There is something soothing and mesmerising about precious little baby feet. Those cute chubby toes and small perfect feet that we want to frame forever. But what if their perfect little feet were in pain?
Unfortunately, babies can’t tell us if their feet hurt or if their shoes are too tight. We have to do the thinking and feeling for them. Luckily they are just so darn cute that caring for baby feet is one of those jobs as a Mum you’ll actually look forward to!
This one is really important because blisters or rub marks on their feet will tell you if their little shoes are ill-fitting. Blisters can be the sign of shoes that are either too small, or too big and moving too much when they walk. Ideally, babies and toddlers should be in leather soft sole shoes that move with their feet like socks. They give more protection than socks and the feel of shoes without the bulk, allowing little feet to feel the ground. Blisters can also lead to infections, so be careful not to pop them and place a plaster or bandaid over them instead to keep the germs at bay.
Moisture and feet do not mix. Feet should be kept well dried after bathing, especially between the toes. Baby toes are so small it is easy to miss water droplets in between. Damp feet can lead to foot fungus and damaged skin which can become quite painful. Regular checks will keep this at bay. You can also try a mild talc powder suitable for baby skin.
Feet can get dirty and baby feet are no different, especially when they walk around barefoot. They pick up all sorts of dirt, grime and germs and it’s good hygiene to clean them thoroughly each night. You can either clean them during their routine bath or use a baby safe wipe, gently cleaning all areas, especially toes and toenails.
Letting babies and toddlers go barefoot is really good for their development. It helps with proprioception as they are able to feel the ground. Being able to feel the ground helps the receptors in their feet transmit messages to their brain, enabling them to better sense their surroundings and improve their spatial awareness. This aids in balance and coordination and kids who play barefoot trip over and fall less because of this. Pretty impressive hey!
Whilst we just mentioned how barefoot is best for development, we know that is not always practical. Babies feet still need protecting when they are out and about. As we touched on earlier, we recommend a good quality soft sole shoe. Soft sole shoes provide extra protection when needed, but still give full movement and the impression of being barefoot. Where soft soles aren’t suitable, a soft, flexible rubber soled shoe is also a good option. Bare in mind, shoes should provide adequate support without being restrictive.
This is one of the jobs as parents that we slightly cringe at. Cutting those small toenails is a tough gig, especially with a squirming, wriggling baby or toddler in hand. But, it has to be done and there is a right way and wrong way to do it. Toenails should be cut straight across to avoid issues. Cutting them around toward the skin can result in skin growing over the nail causing an ingrown toenail. Trust me, you do not want this at any time.
Do you have any tips for caring for baby feet that we can add to the list? We’d love to hear your experiences with baby feet and finding the right shoes.