How to look after your little one's feet and support their development
Author - Rachel Clinkard @ Charles Clinkard
When your baby is born and you first see those tiny feet and dinky toes they look so precious don't they?!
It's so important to take care of your little ones feet so I've teamed up with Rachel Clinkard from the footwear retailer Charles Clinkard. Here, Rachel outlines her top tips for looking after your child's feet in their early years.
For new parents, ensuring your little one's feet develop correctly can seem quite daunting, but it doesn't have to be! Here, I'm going to give you my top tips for looking after your baby's feet. And if you would like to remember this very exciting time in your parenting journey, why not pick up one of A Little Bit Dotty's baby footprint kits that will help you create a lovely keepsake?
1. Keep their feet clean
Your little one might not be walking just yet, but you would be surprised how dirty their little feet can get anyway. But remember that, when they're left to their own devices, babies have a tendency to hold their feet, and sometimes even put them in their mouth. So, it's vital that you try to keep them as clean as possible.
Wash your baby's feet at least once a day using warm water and a soap that's been specifically formulated for infants. You'll also need to ensure they're completely dry straight afterwards. Use a fluffy towel, which will be soft on their skin, and dry between each toe before putting their socks back on, as this will help to prevent any bacterial problems.
2. Trim their toenails regularly
You will already be aware that babies' fingernails can cause some damage — this is the main reason why you'll often see infants wearing mittens. Their toenails can also grow quite quickly, so there can be the risk of them scratching themselves or getting caught on something. You also won't want your little one to suffer from an ingrown toenail. So, it's best to trim them regularly to keep them short.
It's best to do this with baby nail clippers or scissors every two weeks. After bath time is best, because they're likely to be calm and this is when their nails will be particularly soft. You can also file their toenails down if you don't feel comfortable cutting them.
3. Buy different shoes for every stage of their development
Your little one's feet will have different needs as they grow and develop, so you need to choose their shoes accordingly. In the earliest days, the soft cartilage and tendons in their feet will still be taking shape, so particularly flexible footwear will be best. Socks, baby booties, and soft-soled baby shoes are ideal for this stage, and will give them the range of movement they need.
Once your baby starts to show signs that they're thinking about taking their first steps, you can think about purchasing their first pair of prewalker shoes. When this time comes, it's best to go along to a shoe shop that specialises in children's shoes, as the specially-trained store staff will be able to get the right fit for your child, and provide you with lots of helpful advice.
It's best to opt for some supportive shoes that still offer plenty of room for your child's feet to develop and grow. Your little one's feet can actually grow by up to three sizes a year, so giving them a little bit of breathing space is vital.
4. Encourage them to start walking when the time is right
While most babies will start looking to take their first steps when they feel like it, there are also ways to encourage them to make progress. For example, you could put their favourite snack on your coffee table so they have to pull themselves up to grab it, or you could put a toy they like to play with on the edge of your sofa. If they do pull themselves up onto their feet, make sure you praise them too! Just make sure you're there to lend a hand if they have a little wobble.
You'll want the best for your baby, and properly looking after their feet can really help with their development. Take these tips on board and your child will develop strong and healthy feet that will support them in everything they do.
A big thank you to Rachel for her valuable tips on looking after your little ones feet.
Please do share this article with people you know who may need some guidance in this area.
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