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Socks and Your Baby - Babies Hands and Feet Do and Don'ts

Updated on May 16, 2012
Knitted Booties Photo from How Stuff Works.
Knitted Booties Photo from How Stuff Works.

So you've just brought your beautiful, new little baby home. She is as sweet as a button. So cute, so cuddley, even her cries make you smile. You've probably got lots of little baby socks in neat little pairs, even if it's the middle of summer. All sorts of pretty colors. "Those pwetty wittew feetsies need to stay warm. Yes they do. Ha yes they do."


Well, as the days pass, you're going to go through a lot of socks and lots of little loads of laundry. Not only are you obsessed with keeping everything that touches your sweet little one's skin, clean and fresh, but your little one has lots of tarry, sticky, dear lord, smelly, poops. "Don't you sweet thing. What a great job you're doing. Yes ma'm!"

Your little baby tries really hard to be big and strong. Those arms and legs try so hard to do... well... something.

This is especially true during diaper changing time.

It is during this time that you realize your baby has your spouse's sense of humor (not yours).

Yes, baby thinks it's a load of fun to stick the heel of her foot into the poopy diaper. It's a fun challenge, and one that babies do not take lightly.

That foot of hers is probably covered in a sock. If it's not, no problem, baby wipe what cute little foot clean. If it is, then you've got some laundry to take care of.

You are probably also noticing that your baby's diaper does not fit as well as the advertising claims say they do. You'll soon find yourself trying all sorts of brands as you weed out the liars, and the sort of liars.

A mother's tip (or note to self): Take off socks before changing diaper no matter how confident (aka out of your mind tired) you are that baby will be most cooperative.


Photo by KatalinsMom See related links for more information.
Photo by KatalinsMom See related links for more information.

Time to wash those socks...

In the mean time, you've got pee. Pee everywhere.

  • on sheets
  • on blankies
  • on nearby toys
  • on your clothes
  • down baby's leg
  • on baby's soaked sock

Ah yes, baby's soaked sock (with or without foot). You'll need to be washing that, won't you.

If you're lucky enough to have a washer and dryer at home, no problem. If you don't, well, you'll have to stick the baby in the laundry bucket and lug him to the laundry room or laundrymat with you. If she pees, well, it's laundry, so don't worry.

At least don't worry yet.

I know that you have taken great care to make sure you're using Dreft, or some other kind of special laundry detergent that won't make your baby's skin all itchy and bumpy. Just in case.

You're smiling, proudly at yourself, as well you should be, and wait for the washing machine cycle to finish. Now you're smiling as you pull the laundry with you baby's fresh clean socks out of the washing machine and you put them into the dryer carefully. You can't wait! But you have to.

  • You wait. Forever. You forgot how long it takes a dryer to run its course.
  • Your baby starts crying.
  • You're getting hungry.
  • You're tired.
  • The beeper to the clothes dryer sounds.

Don't you wish your laundrymat looked... more... like me?  Doncha?
Don't you wish your laundrymat looked... more... like me? Doncha?

Your eyes light up. You pull out the laundry fresh and warm. Reminds you of soft warm toasty bread. This makes you hungrier. You'd fold everything, but you decide you'll wait till you get home. You pull out a pair of socks to put on your baby while the laundry is still warm.

It's now time to worry.

I'm smiling, (with sympathy, of course), at poor you right now.


Well, either your baby's foot has grown, which is entirely possible, or, and more probable, your baby's sock has just shrunk in the dryer. They didn't tell you it would do that. And they didn't tell you what a difference that was going to make. You start to pull and tug and stretch those darn little sockies, to no avail.

You start to cry. Tired and hungry and now this...

Okay, so shrinkage doesn't happen for everyone or every time.  But it could.  Are you prepared?  Did you get a variety of brands and materials, just in case?


Baby socks: going, going, gone!

Let me just tell you right here and now, those baby socks don't last long so you'd better be well stocked up.

They'll get outgrown, FAST.

They will also shrink, FAST.

