At birth, babies' feet are usually about 75 mm long, and in the first few months of life, they're round due to a thick layer of fat surrounding the sole, which impedes the foot's shape and arch from being visible. Here we explore the basics you need to know to take care of your baby's feet.
Are babies supposed to wear shoes? Is it good for them to go barefoot?
Putting shoes on babies (and making them last for several minutes) is mission impossible. They are always taking them off and even putting them in their mouths, which is very common and natural because the foot is an essential sensory receptor. Babies rely on these gestures to learn more about a new environment to live and develop.
Usually, babies should start to wear shoes after 12 months. Although the "miniature brand shoes" are fabulous, experts in children's podiatry don't recommend wearing this type of rigid or fastened footwear until the baby is walking.
How do I take care of my babies' feet?
- Cutting toenails.
When cutting toenails, you must consider that babies' nails are more fragile and brittle, with a tendency to break and be more attached to the skin.
It is better to leave them a little longer and cut them more often or file them, and don't follow the rounded line of the finger (to avoid ingrown nails) since a small scratch can happen.
If you observe some peak or an irregularity, you could use a specific file for babies without damaging or making pressure. If at some point the sides are slightly red and swollen, do not touch them. Take your baby to the podiatrist to check his/hers nail, as it is probably being ingrown.
- Spots on the skin.
In some cases, reddish spots may appear on the baby's feet and other body parts. It will probably be atopic dermatitis since they are frequent in children. In this case, you might use some regenerative creams.
Unlike what podiatrists recommend for adults, babies should not use specific foot creams, but use the same baby cream as the rest of the body.
The new family member will love us much more if we know how to take care of his/hers beautiful little feet!