Getting out of the house when you have a toddler can be painful – there’s a reason they call it the terrible twos, after all. Your toddler may meet each step with defiance, especially when it comes to putting on shoes and their jacket. But for some toddlers, the trouble comes even before they need to put on socks.
It’s not uncommon to have a child who’s resistant to wearing socks with shoes. For some kids (and adults), forgoing socks is just comfier. But from preventing blisters, keeping your feet warm, and hygiene concerns, there are plenty of reasons why wearing socks with shoes is the norm.
If you need to help a fussy toddler become accustomed to wearing socks with shoes, try the following tips. Remember, practice makes perfect, so put in the effort if you want to start seeing results.
Have A Spot For Socks
Many toddlers begin to act out when they don’t feel in control of a situation. If your child feels like they’re being forced to wear socks, they’re more likely to be resistant. So, doing things to help them feel more in control can motivate them to wear socks with no fuss.
Love Very recommends having a designated spot for your child’s socks that’s accessible to them, like a basket or bottom drawer. This will allow them to choose their socks, though toddlers will likely still require help to put them on.
Choose Socks The Night Before
Another way to give your toddler more control over wearing socks is to have them choose the pair they’ll wear the night before, Friday Socks suggests.
Alongside their outfit for the next day, have them lay out the socks. Your child will feel accomplished by making this independent decision, and they’ll look forward to wearing the socks as a sign of their independence, thereby reducing the risk they’ll fuss about keeping the socks on.
Go For A Bigger Size
In general, the smaller the sock, the smore snuggly it’ll fit around your child’s fit. But this can make it more difficult for them to maneuver, which may make them fussier about keeping the sock on.
Try choosing a pair of socks that’s slightly bigger than your toddler needs. It’ll allow them to put the sock on and off with more ease, though parental assistance may still be required. Be careful to ensure the sock isn’t too big to the point where your toddler may trip on them while walking without shoes on.
Choose Breathable Materials
One of the reasons your toddler may be resistant to wearing socks is if they’re uncomfortable. For example, if the socks are too low-rise, the top of your child’s shoes may irritate their skin. Or, perhaps the socks are made of a thick material and are making your toddler too warm.
The takeaway is to be careful when selecting the material of your child’s sock. The comfy they are, the more likely your child will want to keep them on. Prioritize breathable materials like bamboo or cotton, and make sure the sock has a lot of flexibility.
Question The Shoes
If your toddler fusses over socks with a specific pair of shoes, the shoes may be the problem. There may be a feature of the shoe that your toddler doesn’t like when it comes to wearing socks – maybe they become too tight or too sweaty.
At 2-years-old, you can’t expect your toddler to vocalize everything they’re feeling or experiencing. Try evaluating the shoe yourself first; use your hand to feel the inner sole to see if anything sticks out. When talking to your child, use age-appropriate words to ask how they feel about the shoe. Go with your gut if you think the shoe isn’t a good fit.
Pick Your Battles Wisely
Despite your best efforts, you can’t expect to make your toddler like socks immediately or even over time. Some children can be resistant to socks for years. It’s important to remember to pick and choose your battles wisely. While you can’t let your child go out in the snow without socks and boots, it’s another thing to forgo the socks with sneakers if it lets you get out of the house with less of a hassle.
If you constantly get frustrated with your child every time they need to put on socks, it’ll only make the experience more difficult for both of you. Your child will continue to associate socks as something negative, thereby furthering their resistance to wearing them. Meet your child with patience and understanding – just like they need to compromise, so do you.
Sources: Love Very, Friday Socks, Pants and Socks,