Gear

Shoes

Dan Rindler of Child’Space NYC writes:

Babies who are learning to walk learn to use the movements of their whole foot, including all 5 toes for balance. When your child walks, there is a constant feedback loop occurring between their feet and their brain. The feedback of sensation from the foot and ankle, allows your child to constantly make adjustments to their movement to increase coordination, balance and efficiency of walking, and eventually running, jumping and other movements. Walking barefoot allows your child to fully feel the ground beneath them and make small adjustments for balance and coordination. Shoes are necessary for protection, but can dampen that “communication” between foot and brain, and therefore limit range of movement and balance. When choosing a shoe, think of it as foot-protection rather than as a tool for proper walking. Choose a shoe that allows your child’s foot room to move. A flexible suede slipper can work very well.

Your baby’s foot isn’t a fixed form – it has many bones, cartilage where bones haven’t yet fused, fat tissue, ligaments, tendons and nerves. It’s important not to constrain their foot in a shoe that limits movement of all of these different elements. Make sure that the shoe is wide enough in front that the toes have room to wiggle. After buying shoes, keep track of the fit. Your baby’s foot is growing fast! Try to check the fit after 6 weeks or so, to see if it has become tight around the toes.

Janelle’s note:

This is what my son wore. Also, I bought See Kai Run. They were protective and the sole was malleable so he felt the ground under his feet.

Carriers

Wrap style

Using a wrap supports your baby and spreads their weight over your shoulders and hips much better than any other carrier. The Moby wrap, for instance, is easy to use. If you learn to use a material wrap from the start, you’ll find that you use it through many stages of your baby’s development, probably longer than any other carrier.

The Ergo, Beco or Boba carriers are a good alternatives to the wrap. I used the Ergo when my son was a baby. It was durable, fast and easy to use and we both enjoyed it.
Here’s an interesting research article that the Boba makers posted: Babies Need to Be Held 

Strollers

Talking to Baby in Stroller– interesting NYTimes article

Not recommended

Bumbo seat. Here’s an article that explains how chairs inhibit movement