And yes, that sense of humor spoken of earlier concerning the foot in the exposed diaper poopies, well, those little feet do their best to rub and kick those all important socks off, FAST.

They WILL get lost.

  • At the store,
  • in the car,
  • in the crib,
  • onto the floor, where they get shuffled by YOUR feet to who knows where, only to be found when they don't matter anymore.


And don't ever think of your baby's socks as an investment. They do not make very good hand-me-downs; not shrunk and stained (just wait till you start the Gerber's baby food), and lost.

May I reiterate here that you simply cannot have enough socks for baby?

  "I'm laughing right now because I'm going to slip these right off in a minute and get mommy feeling frustrated.  Hee hee hee."
"I'm laughing right now because I'm going to slip these right off in a minute and get mommy feeling frustrated. Hee hee hee."
I look so cute and sweet.  I look like I'd stay on just fine.  However I slide off very easily and, in the end, don't do much good.  So sorry.  ----    Photo found at
I look so cute and sweet. I look like I'd stay on just fine. However I slide off very easily and, in the end, don't do much good. So sorry. ---- Photo found at


  • Your baby's hands move just as eratically as their legs.
  • They're nails are very sharp.
  • You baby's face is soft and sweet.

See where I'm going with this yet?

Baby's tend to scratch up their face... a lot! And even if we keep their nails groomed all the time (yeah, good luck there), the itty bitty fingernails against baby's soft and sensitive skin, can, and will, make scratch marks which can get infected.

Many people buy hand mittens specially made for this purpose. I'm here to tell you that those hand mittens, gorgeous and cute as they may be, simply don't stay on. If you have a pair that actually works, let me know the brand, please! Otherwise, don't waste your money.

Instead, use your baby's socks.

  • they fit perfectly
  • add extra cush to their crazy arms
  • are difficult for your baby to take off
  • are a great way to recycle those baby socks that have lost their match

Just please make sure you take them off if your baby is sleeping or well occupied by you, so that your baby's hands can breathe. You will want to make sure that you wipe their hands with warm water on a washcloth after taking them off, especially if your baby's hands have gotten a bit sweaty.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hey everyone, I'm a new parent and I am trying to get my two month daughter to sleep through the night. Right now I'm fortunate to get three hours rest each night. Does anyone have any advice? Regards

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      2patricias, yes, still happy times. Though I'm so glad it's over! Now for a whole other set of sock problems. Worse than before? I don't know, but socks have become more elusive than ever before. Do I blame new washers and dryers? Is it magic? Is it sock evolution? Hmmmm. One shall never know I'm afraid.

      Seph, you're guess is as good as mine on where those darn socks go, but I've got a million 1/2 pairs of socks. Glad you liked. I agree, super duper cute!!! Sigh.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Super duper cute! Now that my babies are 7, 10 and 13, it seems like so long ago they were wearing baby socks. Still... I have no idea where all their socks go. We must have a sock-eating washing machine. :)

    • 2patricias profile image


      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Both of us have two children -long ago grown up - but this hub brings back memories about what hard work it was to look after a baby. Still, happy times!

      Although our children have left home, neither of us has banished the sock monster. Where do socks go?

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Thanks Dorsi. Glad to see you hear. Oh I sooooo know about the sock monster. There's a whole family of them living in my dryer. Seriously. I can't tell you how many times I either need to go out to buy new socks or I make the kids go to school with socks that sort of match. Most of the time I choose a color for each child and buy about ten pairs each. This tactic will usually save me three or four months before I have to go back to Target, lol.

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 

      9 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Wonderful hub with so much TRUTH in it!! Love your sense of humor. I might add that there is that sock monster in the dryer that eats up socks too! You probably know about him too, right??

      Way thumbs up!!!!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Okay, that's innovative. What an idea, oh you're good! Smart thinking! And you're right, no one but you will know. Probably helps their knees when they're crawling too.

    • Christa Dovel profile image

      Christa Dovel 

      10 years ago from The Rocky Mountains, North America

      After my second son, I gave up on socks, and left my boys barefoot -- until I realized that no one but me would know if they were wearing stockings. Now I use stockings instead of socks for any kid that can't dress himself.

