Studying babies’ first steps

Study summary

This study is looking at the changes in infant’s feet and walking style from sitting to walking confidently on their own.

The transition in infants from non-walking to independent walking represents a stage of development where the role of the foot becomes essential. However, this transition to independent walking in infants has rarely been researched.

This study aims to be the first study of its kind to measure characteristics relating to skin properties, muscle function, foot function and motion strategies as the infant begins to undertake independent walking.

Who can take part?

Babies that have reached the following milestones by each visit:

  • First visit: when your baby can support their own head and reach for their feet when lying on their back.
  • Second visit: when your baby can pull themselves to standing.
  • Third visit: when your baby can take up to 5 steps on their own
  • Final visit: when your baby is a confident, balanced, stable, independent walker.

What will the research involve?

If you take part in the Small Steps study you and your baby will be invited to visit our baby space up to four times during this exciting period in your baby’s development:. Through this time we will study:

  • Foot size and shape
  • Skin thickness, elasticity and texture
  • Muscle shape, size and activity
  • Footprints and movement patterns

Each visit will last up to 2 hours and you will receive Love2Shop high-street vouchers as a thank you for your time.

Where will the research take place?

Brian Blatchford Building, University of Salford



Posted on 22nd January 2018 by Natalie Balmain

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Study Information Sheets

Please see information sheets for further details about this opportunity.

PDF IconSmall Steps [info]

Study References

Ethics approved references for this study are listed below

  • The University of Salford: HSR1617-79

Affiliates