Shoes for Toddlers? Walking Milestones? Kailee Noland Spells it Out


In our latest episode of Whose Kid is That?!? Julie and Val were joined by Kailee Noland, a Pediatric Physical Therapist who is also known as The Movement Mama. They chat about early childhood development, walking milestones, and shoes for toddlers.

These topics can seem completely straightforward… until you actually have a baby and you start to compare milestones. Suddenly Baby Pete isn’t walking when books say he should- or maybe his little friends are early walkers– and you question everything. Shoe choice alone becomes a weighty subject… This is why we are so glad to have been able to talk with Kailee and get a professional’s advice and recommendations.

As a Pediatric Physical Therapist and a mom, Kailee knows it can be both exciting and stressful for families to navigate the walking developmental milestone, so she created Shoes for New Walkers: A Pediatric Physical Therapist’s Guide to help parents feel confident about making the best shoes for toddlers choices.

Kailee Noland, shoes for toddlers expert, sits on her living room floor.

Check out a little sneak peek at our conversation with Kailee

JULIE: When we started chatting about having this conversation, I looked you up immediately. And I was like, “Oh! I’ve heard of her.” And then I saw all the people I know that follow you.

You’re doing great things, and it’s really exciting to see how you’re growing.

KAILEE: That’s so sweet to hear. Thank you so much. It’s been totally out of left field.

I started my Instagram account when I was working as what’s called an early intervention PT. So, I would go into families’ homes and teach them developmental strategies and help them if their children had developmental delays. And I just consistently heard from these amazing moms and dads and caregivers who I knew were so invested in their babies and toddlers’ lives, the same questions over and over.

I just thought clearly there’s a gap here. I’m not really sure where this gap in knowledge and information is. But I have this knowledge that I’ve been given through my profession, and I want to share that with other moms so that they don’t end up in this position of needing intervention and thinking,

Gosh, if only someone had told me this, I could have prevented all of this from happening!

My account is aimed at trying to simplify things and make it very routine and rhythm-based because we have so much going on as parents. I don’t want to add things to a mom’s plate.

For example, one of my favorite things is every diaper change when the baby’s really little, just flipping them to tummy time. Just a random example but we have so much to think about and worry about in our days. And then you can sit on the couch once you put the baby to bed and not think, “I was supposed to do tummy time today and I totally forgot!”

I love to have little life hacks and things like that on my account that reduce that mental overwhelm of motherhood a little bit.

VAL: That’s such a good thing to have when your mind is pretty much crazy as it is. I never would have thought of that but that would have saved me a lot of time and a lot of that regret at night when I was like, “Oh, no, I was supposed to do that!”

JULIE: It does seem like the checklist as a new mom is enormous. So having easy, simple ways to remember some of those things is so helpful.

KAILEE: It is and that first year especially, it’s just so mentally exhausting as a mom, with the normal day-to-day stuff. And then we’re being bombarded with all these checklists for different realms of development that our baby needs to be hitting the mark on and I find it so overwhelming.

We as adults don’t excel in every category. Those checklists are there to make sure that your baby is on track and that they don’t need additional support.

I think social media can be a blessing and sometimes it can be an overwhelming curse for developmental therapists. When we’re just scrolling for leisure and then being hit with this information that’s really valuable, but sometimes hard to take in about what our baby should be doing or what we should be doing with our baby or our toddler or kids that day.

I don’t know if you guys feel that way at all, but sometimes I get a little bit of mom-overwhelm from all the things that I should be doing in a day.

JULIE: Yes! And one area where your Instagram excels is that it’s not picture-perfect. It’s practical. I think we scroll and we see some of the picture-perfect influencers and then the overwhelm is even more insane because it’s like, “Why is her house so clean???”

Do you guys get triggered by the beautiful living rooms and the beautiful homes on Instagram?

VAL: Everything is beautiful, the kids are beautiful, not a sweatpant in sight.

KAILEE: I know! I want to start some sort of movement like, normalize normal homes.

Not everyone has a fully remodeled home and is constantly buying things on Amazon to furnish their home and refresh it or update rooms. I had to unfollow all of these accounts that I loved that are DIY-ers and home project people because I found myself every month being like, “Okay, what’s our next project?” Well, they have their next project every month because that’s their livelihood. They get paid to show you their next project. But that’s not how most people live.

I just feel like we need to start some sort of “hashtag movement” here with normalizing our normal messy homes.

JULIE: Yes! #NormalizeNormalHomes

Other topics covered in the convo…

For more from Kailee, check out The Movement Mama Blog and @TheMovementMama on Instagram.

To hear the full interview with Kailee about shoes for toddlers, check out the latest episode of Whose Kid is That?!? with Julie and Val. You can listen on Apple or Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know exactly when each new episode is released!

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