Have you ever found listening to someone’s conversation (innocently – of course!) and realized you didn’t understand a portion of what they were talking about? It may have been the acronyms they were using, or maybe the slang. Well, the same can be said in the mommy world, too. I realized while sitting with moms at the mall that I wasn’t up on all their lingo because they were talking about baby moccasins and I envisioned something completely different than they were talking about.
I had it clearified to me that baby moccasins is more a general term for any soft-soled baby shoe, especially made of leather. I guess I still have a lot to learn, so I thought I might explore this subject here for all those others that may be new to parenting and want to be a little more up on the happenings.
Baby Moccasins Defined
Technically, any moccasin is loosely defined as a soft leather shoe sewn together and used as a protection for the feet. The baby moccasin isn’t necessarily patterned after any specific Native American tradition, but can have some of the same characterists such as extra fringe that helps to make the shoe look unique.
There are a lot of moms out there that love them for a number of reasons:
- For those DIYers – the patterns are easy to find, copy and make. Especially with sewing machines that can handle thick material like leather and other useful gadgets such as the Cricut, embelishments and creativity are not limited.
- Babies and toddlers need something that allows for feet and toes to develop correctly, but still need some protection most noteably when outside. Soft-soled shoes give just enough of a barrier from the elements while not trying to bind or constrict the foot.
- Even indoors, the extra grip that a leather bottom shoe provides can help on more slippery surfaces such as hardwood or tile. This extra help can be such a benefit when they are learning to walk and the floor might be a hinderance to their progress.
- They are a fashion statement – obviously this isn’t much more than a surface reason for using baby moccasins, but for some moms and parents, this can be a big issue. Don’t mock what you don’t fully understand!
Make Sure The Shoe Fits
Just like Cinderella, the fit should be perfect and this will be quite a challenge due to the fact that a baby’s foot grows rapidly. What fits one month may not fit the next. Initially, this isn’t too much of a problem to buy big. Mostly the shoes are a simply covering and can replace booties or socks.
However, when they begin walking, having something that is too big can be cumbersome and could create a stumbling hazard. Yet, if the shoe is too small, it could
- cut into their foot
- cut off blood circulation
- curve the toes into unnatural positions
- cause undue pain and pressure (and a crying baby is never fun)
Take the time to make sure that there is a true fit, that there aren’t any sore spots and most importantly that there is a lot of time spent outside the confines of a shoe: natural is still the best, it just needs a little buffer so as to avoid hot sidewalks and small stones.
What if My Baby Hates Shoes?
Each child is different, even within a family, and while some take to wearing socks, booties, shoes and moccasins very well, others can’t get out of them quick enough. Take everything into consideration and roll with it: there isn’t anything wrong with not wearing shoes, in fact there are many that would advocate very highly for this stating that it is much healthier. You know what is best for your child!
As with most things in life, there will come a moment when they take to wearing shoes – at least at appropriate times – and then kick them off as soon as possible. This may last their whole life, and it has just started early on.
What About Hard-soled Shoes?
I’ve seen some of the cutest hard-soled shoes for a 3-month old, which made me stop in my tracks. Not only does an infant not need something that is truly going to confine their foot, but there is no real purpose behind them other than a shoe piece. In all actuallity, more damage may be occurring with the restriction of their little feet.
As they get older and start to walk, the hard sole can still be too much structure for their maturing feet, and could cause long-term foot problems. Once a toddler has full control over walking and running, and then shows proficiency in navigating obstacles, hard-soled shoes would be appropriate.
Are You Sold on Soft-soled Baby Moccasins Yet?
There isn’t much worse than a pushy salesman that won’t leave you alone! Don’t worry, I’m only sharing a little bit of my knowledge and trying to be that cool mom that doesn’t stare at someone dumbfoundedly because I have no idea what they are talking about. Baby moccasins could be just a simple craze that flies away when they next thing flies in. But, until then, I have a little bit of swagger.