Baby and toddler feet grow rapidly, and they often outgrow many pairs of shoes before they reach three years old. When sizing baby and toddler shoes, it is important to keep in mind that sizes often overlap, and the fit of a shoe will vary by manufacturer. The best guideline to use will always be the one recommended by the manufacturer, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Crib shoes are for newborns, preemies and babies up to 6 months old. They are usually constructed of lightweight, breathable, soft fabrics. Crib shoes range in size from 0 to 2. If the crib shoes you want to buy use inches as a sizing guideline, translate them into the following: preemies typically wear a size 0 shoe; a heel to toe length of up to 3 9/16 inch equates to a size 1 shoe; a heel to toe length of up to 3 7/8 inch equates to a size 2 shoe.
Crawling stage shoes are soft-soled and meant for babies that are just learning to crawl and pull to standing on their own. They protect growing feet and allow babies up to nine months old the ability to be active while wearing shoes. Crawling shoes come in sizes 0 to 3.
As a general rule, babies under one year old should have their feet measured every month, especially before buying new shoes. For crawling shoes that use inches for sizing, a heel to toe length of up to 4 1/4 inches equates to a size 3 shoe.
Walking shoes are meant for babies nine months to three years old and provide foot support for babies and toddlers learning to walk, run, climb and jump. When buying walking shoes, make sure they are made of breathable, durable materials, but that they aren't too hard or heavy. Babies and toddlers from one to two years old should have their feet measured every two months, and toddlers older than two should have their feet measured every three months.
Walking shoes range in size from 2 to 8. Of course, the sizes vary by brand and manufacturer, and the best way to judge whether a shoe will fit your baby or toddler is by trying them on. When ordering walking shoes from the internet, pay close attention to the manufacturer's sizing guidelines.
Some baby shoes come from European manufacturers, and thus have European sizing guidelines. European baby shoes start at size 15 (the equivalent of a UK size 0), and go up to 30 (the equivalent of a UK size 12).