Making gifts and crafts that are meaningful and memorable can be fulfilling and fun when they involve your baby and with the thousands of craft ideas available online, finding artsy projects to do with your baby is getting easier. Baby footprints, where your baby's feet are dipped in paint, and then impressed on a surface, can be turned into sentimental keepsakes and gifts. But with your baby's delicate skin and the fear of exposing them to harsh chemicals, is paint safe to use on baby's feet?
There's no doubt that tiny little footprints can make people's hearts melt, especially when it's a baby you love. With the vast options of paints available, the confusion may come from choosing the right paints that will be safe for your baby's skin. In an exclusive interview with Romper, Sarah Brown, a community safety expert for SafeWise, says "Some paints are safe and some are not. When you are looking to buy paint to put on your baby's body, look for water-based, non-toxic paints — many poster paints and finger paints fall into this criteria. Crayola and Kiddie make nice paint sets that you can use for this purpose."
Brown also says it's a good idea to test the paint first. "If your baby has sensitive skin, test out the paint before you dip their feet into it. Put a little bit of paint on your baby's arm, leave it for a minute, and then wash it off with soapy water. If your baby doesn't have a reaction within 24 hours, then the paint should be safe to use on their feet and hands. Even if your baby doesn't have a reaction to the paint, you'll want to clean them up thoroughly after you're done crafting," she says. Brown also notes that you should pay special attention to the paint that gets stuck between kids' toes, so that they don't try to eat it when they find it later.
Brown suggests that another medium you can use to preserve your baby's footprints is ink. "Another fun baby foot craft, that's a little less messy, is using ink pads. Many hospitals will stamp your baby's feet with an ink pad into a scrapbook, t-shirt, or even your body. They use water-based, non-toxic, ink pads that you can buy at a local craft store." Non-toxic ink pads are also available online at Amazon.
So relax and know that there are safe paints and inks available to create crafts using your baby's cute chubby little feet. (But continue to expect a mess.)