Every parent gives a sigh of relief when they see their kid make those first monumental steps. There is a range of ages for when children start to walk. Some start as early as 10 months while others aren't ready until closer to 16 or 17 months. Whatever the age, you have probably been given advice by various friends and family members about whether or not your child should wear shoes.
Generally, the consensus among the experts is to either put them in shoes when they are cruising along furniture or soon after they start walking. Try to find shoes that are soft-soled and flexible so that the child's foot can still grip to keep from slipping. Weather and terrain permitting, keep your child barefoot as long as possible to help strengthen foot, ankle, and leg muscles as well as provide the best surface for gripping when trying to walk.
Most parents' buy shoes a little earlier than needed—it is hard to resist. Keep in mind that children's feet can grow a size up in as little as six weeks. (Read more about choosing Baby's first shoes, here.)
Sorting, Stacking, Classifying
If you have ever left a laundry basket in front of a baby, you may have found one of the age-old tricks for entertaining a little one. At this age, babies are fascinated by removing objects, comparing sizes and shapes, putting objects back where they found them (OK ... maybe not yet), and sorting out different kinds of objects.
If you don't want to use the family laundry basket for this activity, you can purchase or make stacking and sorting toys to quench this interest. You may even get a few treasured moments to sip your coffee while Baby quietly plays and figures out which hole the square block fits into easily.
Chickenpox Vaccine or Not?
At next month's exam, your child is up to bat for the chicken pox vaccine. This vaccine offers protection from the childhood ailment that many of us remember (we may even have a few scars to remind us of the experience). The question among parents is whether it is better to get this disease and build up the natural immunity or avoid the illness through immunization. This is a complicated subject and a personal decision that you need to discuss with your child's healthcare provider.