It’s common for babies to rub their feet with each other. It usually happens because they have started sensing their body parts, or maybe it is part of their playing activity. Rubbing feet together also helps babies to soothe themselves on their own. However, everything is fine as long as your baby is not crying continuously while rubbing their feet. It can be a sign of discomfort too. In such a situation, you must look into the matter and sort it out as soon as possible.
As babies grow up, they learn and discover new things, rubbing their feet being one of them. They make new faces and start recognizing parts of their body and how they function.
Seeing them grow and accomplish every milestone with time is worth capturing and remembering.
But at times, they do weird things that might make you think if it is common for babies to perform such weird things or is it something you should give attention to. One of the weird habits is to rub their feet together continually.
Why does my baby rub his feet?
Pediatricians and experts say that it’s pretty normal for your baby to rub his feet, eyes, nose, and other parts of his organs. Your baby is merely exploring his body parts and how they move and function.
Here are some reasons explaining why babies rub their feet together:
Figuring out senses
When your baby rubs his feet together, he gets a tickling sensation in his lower limb, which is something new for them. Therefore they repeat such actions to experience that sensation again. It’s also one of your baby’s ways of discovering his lower body.
Part of playing
Your infant can’t run around or play with cars, blocks, and other toys. He performs physical activities like rubbing his feet together, stretching and extending his feet as a part of active playing.
Foot rubbing is also a sign that your little one is figuring out a way to roll over, crawl, and stand.
To self-soothe themselves
Have you noticed that while breastfeeding, your baby either rubs his feet on your tummy or constantly rubs his ear? They do so to self-soothe themselves, and soon it turns into their habit.
Every baby has a different habit, so do not get worried if your little gentleman is doing something your sister’s baby is not doing.
When should I be concerned?
If your baby cries continuously while rubbing his feet, then it is time to look into the matter as it is a clear indication that something is hurting him or he is in discomfort.
Check for other symptoms and signs that he might be giving out for you to understand the problem he is facing.
Symptoms that you should look for
Your little man is too small to communicate and tell you the problem he is facing, so the only way for him to express his discomfort is through crying. Usually, a happy baby rubbing his feet is nothing to worry about; in fact, it is a good sign as your baby is playing on his own.
However, if the baby is continuously crying and rubbing his feet, then it’s his way of telling you that he’s not feeling well.
If such a situation arises, then as a parent, you must look out for the following things.
- Dry and scaly skin, particularly in the ankles
- Scratches or wound
- Tenderness or pain
- Arching back
- Refusing to feed
- Irritable and unusually wakeful
Red, dry and scaly patches indicate that maybe your baby has eczema. Due to the extreme tickling sensation, your baby might be crying while rubbing his feet. Eczema mostly happens in the ankles; therefore, you must check the area where your baby is rubbing his feet.
Intense rubbing of feet together can cause scars and wounds. All thanks to tiny nails. Make sure to cut their toenails and apply some ointment after consulting with your child’s pediatrician on the area that is scratched or wounded.
If you think that your baby is experiencing some kind of pain, then look out for other signs such as arching back. However, if, along with rubbing his feet while crying, your baby has a fever, is cranky, and refuses to feed, then reach out to your pediatrician. For such a condition, your baby requires proper medications.
Rubbing feet together is a very ordinary act that your little one can perform. Both my babies used to rub their feet when they were three months old. It’s the time when they are recognizing the world around them.
Similarly, it’s when they start to discover their body parts, what they can do with them, and how they move. So it’s very common for your baby to rub his feet together, stretch his feet, fold and bend them. With time, this habit will fade away.
The only time you should be concerned is when your little one continually cries while rubbing his feet, as it is a clear indication that he is not feeling well, is in discomfort, or experiencing some kind of pain.
Do let us know whether your little rubbed his feet just for fun or was it something alarming. Feel free to share your opinion and experience in the comment section below!