Caring for Your Baby's Feet
Now that your new bundle of joy has arrived, you want to make sure that he / she gets the best of care. One area of great importance is his / her feet even though it may be hard to imagine right now that those small feet will one day be able to walk, run, and jump. While these adorable, soft, little feet may look like the miniature versions of your feet, they are actually quite different and far more delicate.
The bones in your baby’s feet are soft cartilage at birth and will not finish developing into their final hardened state until your child is in his / her teens. This means those small feet will need special attention and more care than adult feet to ensure they grow and develop as naturally as possible. It also means that caring for your baby’s feet should begin the day he / she is born. It may seem logical that total baby foot hygiene is important, but sometimes we can forget some of the little details.
So, let’s look at ways to get the most out of all that foot care.
- Foot Skin Care: It is natural for the skin of a new baby’s feet to peel off for several weeks after birth. Dry skin is another condition that some babies experience. To keep the foot skin smooth and soft, rub a small amount of gentle baby moisturizing lotion on his / her feet. The best time to apply the lotion is after a bath when the skin pores are open and ready to lock in the added moisture.
- Keep Those Toes Dry: Because excess moisture between the toes can develop into a fungus, whether from a lotion or from sweat, make sure that the lotion is fully absorbed. To keep the spaces between the toes dry, sprinkle a small amount of powder on the skin between the toes before putting on socks or pajamas with feet attachments.
- Trimming Little Toe Nails: Your baby’s toe nails will grow at a very fast rate. You may find yourself needing to trim his / her toe nails every few days during the first few months. After that time, the toes will need to be trimmed a few times a month. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a baby nail clipper and to trim the nails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails. Keeping the toe nails trimmed will ensure that your baby’s toes have room to move freely inside of socks, tights, and all-in-one outfits that cover the feet. The Baby Center has an article which explains the importance of toe nail trimming.
- Barefoot or Covered: Until your little one is taking his / her first steps, the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists recommend letting your baby go barefooted as often as possible. If the climate is cold, you can provide warmth and protection by covering your baby’s feet with loose fitting soft cotton or cotton and wool socks. Check the socks after washing and drying them because cotton socks easily shrink in a dryer. Check the fit of any material covering your baby’s feet often to make sure that there is room for your baby to flex his / her feet and to wiggle his / her toes.
- The First Steps: There are normal stages of foot development that every baby will experience as they go from crawling to walking. Initially, your baby may appear to be walking with his / her toes pointed inward. This is a natural balancing technique and will go away by the time he / she is 18 months. Then, because the hip ligaments are still soft, your baby may appear to be walking with his / her toes pointed outward. As the hip ligaments tighten, this walking pattern will go away by the time he / she is 2 to 2 ½ years old. Your toddler may appear to be flat footed because the fat pads on the bottom of your baby’s feet are protecting his / her developing arches. The fat pads are normally gone by the time he / she turns 3 years old.
- The First Shoes: Once your baby is showing signs that he / she is comfortable walking on his / her own around the house (and perhaps outside), it is time for that first pair of all important shoes. Your baby’s shoes should fit like a second skin cover to allow for continued foot development. His / her first pair of shoes should be made of soft leather tops with flexible soles, have non-slip bottoms, and have supportive, padded ankle straps like all the baby shoes at Kit & Kate. The high quality baby shoe collections designed and developed by Kit & Kate are designed for Australian tastes and conditions right here in Perth, Western Australia. Additional foot protection and safety features in all of Kit & Kate baby shoes include secure Velcro, laces, or buckle closures that support your little one’s ankles and heals and will keep his / her feet from sliding forward. The front end of the shoes have lots of toe room and width space to allow for wiggly toes.
Because your baby’s feet will continue to develop and grow, he / she could need new shoes every month and a half to two months. As children often don’t know how to complain when their shoes are uncomfortable, it is very important that you check the fit of the front toe area often to make sure they are not too tight.
For questions or additional information about your baby’s shoes, please do not hesitate to contact us for friendly, professional and most of all caring advice because at Kit & Kate, we believe that your baby or toddler should have the best quality shoes available. Stylish, comfortable, supportive, and well-fitting, we want them to be the perfect pair of shoes for your child.