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Super Girl Gets Super Shoes

 Madeleine's been cruising for about two months now. She crawls like a pro and is rapidly bringing her assisted walking - walking while holding on to something or someone - up from amateur status. She can walk around the coffee table in about 30 seconds; she's asked me to time her.

We've spent most of her life avoiding shoes for her. I didn't get the whole baby shoe thing. I mean, I get that they're cute and fun and all, but I didn't get why I'd spend money on something that would never touch the ground. Even when we went out in the winter to church or something, we'd put her in frilly socks and that's it. I did break down and buy a pair of Robeez boots for cold days; they were on clearance and I knew she'd need them to keep from losing her toes to frostbite.

And honestly, she did look adorable in them. Put those high lambskin-lined boots on her with a short little dress, and she looked like a cute little go-go dancer.

But by and large we've lived well without shelling out for shoes. A couple weeks ago, though, we bowed to the inevitable, acknowledged the need for something more substantial (and less slippery) than her Gap socks, and cracked open her first pair of shoes.


Being the Neurotic New Mommy that I am, I had concerns about putting her developing feet into shoes. Babies are best left unshod as much as possible; it gives their feet a chance to figure out their thing on their own. Babies need the opportunity to develop their foot strength, learn to grip with their toes, and practice their balance and traditional shoes can short-circuit that process.

easter2006_034.jpgFortunately for me (and other obsessive mommies everywhere), there's Robeez. My girlfriend Sandra turned me onto them and I can't say enough about the product! Robeez shoes were developed by a mom, which says they've been road-tested. They are soft-soled, which allows the baby to feel the floor and maintain a better balance on his own. They have elastic around the ankle, which means they stay on (despite Maddie's best efforts!). They are machine-washable leather, which we LOVE. They give your baby's foot room to grow, which is healthy. And best of all, they come in tons of totally cute styles, which makes for an adorable little pumpkin. We like them so much, we got her a white pair for Easter rather than the traditional patent leather shoes.

Maddie put her first pair on just a week or two ago, and she hasn't wanted to take them off. When we go out in a stroller, she kicks her feet and looks at her shoes admiringly. When she's sitting, she plays with her feet and tries to taste her newest accessory.

And when she's standing - watch out.

Madeleine cruising was bad enough. Madeleine cruising in these shoes is taking it to another level altogether. Something about these shoes gives her confidence or traction or whatever, and she's a speed demon. She's even become faster crawling, as if the soles give her super traction for push-off. Her walking is confident- prancing, almost. If she's walking while holding onto your hands, she kicks her feet out in front of her to catch a glimpse of her stylin' footwear. I feel better letting her cruise around the church nursery with her feet a bit more protected than socks make them, and she's so confident she rarely thinks about the mechanics of walking now.

And like I said, She looks totally adorable. Watching her sit in her stroller, swinging her feet happily, I can't believe that lump of sugar's all mine.


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