When babies start to crawl and shuffle, and pull themselves up to standing, you're at a new stage of development. They'll hold onto your hands, furniture, and anything else they come across.

Childrens feet are still extremely delicate, so it pays to protect them against cuts and scrapes, or even bruises from hard floors, although barefoot is still best where possible.

Some childcare facilities insist that babies in their care wear foot protection but unless you have to, don't be tempted to put them in proper shoes just yet as their feet aren't ready for them. Remember too that at this young age, the nerve endings in babies' feet have hardly developed at all and given that your child may not be able to tell you that their feet are sore or squashed they will need footwear with lots of room to grow.

'At this young age, the nerve endings in babies' feet have hardly developed.'


Firstly, remember that not all babies crawl - some start walking straight away, so don't worry if it doesn't seem to be happening. For those who do crawl and shuffle, it's a fascinating time. They can get into all kinds of interesting places, and they can get their hands on lots more too (so keep a close eye on them!)

While they can't walk independently, they usually get around with a little help from someone's hands, a piece of furniture or a push along toy.

You could try some of these activities to help your baby develop:

  • Place a cushion on the floor so your baby can climb over it
  • Make a game of pointing to an object or toy and let your baby crawl to it.
  • Use verbal encouragement when they are moving about - some babies are 'listeners' and respond well to your voice
  • Push-pull toys are good practice and provide support to learn to walk.

Start-rite has a special range of pre-walkers designed just for this in-between stage, allowing free movement with gentle support and protection to their toes and heels.

Start-rite pre-walkers have the following features:

  • A choice of fittings in whole and half sizes to ensure the best possible fit.
  • Softest nubuck or leather with cool, breathable linings for maximum comfort.
  • Lightweight and flexible soles, because it's difficult enough getting around at the moment without added weight.
  • The shape of the shoe follows the contours of the baby's feet.
  • Rubber toe and heel bumpers offer security and grip as your baby is moving around and trying to walk.

At this age, you might prefer to get your child's shoes fitted by a professionally trained fitter.