For us parents capturing those very special milestones in our babies early years is somewhat of a rite of passage.
It's not like we are going to forget how cute and diddy they once were, but it is true that as they grow bigger, reminders of those important major milestones become oh-so very precious to parents and grandparents alike. We like to display them for others to also share that journey with us.
There are a couple of difficulties we face when capturing a good baby handprint. Footprints are slightly easier, we'll come to that later. Young babies clench their little hands tightly due to a neurologic reflex and in the early newborn days they are not even aware of their hands. Encouraging a young baby to unclench is more successful with two people. Simply because each person can take a couple of fingers and very gently encourage them to open up and lay flat.
There is a finite time before baby will curl those fingers straight back up into a fist again. So my first tip is this-
With that being said, have all of your capturing equipment at the ready before attempting to open up babies hand.
A great way to capture handprints onto paper is to use an inkless wipe capture kit, they include everything needed to capture handprints and footprints and you get an A4 size piece of magic paper, which will fit approximately 6 prints on.
Giving you plenty of attempts to capture a good print. Mess free, non toxic and super easy to use. They were developed in the USA to footprint newborn babies for identification.
The contents of the inkless capture kit are-
- Specially coated paper A4 Size (enough for multiple prints)
- Inkless wipe towlette
- Full instructions/Leaflet
- Addressed envelope to enclose your captured print(s) back to us, for if your having items of jewellery made.
The inkless wipe towlette can be placed back into the sachet and folded closed, this can keep the towlette working for a further few days if you need to. This is really useful if you have multiple childrens hands that you wish to capture.
2. Sit baby on parents/helpers lap
Position yourself next to or near a table. Place the magic paper flat on the table surface close to you and the baby.
The other person can use the inkless towlette to wipe over the babies palm and fingers ensuring that all the skin has been touched by the wipe, don't worry if baby clenches their fist and closes up their fingers at this point, as long as you have wiped the skin it will still be captured on the paper.
Very gently open up babies fingers and place open hand onto the paper, if you can touch each little knuckle to make sure it has touched the paper and then lift off. It can be helpful (depending on the height of the table) for the parent who has baby on their lap to stand or hold the baby up a little, so that baby is slightly higher than the paper.
Whilst your about to touch babies hand onto the paper, try to splay the fingers slightly, so they are spaced out. Wash babies hands afterwards.
Be tactical about your timing.. it can be helpful to feed your baby whilst capturing their handprints or using a special toy or treat to distract them momentarily, although, this is counterproductive if it is something that they will imediately want to grab with their hands!
Capturing a babies footprint, is relatively straight forward in comparison to a handprint. If you are capturing a footprint from an older child, you will find it much easier to put the magic paper on the floor and have the child step onto it. For babies, have one parent lift up so that the foot can be placed onto the paper on the table. Press gently on each toe knuckle to ensure that it touches the paper.