HOW AND WHY TO GIVE YOUR BABY A FOOTHOLD

Parent holding baby's feet

Footholds are a wonderful way to comfort your baby, especially in the NICU or Neonatal Unit. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how and why to give your baby a foothold.

Remember always check with your neonatal team before trying something new with your baby.

WHY GIVE YOUR BABY A FOOTHOLD?

You can help your baby feel safe through your touch. 

When you are touching your baby, you and your baby will create special chemicals that support you to bond and your baby to grow. 

In neonatal care, babies are often having blood taken from their heels. This can make them a bit sensitive to touch in this area.

Footholds are a brilliant way to provide positive touch to reduce what might be an uncomfortable experience for them.

WHAT YOU NEED: 

Oil – we always recommend using organic oil on your baby’s delicate skin. Use coconut oil or olive oil. 

Warm Hands – make sure your hands are warm before you touch your baby by rubbing them together.

HOW TO GIVE YOUR BABY A FOOTHOLD

  1. With a small amount of oil and warm hands, gently cup your baby’s feet. Remember, slow still hands are comforting.
  2. Try gliding one thumb over your other thumb across the base of your baby’s foot.
  3. Watch your baby’s response to your touch to know if they feel comfortable or not. 

If you enjoyed this blog you might like to read our other resources on the Power of Touch and Skin-to-Skin Transfers.  

You might also enjoy watching our quick video on how to give a hand hug.

Our Neonatal Sensory Journal and Celebration Cards are full of sensory tools to help support you and your baby throughout your time in Neonatal Care and beyond. 

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