When I taught Baby Massage, back when Sidney was a baby, I found a lot of parents would talk about this topic. From the older generations you will probably hear that wearing socks for bed is a must for a baby as it means they will sleep better. So what is the answer? Do babies sleep better with socks on?
Here are 4 reasons sleeping with socks on can help your little one get a good nights sleep:
1. Socks help your little one to fall asleep faster
Studies have shown that having warm feet can help baby drift off to sleep quicker. Just like playing a lullaby or white noise helps little ones to relax, creating a cosy environment supports good sleep. Remember a baby’s feet should be covered at night if they need and want them covered, you don’t have to cover your baby’s feet but it might benefit them and help them to relax.
Covering a baby’s feet at night can create the same sense of security as being tucked in. The feet along with the head are a key place where babies can lose heat, covering up this area will help prevent the loss of heat and maintain their body temperature.
2. Socks Help to regulate their body temperature
Temperature regulation is an important part of falling asleep. Surprisingly, warming a baby’s skin temperature can decrease their core body temperature by expanding blood vessels near the skin. A low core temperature is needed for sleep, so putting socks on at bedtime can help you baby nod off easier than if they weren’t wearing any.
3. Socks Increases blood circulation
Wearing socks to bed increases blood circulation to baby's feet. This, in turn, speeds up the rate at which your core temperature drops. Feet, hands, and ears are the places humans loose heat fastest. So, anything that speeds up blood flow to these areas will help you lower baby’s body temperature.
4. Socks are Easy to remove if body temperature is too warm
The main benefits of opting for socks over a sleepsuit with feet in are that they are easy to remove if baby’s body temperature gets too warm making it easier to regulate. This works very well if you are sleeping in a very warm environment where a sleep suit with feet in isn’t required.
If the room in which your baby is sleeping is particularly cold you can also layer socks over the sleep suit, but regularly check that baby is comfortable and not too hot.
Babies and toddlers quite often get cold hands and feet during sleep time, and many people will say it’s normal and nothing to worry about as long as the room temperature is at the correct level. However as parents we never want our babies to be cold!
Things to consider
It’s important you choose the right socks for your baby, this means a soft, natural, breathable material such as cotton. Avoid socks with tight elastic tops as this can restrict blood flow; and if used excessively, they can cause sock-line hyperpigmentation or sock-line bands (you can read more about that here).
When it comes to size you don’t want socks that are too loose. It’s possible for babies to wriggle out of loose socks. Our cosy socks are a great option for this. Warm socks and comfortable with our stay-on knit.
Socks are also a great option if you plan on dressing your baby in something cooler or in pyjamas that do not cover the feet.
Choosing soft cotton socks is a great way to keep your baby’s feet nice and warm without being too hot or stuffy.
One concern some parents might have is that if baby does wriggle out of the socks then they could become a choking hazard. The type of the sock can help here. If you choose a calf length sock or one with a stay-on knit they will be harder for little one to wriggle out of and pose less of a risk.
You will also want to keep an eye on the room temperature where your baby sleeps. If it's colder in the winter months then socks make sense but remember to change the way you dress your little one for sleep as the seasons change so that they don’t overheat in the warmer months. Remember babies can’t regulate their own temperature until they are 2 years old and overheating your baby can lead to SID’s if they are under 1 year old.
Let me know your verdict! Did putting socks on at bedtime help your baby or toddler sleep?Have a great week!