Babies take their socks off. All. The. Time. It’s like they’re doing it to frustrate us, or to make us worry about whether they are warm and comfortable enough. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t just stop with babies! There’s a good chance you will be finding random socks in your home for years to come!)
The thing about babies that is easy to forget, is that they are discovering the world around them for the very first time. As they grow and develop they are constantly finding new things to get to know, and when you can’t move very far – the easiest thing to start to get to know is your own body.
Babies take off their socks as they explore the world around them – it gives them new information about their feet and surroundings. It can help with development as well as encourage discovery, so try to give your child the opportunity to learn with their socks in a safe (and warm!) environment.
So what is the deal with baby socks? If babies take them off all the time, is it really necessary for you to keep putting them back on?
Do babies need to wear socks all the time?
If your baby is in a temperate environment then they don’t need to wear socks all the time, though they may help baby regulate their body temperature. Socks can also help protect baby feet from injury if they’re crawling around on hard floors without footwear.
They work as a barrier between the skin and the ground, which helps to regulate temperature and moisture for your baby’s feet. They also help to keep feet warm, which can be especially helpful if your baby has just started crawling.
If it’s cold where you are then why not try different materials to see how warm baby’s feet get? It might surprise you just what a difference there is between cotton socks, and ones made from slinky wool.
Your baby’s development relies on their senses, so where possible give them an opportunity to go barefoot – bare feet and toes will help your baby experiment with their movement, especially as they are learning to crawl and walk.
How can I stop my baby from taking their socks off?
If you’re having trouble keeping socks on your little one, you could consider specific brands and styles which are designed to solve this age-old problem.
One of the popular ones is Sock Ons – their tagline is “clever little things that keep baby socks on”! Sock Ons are tubes made of stretchy material that have cutouts for baby’s toes and heel – there designed to go on over the top of your child’s normal socks to keep them on. Sock staying products like this are fantastic for new arrivals up to crawlers, but are not suitable for those who are walking, or for use under baby shoes.
Many brands of baby socks include different sections of stretchy material at the top to the foot section to help the socks stay on. Some socks also include a bottom which more closely resembles soft shoes for babies who are just learning to walk.
Mocc Ons are moccasin-style slipper socks that have a leather sole attached to a stretch cotton sock. they come in all sorts of colors and patterns, and despite being made of leather they are still washable! Just keep in mind that these are inside socks only.
If you have a crawler or walker who is heading outside in dry conditions, the Steelement Baby Sneaker could be the solution here. They have a flexible rubber sole that is paired with a cotton blend sock topper.
What age do babies pull their socks off?
Babies begin exploring their feet at anywhere from 4 months old to 8 months old. When babies discover their feet, they typically try to consume them! It’s a fantastic activity for young children. For infants, toe tasting is relaxing and gratifying. Not all infants do the same things at the same age though, so don’t worry if your baby doesn’t find their feet tasty!
Your baby’s hands are not very coordinated yet, but they are learning about the things around them. As a result of this, everything they discover while exploring will frequently be put in their mouth – they’re using as many of their senses as possible to get to know their world.
Should babies wear socks to bed?
Before you put on your baby’s socks for sleep, consider how the room baby will sleep in feels to you.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says people should dress their children in one more layer than they would feel comfortable with themselves- so if it is cold out and you’ve got a long sleeve shirt on, you’d also put your baby in a jumper, or a heavier weight sleeping bag and singlet for sleep.
If your baby’s socks don’t stay on overnight, consider a sleepsuit that has attached socks, or if their pajamas have elasticated bottoms to the pant legs, put the bottoms of the pants over the tops of the socks. Don’t forget to account for any other sleeping bags or bedding – these count as layers you need to consider, too.
A far more critical problem is that your infant becomes too hot. This is especially true when they’re asleep, since over-heating raises their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The NICHD advises that the room temperature for your baby’s sleep area be set to a comfortable temperature for you, the parent, and that you check on your child frequently to ensure he or she isn’t overheating.
How to keep socks on a toddler?
Toddlers are usually very active, so their socks are more likely to come off. With toddlers, try to think of the practicalities of the activity they will be doing while wearing socks. This could mean putting on a pair with grips on the bottom for extra stability and traction if they’re going to be on tiles or floorboards, for example.
One thing which helped me was to buy socks in the size up from my boys’ current size. They were long enough to almost reach their knees, so when tucked up under their pants it made it significantly harder for my boys to take them off.
If your toddler refuses to keep their socks on, there are a few safe methods to keep tiny feet warm at night. Pajamas with attached socks aren’t just for babies – you can get onesies and footed pajama pants in adult sizes, too! Something like this 3 pack of Carter’s pjs with attached feet might be what you need.
You could also consider trying to draw more attention to your child’s socks by making them special. If you can find a matching pair of socks for siblings or even a special set for the whole family, you might find your toddler is more willing to keep their socks on by choice.
In conclusion – it is totally normal for babies to take their socks off!
Babies take their socks off for a variety of reasons. They explore and discover everything they can, and as such, put anything in their mouths that they come across. This is why it’s important to consider the room temperature when determining if your baby will need more layers at night – you want them to be comfortable! Whether or not babies should wear socks depends on what other clothes are worn with them, how cold it is outside, and whether or not there is carpeting in the house.
Toddlers are more likely to play with their socks, so consider footed pajamas if you’re hoping they’ll stay on longer. You can also buy socks in the next size up to help them stay on. It is important to remember that it is okay for babies and toddlers to take their socks off as they are growing, and provided they are appropriately warm (especially in winter) it is actually a fantastic part of their development.