Children are one of life's greatest pleasures - but buying them clothes and shoes is not. Young children's bodies develop so fast that they outgrow things at a rate of knots. So if you're a parent, it's understandable if you're not quite sure how to buy them new clothes or shoes - because you know that in six months, you'll probably have to buy them more. This can be particularly difficult when buying kids shoes, since it may take you a long time to find a style that suits their feet in a design that they like. So if you need to revamp your child's shoe collection and you're not sure where to start, here are a few handy tips.

First, make a list of all of the different kinds of shoes your child needs: for instance, school shoes, shoes for playtime, trainers for sports, boots for outdoors wear or shoes for formal occasions. That's not to say your child needs all these shoes at once, but these are examples of the kinds of shoes kids usually need in their day to day life. Next, get their feet measured - most shoe shops will have a simple and accurate machine with which they measure children's feet. However, if you're buying shoes online, leading online retailers will provide you with a sizing chart. To measure your child's feet, simply print off the sizing chart and follow the instructions to ensure that your final measurement is as accurate as possible.

Next, it's time to decide on the shoes themselves. If you feel your child will outgrow their shoes quickly, you might be tempted to simply go for the cheapest options. However, this isn't a good choice as the shoes your child wears at an early age will affect their development. Investing in a well-made pair of shoes will help ensure that your child's feet grow correctly throughout the day, as well as offering them protection from any dirt or dangerous items on the ground and promoting good posture.

If you're in a store, choose a selection of high quality shoes from within your price range and make sure your child tries them on. Get them to walk around the shop to feel how comfortable they are and press down the front of the shoe to make sure there's enough room for their toes to move around freely. On the other hand, if you're buying you’re kids shoes online, don't be tempted to buy a bigger size in case you're afraid you've made an incorrect measurement. Instead buy the shoes in your child's size and make sure that they try them on as soon as they arrive. Then, you can return them quickly by post and get an alternative size if you need to. Leading retailers will offer a returns-by-post service at no extra charge to the customer. Following this simple process each time you buy shoes will ensure that your child gets the right shoes for them without shoe-buying becoming a regularly stressful experience.