Most new parents think a little about their new child's feet. Tiny toes. Foot prints on announcements, art or birth certificates. Possible shoes to accessorize a certain look.
The feet of little people, as with arms and legs really weren't doing much in the womb. They aren't unformed, but really didn't have much of a job and so as they are unfurled upon birth have way more to do. Here's a Podiatrist's view ( a foot doctor) of said feet: http://www.podiatrynetwork.com/document.cfm?
Sometime over the next year, the infant will become a baby and then a toddler. Many muscles develop in the baby and these help hoist the baby to sitting, crusing and crawling, then walking. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Movement-8...
Pretty much every baby sits. Not all babies creep, scoot or crawl before walking. Check with your pediatrician if you have concerns about the health of your child's feet, leg strength or if failure to crawl is a sign of another issue. In Oklahoma City, SoonerStart and the Oklahoma City County Health Department have a variety of assessment and support services for children who have short or longterm developmental issues.
For the purpose of beginning and practicing very early walking, many people try to use baby walkers. The National Institutes for Health have indicated that a child who is in a moving walker when learning to walk, may end up with posture issues and unnatural efforts to balance. Either of which can effect spinal development and abdominal muscle developments causing problems over the life cycle.
Most people thinking of using a walker, have heard the concerns that walkers can cause problems because they can go thru child protective gates and topple over or head down stairs http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18676512 causing injury to the child. These can also allow a child to be underfoot in risky circumstances or to access items like outlets or poisonous substances.
It is important to remember that as children grown in these phases they do so rapidly, and often do not have control once they "go" http://www.pediatricservices.com/parents/pc-21.htm
Families and caregivers are encouraged by child development professionals to use saucer type education centers, which have an option for the child to attempt to stand, but are stationary. The child can learn from the tray of activities before them. Professionals suggest the child be in such devices for a limited amount of time daily for any reason, and that parent-child interaction to teach walking or anything is preferred to using a device.
Most parents and caregivers are thinking about what else might help a baby learn to walk, as this is often a first remarkable milestone in a child's development.
a) Most people choose help the baby practice walking indoors in a clean, dry space that is smoth, but not slick.
b) Most caregivers offer vertical items(up and down) the child can easily pull up on, like parent's legs, supports on the stroller in park ....Babies hands naturally gravitate to the thumb up grip (that up/down object to hold onto), rather than a thumb to the side grip ( clamp like a gator) This position seems to aid intuitive gripping when first standing and walking.
c) Providing a space that is clear of fall hazards, remove things that have sharp corners, loose rugs.
d) keep curious pets out of the way.
e) Most pediatric (child) professionals believe that children learn to walk more readily without shoes. http://www.unshod.org/pfbc/pfmedresearch.htm And that a child will have healthier feet if shoes are given a limited run during the course of a day. In a beginning walker, shoes hinder the foot's responsiveness to the ground, and limit the toe gripping response of first attempts to walk and balance.
f) The purpose of shoes is to protect from sharp or rough objects, weather or temperature issues. Companies like Robeez www.robeez.com is a company that first generated a soft leather bootie for the very young, with elasticized ankle fitting and now in many stylish options for boys and girls. These "shoes" are available for infant thru toddler sizes. The shoes have no laces, and the soles are thin and flexible. Footwear is typically introduced only after the child has learned to walk well. Crocs and other mule like slip ons, like flip-flops are not safe for small children and can contribute to poor balance, falls, slips and feet getting caught in escalators. ( Note toe loss in preschool and below due to exactly problems like this)
g) When your child is beginning to walk readily, share that falling is going to happen, and to hold out you arms to break a fall works pretty good.
f) Explain that stairs are dangerous and to stay with the caregiver when stairs are close. Most kids are pretty fearless about climbing up stairs once they understand how it works. This is usually a ticket to something fun, like a slide so it is rapidly of interest to most kids. The first stage of dealing with stairs would be to hold on to a caregiver's hand, second stage is to SIT down to descend and creep up or down the stairs and final stage is to hold a railing and slowly ascend or descend.
Increased movement in a child's life is a joy, which unlocks keys to other development and opportunities for the parent and the child.