán (Lucía, my pediatrician) explains it like this:
“No, that viruses do not enter through the feet, that colds are not caught from the ground. That our children get colds when they are in contact with other children who in turn have colds. That respiratory infections, colds, flus and common colds are transmitted from person to person through the droplets of saliva that we emit when we speak or through our hands “.
“Children do not get colds from going barefoot. Viruses do not enter through the feet”
Therefore, we can let them go barefoot around the house without any problem, even in winter. They will catch a cold when it touches them, but not from going barefoot.
In any case, if there is still any doubt, we can always put some non-slip socks on them.
Did you know…
…. Each of our children’s feet (and ours) has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments.
Our feet are a true work of “evolutionary engineering” designed to walk through the most unexpected terrain.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.