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Safe Way to Get a Baby's Hand Print

by Sara Ipatenco

Your baby's sweet little hands don't stay small for very long, and capturing their likeness will help you hold onto that memory. Most methods for getting your baby's hand print are safe, as long as you wash her hands when you're done. Once you know more about the safe ways you can capture her hand print, you can decide which method will help you capture the best memory of her tiny hands.

Ink and Paper

Just like the nurses in the hospital used black ink to print your newborn's feet onto his birth certificate, you can make ink prints of his hands, too. Press your baby's hands into non-toxic, washable ink and press them onto a piece of heavy white paper. Once the ink is dry, you can store the prints in a safe place to look back on in the coming years. If you want to display the hand prints, frame them once they're dry and hang them in your baby's bedroom or another prominent place in your home.

Plaster or Clay

Most retail stores that sell baby gear also stock kits to capture your baby's hand prints. The kits usually come with plaster that you mix with water or with clay that's ready to use. Check the label to be sure it says non-toxic before using the kit. Follow the directions that come with the kit for the best results. According to Kimberly Danger, author of "Complete Book of Baby Bargains: 1,000+ Best Ways to Save Money Every Day," you can do the same project for less money by making your own plaster. Combine 1 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the mixture boil, reduce the heat and stir it until it's thick. Transfer it to a pie pan and let it cool. Once it's cooled, press your baby's hand into the mixture and let the plaster dry.

Paint

Using paint allows you to choose the color you want your baby's hand print to be, which makes it easy to incorporate it into your nursery decor or the decor in another room of your home. Pour a small amount of non-toxic washable paint into a shallow pie tin. Press your baby's hand into the paint and then press it onto a piece of heavy paper. According to the book "Baby Day by Day," you'll probably have to do the project more than once to get a good hand print. Once you've got a clear print, let it dry. Then write the date on it and frame it for a lovely memento of your baby's first days.

Tips and Considerations

Keep in mind that your baby might not want to let you get a hand print. If she's resistant, take a break and try it again the next day. She might wiggle her hand when you press it onto the paper or into the plaster, so be prepared to try several times before getting the perfect print. No matter what medium you use to get the print, always wash your baby's hands when you're done. Even though you're using non-toxic materials, your baby still shouldn't ingest them. Use a baby wipe to get most of the ink, plaster or paint off, and then wash her hands with soap and water.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

  • Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images