Caring For Your Baby’s Feet

4 min read

Written by Pradeep

Pradeep

taking care of baby feet

Babies are born with feet that are irresistibly adorable, with tiny, straight toes and pink, soft skin. Because a newborn’s feet are mostly made of fatty tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons), they are soft and pliable. It is important to know about caring for your baby’s feet. Despite not being able to walk until approximately 15 months of age, babies are already born with this ability. He will move his legs as though he is walking if you hold him under his arms and stand him gently on a surface. This “stepping reflex” is present at birth and disappears within 6 weeks.

During his first 9 months in a cocoon of protective fluid, your baby’s new feet may appear blue, wrinkled, and peeling. As soon as the baby gets warm, his feet will pink up and fill out. Because babies are born with fat in the arch area, they generally have flat feet. When they stand for the first time, their leg and foot muscles are not developed enough to support their arches. In fact, it takes 7 years for the arch to become apparent.

In This Article

How Should I Care For My Baby’s Feet?

Caring for the baby’s feet is important because they need to be strong enough before the baby starts to walk. The key idea is to keep them clean and from infection free, while also letting them grow, develop and strengthen as naturally as possible. Here are some tips to care for your baby’s feet.

  • Wash your baby’s feet thoroughly every day and pat them dry
  • Sprinkle some talcum powder to ensure that the feet stay dry
  • Cut the toenails straight and not in a curved shape, to ensure that the toes do not grow inward
  • Make sure there is enough space for your baby to move her feet around in the crib or bed
  • Ensure you do not cover your child with a lot of blankets during the night as this will also restrict the movement of her legs
  • Ensure the baby gets a lot of foot exercise! How? You can tickle her feet a little, which will make her flex and stretch her feet. Even kicking in the air is a great exercise for the entire leg, including the feet.
  • Pick socks over shoes. Socks help keep your baby’s feet warm while at the same time not restricting its movements and growth.
  • Ensure you let your baby’s feet develop without any restrictions. One way to accomplish this is to ensure a lot of playtimes.

What Are Some Of The Problems To Watch Out For?

ingrown toe nails in baby

Your baby cannot yet tell you if there is pain or soreness in her feet. So, regularly watch out for the following:

Ingrown Toenails

If you notice the skin around your baby’s toenails red and swollen, it might indicate ingrown toenails. It can be avoided by being careful when you cut her nails. But if your child already has it, talk to her doctor about it.

Blisters

Blisters are usually caused by tight shoes. If you notice blisters, do not burst them as they can lead to infections. Avoid shoes and socks until the blisters dry off.

Hand, Mouth, Foot Disease

Hand, mouth, and foot disease is a viral disease characterized by small spots (which later turn to blisters) appearing around the baby’s hands, mouth, and feet. It goes away by itself in a week.

Verrucas

These are also rare in babies unless you take your child to the swimming pool often. They are small warts with a black center that appear on the sole of the baby’s feet. It is painful but will go away by itself in a couple of years. It can also be removed by surgery.

Talipes

Talipes or club foot is a condition where the baby’s feet are bent downward and inward. Babies with talipes require physiotherapy to correct the shape of the feet

In- or out-toeing

This happens when your baby becomes a toddler and starts walking with his/her feet turn inward or outward. They will eventually grow out of it with practice

When Can I Buy My Baby’s First Shoes?

baby's first shoe

We advise you to park your shoe shopping plans for now. Although you might be tempted to see those pretty and small shoes, encasing your baby’s feet in them might restrict the shape, size, and growth of the feet. Technically, your baby does not require shoes until she starts walking outdoors.

Even before that happens, she should get a lot of barefoot walking time inside the house. This will help strengthen her feet and muscles. And finally, when it is time to buy the first shoes, make sure they are comfortable and of the right fit.

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