We’re often bombarded with information when we’re pregnant or have just given birth: the benefits of bottle and breast feeding, which pram to buy, baby sleeping safety, what temperature your baby’s room should be at and when we should start weaning to name just a few. But, what about your baby’s feet?
Here we look at a few helpful tips and pointers to bear in mind when looking after your toddler’s feet. But remember, if you have any concerns for your child’s foot development, speak to a professional. A foot clinic such as northwich foot clinic will be able to help.
How are my toddler’s feet developing?
When your baby’s born, the bones in her feet are made of soft, flexible cartilage. This gradually hardens over time. They won’t be fully developed until her late teens.
To begin with, your baby’s feet are quite flat. But by the time she’s about two years old, you should be able to see what kind of foot shape she has.
Your toddler will inherit one of three main foot shapes from either you or your partner:
- Tapered: her big toe is the biggest of all her toes.
- Rounded: her second or third toe is longer than her big toe.
- Square: all her toes are about the same length.
How can I take care of my toddler’s feet?
Allow your toddler’s feet to develop as naturally as possible. Let her spend time without shoes every day so she can exercise the muscles in her feet. You can encourage her to flex and stretch them by tickling her.
Socks or tights made from cotton, or a cotton and wool mix, will keep your toddler’s feet warm while giving them room to develop. Regularly check that she’s wearing the right size, especially if you tumble dry them. Socks can shrink, and if they’re too tight, this can restrict how your toddler’s feet grow. Even if your toddler isn’t walking yet, make sure that any soft booties she wears also have lots of room for her toes to move.
You should also check that your toddler’s bedding and sleepsuits have plenty of space for her toes to move around easily. If you tuck her in too tightly, she may not be able to move her feet around at night, which is bad for their development.
Wash your toddler’s feet thoroughly and dry them well between the toes. You could also use a sprinkling of talcum powder to help keep her feet dry and healthy. Just be sure to shake off any excess powder so it doesn’t clump between her toes.
When can my toddler have her first shoes?
Don’t be in a rush to buy your toddler’s first pair of shoes. She only needs them when she’s ready to walk outside, which is usually once she’s already confident about taking a few steps indoors.
As your toddler learns to walk, let her stay barefoot indoors. This allows her feet to develop and strengthen without restriction. Just make sure that the floor is clean and safe.
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