My 11 month old has just started walking. I thought walking barefoot would be best for him but a friend says that shoes help with grip and are better for learning to walk. Any views mummies?

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Agree with Roshni, going barefoot will be the best way for him to learn. Just to add to her points, when walking barefoot, toddlers are better able to keep their head up as they could get feedback from the ground. Without the need to look down, there is lower chance of them falling over (from losing their balance). In addition, walking barefoot helps develops muscles and ligaments in the foot, increases strength of foot’s arch, aids in fostering a good posture as it helps improves proprioception (awareness of our position in relation to the space around us).

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Def go barefoot. The bones in a baby's foot are soft and don't finish hardening until a child is around 5 years old. In theory, constricting soft feet with rigid shoes could prevent the bones from developing properly. Also, stiffer soles can make walking harder for those just starting out because their feet are heavier, making them more likely to trip.

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Adding onto the views of the other mummies, I feel that shoes are only best meant to protect soles and not meant to assist in walking. Anyways, my son would be at home when he's learning to walk, so it seems quite redundant to put on shoes at home.