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How fast do babies grow out of shoes?

Dressing a toddler isn’t an Olympic sport … but maybe it should be. It involves skill, luck, and a heaping pile of informed guesswork, and that’s just in terms of choosing and sizing the right clothes for the right time of year – actually getting your tyke into the clothes you’ve picked out is something else entirely. Bonus points if every piece of clothing is facing the right direction, and is right-side-out.

Within the genre of toddler clothes, shoes fall into an even more obscure category because, for one thing, it can be a little harder to tell when a child is growing out of them. Instead of a few inches of bare skin telling you it’s time for a little shopping trip, it’s just a little harder to fit a shoe on Baby’s foot, which could also just be because he is particularly squirmy, or has decided to declare war on footwear in general.

How fast do baby feet grow?

Baby’s feet, much like the rest of him, grow very fast for the first year, and then start to slow down a little. By the time he is about a year old, actually, his feet will probably be only a little bit less than half the size they’ll be when he is an adult.

Even once Baby’s foot-growth starts to slow down a little – and luckily, it does at around the time when he starts walking, and shoes start to become less optional – he may still need new shoes three or four times a year. For this reason, many shoe companies recommend measuring his feet about once every 3 months, whether it seems like he needs it or not.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing predictable about children’s foot-growth rate – Baby could need new kicks once a month for 3 months, then wear the same pair of sneakers into the ground for the next 9, and there’s no way to tell ahead of time which it will be. This can make buying shoes ahead of time tricky, so unless there’s a really spectacular deal, or a good exchange policy, buying Baby’s shoes ahead of time is always a gamble.

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