How to Get Your Baby’s Footprints From the Hospital

One of the most cherished keepsakes for parents is their baby’s footprints. These tiny imprints capture a special moment in time and serve as a beautiful reminder of their little one’s arrival. Many hospitals offer the opportunity to obtain these footprints before you leave, but it’s not always clear how to do so. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your baby’s footprints from the hospital.

1. Inquire about footprints: Before your baby is born, ask your healthcare provider or the hospital staff if they provide footprints. Many hospitals offer this service, but it’s always good to confirm.

2. Request footprints during registration: When you arrive at the hospital for delivery, let the registration staff know that you would like to have your baby’s footprints taken. They will make a note of it in your file.

3. Inform your nurse: Once you are settled in your room, inform your nurse that you would like to have footprints taken. They will coordinate with the appropriate staff to ensure it is done.

4. Choose the right moment: Footprints are usually taken when the baby is a few hours old and after the initial medical checks have been completed. The timing may vary, so be sure to communicate your preference to the nurse.

5. Provide a keepsake: Some hospitals may provide special paper or a certificate for footprints, while others may ask you to bring your own. If required, hand over the designated keepsake to the staff.

6. Prepare your baby’s foot: To ensure clear and legible prints, gently wash your baby’s foot with warm water and pat it dry. Avoid using any lotions or oils that may smudge the prints.

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7. Apply non-toxic ink: Hospital staff will use non-toxic ink pads specifically designed for newborns. These pads are safe and easy to use. They will press your baby’s foot onto the ink pad and then onto the designated paper or certificate.

8. Double-check the prints: Once the footprints are taken, take a moment to review them. Make sure they are clear and not smudged. If you are not satisfied, politely request a re-do.

9. Keep them safe: After receiving the footprints, handle them with care. Place them in a protective sleeve or frame to prevent any damage. Store them in a safe place, away from direct sunlight or moisture.


1. Can I get my baby’s footprints if I forgot to request them at the hospital?
Unfortunately, if you did not request footprints during your hospital stay, it may not be possible to obtain them afterwards.

2. Can I take my own ink pad to the hospital?
It’s best to check with your hospital beforehand if they allow external ink pads. Some hospitals have specific guidelines in place for hygiene and safety.

3. What if my baby’s foot is too small or curled up?
The healthcare staff are experienced in taking newborn footprints, even if the baby’s foot is tiny or not fully extended. They will ensure the best possible outcome.

4. Can I get footprints if I had a home birth?
If you had a home birth, you can contact a local print service that specializes in baby footprints. They will guide you on how to capture the prints and create a keepsake for you.

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5. Can I get footprints if my baby is in the NICU?
In most cases, footprints can still be obtained even if your baby is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Speak to the hospital staff and they will assist you accordingly.

6. How long does the process of taking footprints usually take?
The process of taking footprints is relatively quick, usually taking just a few minutes. However, it may vary depending on the hospital’s policies and the availability of staff.

7. Can I get footprints if my baby is stillborn?
In the unfortunate event of a stillbirth, hospitals often offer the opportunity to obtain footprints as a way to honor and remember your baby. Speak to the hospital staff for guidance and support.

8. Are digital footprints available?
Some hospitals may offer the option of digital footprints, where a scan or photograph of the baby’s foot is taken and provided to the parents. Inquire about this possibility during your hospital stay.

9. Can I get footprints if I had a C-section?
Yes, footprints can still be taken even if you had a C-section. The process remains the same, and the healthcare staff will accommodate your needs.

Capturing your baby’s footprints is a wonderful way to commemorate their arrival. By following these steps and communicating your desire to the hospital staff, you can ensure that you have this precious keepsake to cherish for years to come.