Stride Rite-Helping my baby to walk {& a giveaway}

One of a parents greatest joys is watching their child achieve their milestones. It's so bittersweet. You can't wait to see them do it, and then they do and you wish they hadn't because it's one step closer to their inevitable independence. I have kept track of Elijah's milestones from the very beginning of my pregnancy! I ooh and ah at every smile, wave, and coo. As he gets closer and closer to that first step without help our hearts jump for joy, even though we are scared of what's to come. This first step. Elijah's first step. Our little baby's first step. It changes his entire life, our entire lives. He will no longer be our little helpless angel, depending on us for every little thing. He will be our independent toddler. He will be able to decide where he wants to go, what he wants to do.

Elijah has always been an active baby. He was only 2 months old when he realized he preferred you to hold him sitting up than laying down. It was only a month after that he realized he could get a much better view than that even if you held him in a standing position. Honestly I can't remember if he has sat down since. Now just a little more than a week away from 11 months he has been pulling up to stand alone since 8 months and 'cruising' the furniture since 9 months. He loves to 'walk' assisted but I don't think he realizes yet he can do it alone. He will use the wall and stand up and will walk the entire walls in the playroom. He may even see something along the way and reach down to get it, then go back about his way. But he hasn't gotten the courage yet to let go. There are times he has forgotten while playing with me. He will turn from one of us to the other and take a step forward falling into our arms when he realizes no one is holding him. We know it will be any day now and he will realize he doesn't need us holding him. He will realize its okay. He can do it himself.

One of Elijah's favorite things since we first showed he could stand, was shoes. He loved to have shoes on and would gladly kick his feet, all smiles when I put a new pair on him! He still enjoys them but I have been having trouble finding a pair that fits him well. He never wore newborn size and we were actually told by a nurse at the hospital that he has some of the biggest feed they ever saw on a newborn. So considering his first pair of shoes were a size 2 and he outgrew size 3 by 2 months later, it's no surprise his feet have continued to grow ahead of schedule. Problem is they got SO ahead of schedule I lost track of what size he should be in. Most recently he was in a size 5. He had a cute pair of sesame street high tops that lit up. Only problem is they weigh so much I worried they were hurting him and making it difficult to walk. Then just in time, Amy from Momfluence contacted me about a possible opportunity with Stride Rite shoes. I was beside myself happy. Not only would I be able to find out what size shoes Elijah should really be wearing, I would be able to get a little insight on what the best shoe for a baby learning to walk is.
Just last month Stride Rite announced the launch of their new collection of baby shoes with patent-pending Sensory Response Technology™ (SRT™). From their press release: 'This revolutionary children's footwear technology, developed in conjunction with the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, improves the way a child learns to walk via a sensory feedback system, an ultra-flexible design that allows for more freedom of movement, and a unique construction that reduces the number of stumbles and falls.'

WOW! How cool is that? They said that first walkers need shoes that allow them to feel and grip the surface beneath them, as well as distribute their weight properly to keep their balance, so they designed a shoe that did just that! And to top it off, not only are they functional, they are SO CUTE! They come in so many styles and colors for boys and girls.

What really impressed me too was their e-fitting guide. All you do is go to their site and print out the fitting sheet. There will be a strip on one side you have to cut off to measure the width but boy am I glad I did. I first measured the length of Elijah's foot when he was napping. I pressed the paper to the bottom of his foot, made sure his foot was flat, toes extended... but I was worried that wasn't accurate. So when he woke up I tried again. I had him stand up on the paper. It was a bit off, but basically the same. My 10 month old baby wears a size 6.5!!! I couldn't believe it! Then I measured the width with the other chart. Well that explains it. We could not figure out why shoes always are too skinny for him. Well they are! He has a wide (almost extra wide) foot! I am so glad I was able to properly measure him! I give him a day in these shoes... and he will running!

I can't wait to try Elijah's new pair and will surely update you all when I get them!

Interesting in finding more about SRT™ and other Stride Rite shoes for your toddler or child? Visit them here: http://www.striderite.com/text/srt/

I'm also totally loving their facebook page! Check it out and become a fan here: http://www.facebook.com/striderite

AND

Want to win your own pair of Stride Rite shoes?
***FIVE winners will be chosen to receive ONE pair of SRT shoes, available in sizes 3 to 8 infant/toddler including medium & wide. ($50 value)

TO ENTER: Please fill out this form- link has expired. Contest is closed.

Good Luck!

This contest was brought to you by Momfluence & Stride Rite. It is open to legal U.S. residents 18 years or older. The giveaway begins at 12:00 a.m. ET September 14th and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET September 28th. Five winners will be chosen to receive a pair of SRT shoes – toddler size only ($50 RV per pair) by Stride Rite & Momfluence by random.org.
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