How to Take Care of Newborn Hands, Fingers, Toes and Feet

Caring for Your Baby

They are so tiny- newborn fingers and those little piggy toes. Despite their small size, you will need to give his fingers and toes lots of attention as he grows. Whether it be trimming teeny-tiny nails or coating hands and feet with lotion, you will find yourself very attentive to those little appendages. Here's what you need to know when caring for your baby's hands and feet.


Mother holding baby girl's (6-9 months) legs, smiling
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I cannot urge you enough to make sure you keep your baby's nails well-trimmed- not only for your baby's sake but for your own as well. Despite how paper-thin baby fingernails can be, they can at times seem like little kitty claws. Since your newborn will not have adequate motor control, he will often bat his arms about, scratching himself in the process. Always use clean nail clippers or trimmers to keep your baby's nails at a safe length.


Check Fingers and Toes Frequently

Even on a newborn, you might be surprised how much lint, hair, and fuzz balls can become collected in his tight grasp, a common aspect of newborn development. I've heard more than once how a baby would start crying in pain, and after a thorough investigation of what might be the matter, a hair was found to be wrapped tightly around a wee finger or toe.

That is why it is a good idea to check your baby's hands and feet at every diaper change. After a good investigation for toe fuzzies and the like, I always use a baby wipe to clean hands and feet after changes.

Looking to save money? Read How to Make Your Own Baby Wipes.

Protect Hands With Baby Mittens

Baby mittens (not the kind you where in the winter) are an excellent item to keep on hand (keep on hand, get it?... Nevermind) for newborns. Babies are so prone to scratching themselves, baby mittens are a simple way to prevent that problem.

A tip I would offer: when packing for the hospital, stow a pair of baby mittens to be used after delivery. When my first baby was born, she came back from getting a vaccination with her face scratched terribly. Consider sliding a pair on just before your baby has any procedures done that might be painful.

Use Gentle Baby Lotions

Whether you use baby lotions or not is pretty much up to you. If your baby doesn't seem to have any dry patches, it may not be necessary. However, many parents enjoy lubing up their baby in a gentle lotion. It is not uncommon for your baby's skin to peel in the weeks after birth (see photo.) Though it likely doesn't bother your baby, you may want to use a baby lotion.

Apply lotion within a few minutes following a bath to help lock in the moisture. Bear in mind, a little dab will do you. Little bodies do not require a great deal of lotion


Every now and then, your baby might develop an ingrown toenail. If you have ever had one, you know how painful they can be. Be sure to trim your baby's toenails regularly. Clip them straight across with nail clippers and do not round the edges down.


Keeping Feet Covered

Depending on the climate, you may need to keep your baby's feet covered for warmth and protection. However, I'll be honest with you, I have found that newborn baby socks are positively pointless. My little ones, always, always manage to kick their socks off within minutes. I've found it far easier to have use baby coveralls with the feet built in.

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