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      OMG totally. I bet if you lawn saled them there'd be mom's going "Yes! A match," and calling all their mom friends to come over so they could find matches too. =D I have to admit I do make them go out with mismatched socks (I love winter cause no one can really tell.) I figure at least they're clean.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      HAHAHAHA :0 LMAO!! I have been through every one of these scenarios! I learned quickly after my 1st born the "always remove socks prior to diaper changing" rule!! My second refuses to wera socks at all, 1st chance he gets, they're off. BTW, I have lost more socks at this point then I care to admit...I am about to start making mismatched "pairs"...not that I've sent them out like that or anything....hehe Maybe I should put all the loner socks in a big bin and put them out in the yard sale--then all the other sockless moms can buy a match :)

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      They are oh so cute! And yes, the laundry gets insane, and even more insane the older they get.

    • SweetiePie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Very good points about baby socks Frieda. The amount of laundry that my sister did once she had a baby skyrocketed with all the washing of the baby clothes, but they are oh so cute.

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hello terrowhite. So glad you enjoyed. Much appreciated.

    • terrowhite profile image


      10 years ago

      Good hub! And I would forget to say that you have written well. I wondered how things came up.

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hey there Everyday Miracles. rofl! That is so funny and pretty much what I ended up doing. I still do that. Summer is a godsend isn't it?! So glad you enjoyed and shared your sock story with us. :)

    • Everyday Miracles profile image

      Becki Rizzuti 

      10 years ago from Indiana, USA

      This really had me laughing. We have taken to simply buying a new package of socks for our sixteen month-old whenever the previous package goes empty. She is always losing socks and I am looking forward to the summer when she isn't going to need them!

      Great hub!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Thanks Cindy. I know. All I could say as I was looking at baby sock photos was awww, with little pangs of memory and nostalgia. And okay, perhaps a bit of desire. But I'm not going down that road again. Kids do love their socks, don't they?

    • Cindy Letchworth profile image

      Cindy Letchworth 

      10 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      Awww....little socks. I found a pair of little black socks on my end table yesterday. They are my nephew's, and he wanted to take them off after Easter dinner. The socks are so cute and small, I want to keep them just for the memory, but I know my nephew will be looking for them sooner or later. He may be only just three, but he loves socks and their wonderful comfort.

      Cute hub, Freida.

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Thanks JPSO138! Much appreciated.

      For anyone that doesn't know, JPSO138 teaches people how to save lives. Visit his article on cpr for children here:

    • JPSO138 profile image


      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      You really know how to catch people's attention. Great hub!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hey there Dottie, glad you enjoyed and that I could bring back some ewy gooey memories lol. Awesome. And thanks.

    • Dottie1 profile image


      10 years ago from MA, USA

      LOL, funny funny hub all us mothers can relate to.  Thanks for taking me back 18 yrs. to the little lost and pooey socks.  My socks get lost in pairs now and I can usually find them in my daughters sock drawer. 

      Who doesn't have a picture of their babies in a laundry basket?

      I'm on my way to vote now!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      lol! Thanks Shalini. Hah!-"the bang-in-the-poo sock", well put! I've got at least 10 more years (crossing fingers) before grandchildren. By then I'll be more than ready. Tired, but ready. So glad you enjoyed.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      10 years ago from India

      Great read - so funny and yet so very true. It's been around seventeen years for me but this brought it all back! The soaked sock, the missing sock, the bang-in-the-poo sock! Must miss it I guess - will have to wait a while for grandchildren and their socks now!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hi Elena!  I'm glad? this article reconfirms your decision lol.  Unfortunately there is a science.  But I have to say I've been glad to have rediscovered it every step of the way. :)

      Hey there tom.  You know, I didn't think I missed them till I wrote this article.  My daughter is 9 1/2 and she wears a size 7 1/2 in women's!  I really really really really miss those little socks, lol.

