The Shoe Train is located at the Cabin John Mall and provides shoe fitting for first time walkers.
Potomac The transition from crawler to walker raises practical concerns for parents, as well as psychological elements that are equally important.
The Shoe Train at Cabin John Mall will host Dr. Julie Bindeman on Jan. 30 as the first in a series of speakers on early childhood development. Bindeman, a clinical psychologist who practices in Rockville, notes that the transition from crawler to walker is the first major step toward autonomy.
"Independence is a process that unfolds over a lifetime, and you can pinpoint the first stage as we go from crawling to walking," said Bindeman. "It’s emotional, it can feel like a loss. Parents enjoy being needed."
Children begin to walk between 12 and 15 months, and with that fundamental shift toward independence a range of practical concerns must be addressed.
Young walkers can take advantage of their independence can cause a tremendous amount of stress for parents. As Ed Jurgau, a sales associate at the Shoe Train noted, with mobility comes a need to explore.
"The importance of shoe fitting can’t be overstated, but shoe fitting is getting to be a lost art form"
— Marina Fradlin, owner, the Shoe Train
"We once lost a 2-year-old boy in the store, we thought he walked away and his mother was frantic," said Jurgrau. "Then the kid crawled out under the train set, it was a happy ending."
Other practical concerns include keeping little feet warm in the winter. Proper footwear is also important because it provides the necessary support and balance needed on a developmental side.
"It’s all about support for the little ones, it reduces back problems later in life," said Marina Fradlin, owner of the Shoe Train. "The importance of shoe fitting can’t be overstated, but shoe fitting is getting to be a lost art form."
According to Fradlin, most parents gravitate to the basic boot style considering the need for support, and standard shoe colors include white and brown. Such choices are important for parents, which provide a form of control over an emotional event.
"Independence is a process that unfolds over a lifetime, and you can pinpoint the first stage as we go from crawling to walking"
— Dr. Julie Bindeman
"Milestones we get to witness can be bittersweet," said Bindeman. "Let the emotions come over you. It’s OK to mourn a little, but remember it’s about promoting healthy development."