Whether buying slippers or small shoes, identifying the size of your baby’s feet is not easy. So what size should you choose based on your age? And when does baby need to be shod? Advice and explanations, with the contribution of Dr Fabienne Kochert, pediatrician in Orléans.
What is baby’s shoe size according to his age?
The best tip for knowing your baby’s shoe size is to refer to their age. To find your way around, the guide below presents an average foot size in cm and the corresponding French size, by age category:
- 0 to 3 months: 9.3 cm, corresponding to size 16.
- 3 to 6 months: 10.2 cm, corresponding to size 17.
- 6 to 9 months: 10.7 cm, corresponding to size 18.
- 9 to 12 months: 11.5 cm, corresponding to size 19.
- 12 to 15 months: 12.3 cm, corresponding to size 20.
- 15 to 18 months: 13 cm, corresponding to size 21.
- 18 to 21 months: 13.7 cm, corresponding to size 22.
- 21 to 24 months: 14.3 cm, corresponding to size 23.
- 2 years: 15 cm, corresponding to size 24.
- 2 ½ years: 15.6 cm, corresponding to size 25.
- 3 to 4 years: 16.3 cm, corresponding to size 26.
Remember, however, that the table above gives an average of French sizes. Your child’s feet may be smaller or larger. To find out the exact size of your little one’s toes, you can measure them yourself at home with a pedometer or ask for advice in store.
How to measure the size of baby’s feet?
Don’t have a pedometer at home? Don’t panic, other methods exist to find out the length of your little girl or boy’s foot.
If baby is not yet able to stand, measure the size of his bare feet when he is lying down. To do this, simply place a ruler under its foot. Then note the distance between the base of the heel and the big toe. You get the size in cm of your baby’s feet.
Is your child standing? Place a white sheet on the ground and make sure his foot rests on it without moving. Then, using a ruler and a pencil, draw a long line going from the tip of the big toe to the base of the heel. Then measure the barely drawn pencil line, and refer to the measurement table to find out the size of your foot. In general, each shoe brand has a size guide.
In addition to these methods for taking your child’s shoe size, there is also the pedimeter. Simple to use and effective, this tool allows you to measure the feet of the whole family and check that your child’s shoes are still suitable for their size. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of your visit to the pediatrician to check your girl’s or boy’s shoe size. “ To measure the size of a baby’s feet, the pediatrician uses a medical measuring board », Specifies Dr Fabienne Kochert.
What is the growth rate of baby’s feet?
During the first five years, baby’s feet grow at an accelerated rate. Until he is approximately 12 months old, the size changes every two months. Then, the growth of the child’s feet slows down, requiring a change in size approximately every four months until the child is four years old. It is only during adolescence, around 13/14 years old, that the foot reaches its final size.
When should your baby’s foot be shod?
Before he stands, baby walks on all fours or crawls, sometimes on his stomach or on his bottom. During this period, there is no point in putting on your feet. “ Babies only need to be shod when they start walking » explains pediatrician Fabienne Kochert. “ Except in winter of course, when we can put them in slippers so that they don’t have frozen feet. “, she emphasizes.
Even when baby takes his first steps, fumbles, falls and gets up again, wearing a pair of shoes is not necessary. On the contrary, it is even not recommended, since bare feet in contact with the ground contribute to the perception of balance and familiarization with its points of support. The shoe would only hinder learning to walk.
It is only when walking is acquired, when baby remains standing and less and less seated in his stroller, that wearing a pair of shoes is recommended. “ At this time, you can opt for a non-slip shoe », advises Dr Fabienne Kochert. It is also recommended to opt for first leather shoes with a soft sole and laces to securely support your baby’s feet. Prefer a high-top model, supported by a leather upper, which reinforces support at the foot level. On the sole side, a light rubber sole will allow your little girl or boy to walk comfortably, without getting too tired.
For more advice and an overview of the different models, do not hesitate to go directly to a children’s shoe store.
How do I choose the right shoe for my child?
The problem with children, especially if they are babies and not yet talking, is that you don’t always know if their feet hurt or not. Especially since shoes or slippers that are too tight can hinder the development of walking. To choose shoes that are well suited to the shape of their feet, position your child upright when trying them on. Take into account the thickness of his socks and check that there is at least a 5mm margin between his big toe and the tip of the shoe. Your child should be able to spread their toes. Without forgetting to take into account the width of your feet for optimal comfort.
If you are lost, do not hesitate to seek advice from a specialist in-store salesperson. The latter will be able to take your child’s exact size and assess the necessary margin in terms of length and width. It will also offer you the best models depending on the brands. The sizes may, in fact, vary depending on the brand.