      Hi MM! They are sooo worth the effort, reguardless of all the times I asked, "why me? what have I gotten myself into?" Thank you MM. So very glad you enjoyed. :)

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      But they are so worth the effort, aren't they, those little babies! Great topic handled with obvious motherly love!! MM

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom rubenoff 

      10 years ago from United States

      Love this. I miss those little socks so much. My son wears a size 12 shoe now.

    • Elena. profile image


      10 years ago from Madrid

      Hello, Frieda! I'm ALL cracked up at this piece! Geez weez who knew baby socks were such an obscure science! I'm SO glad I decided kids and their cute little socks weren't for me! Laugh! GREAT article, fantastic photos & captions! You gotta adore those kiddos and their poor mooms!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Thanks Laughing Mom! Always a pleasure to see your avatar. Glad you came by. I published too late for her. She may pop in tonight. Maybe I do have a sock fetish, I don't know. I do seem to have lots of sock problems and solutions lol. The solutions being very much like yours, none, at least for myself. Footies, well, you heard my story in the comments, sigh. Glad you enjoyed.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      10 years ago

      I think you have a sock fetish, Frieda. And I'm a bit shocked Elena hasn't been here yet....

      I very rarely used baby socks for these very reasons! My middle one was the only one born during cold weather, and I always had clothes that had footies in them on her.

      I was really wondering how this children's apparel hubmob thing would go, but you've done very well here!

      Great job, my friend!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hi circusmama! We only had luck with the footed sleepers with one of our kids. The rest were too kicky. You've just brought back some hysterical memories! omg thank you! lol. I am so happy to hear so many moms know about the socks on the hands. And yes at first they are so darn hard to cut. I'm getting anxious just thinking about it. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      RK, thanks much!

    • RKHenry profile image


      10 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

      I'd have to agree with CrisA, cute hub!

    • circusmama profile image


      10 years ago from Michigan

      How cute! My babies always lost socks, so I tended to stick with the little footed sleepers. We always put them on their hands too - those little finger nails are sharp and so hard to cut at first!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      I noticed it after. But not after the first time. The stories we have to tell. Every time we think we're alone, we're really not. Some other mom out there is laughing or crying with us.

      Glad you enjoyed jjrubio.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I can't take credit for coming up with it on my of the many tricks my mom taught me! =)

      did you notice it before or after drying? it must have been too high setting like you say- anyhow this is a cute hub and very funny that alot of us moms have been through it all!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hey jjrubio.  Thanks for stopping in and your welcome.  I think my shrinking problem came from using cotton socks maybe?  Or maybe I dried them at too high a setting.  I don't know.  A girlfriend of mine had brought that up once and we had a nice venting about the situation.  And that portal, I'm sayin'!  Jeesh.  Don't know what happens there. Awesome that you used the sock trick too. I remember when I "figured it out". I was so pleased with myself, lol.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      thanks for the trip down memory lane...I also used socks on my babies hands to prevent them from scratching their eyes when they were very little....socks always get lost !! LOL

      and I never had the socks shrink on me...but I always ended up with one sock and no pair...I guess it went to the alternate universe "the land of lost socks" just beyond the portal in the dryer....=)

      Nice HUB!

    • Frieda Babbley profile imageAUTHOR

      Frieda Babbley 

      10 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Hi Cris.  Thank you for saying it's cute.  In this case, it's the appropriate thing to say.  Thanks for being the first to comment. =D

      Hello sammyaddams. Welcome and so glad you enjoyed. It's the crazyest most baffeling thing in the world. And I can never tell if it's the washing machine or the dryer. They're probably partners in crime. lol.

    • sammyaddams profile image


      10 years ago

      Great hub. Being a mother of two I know how quickly kids can get through socks, it's funny how the washing machine seems to have a taste for socks too, you can always count on there being one lone sock.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      This is a cute hub - if it's ever appropriate to describe a hub as cute. And I mean it as a compliment. You mothers have the toughest job, and I salute you for carrying on despite everything and with a smile to boot! :D


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