Almost every person who comes to visit you and your newborn brings a set of clothes for the baby. You have multiple sets of everything you need- diapers, bibs, towels, wraps and clothes. However, not many people focus on socks for the baby. Come to think of it; not many people consider socks to be a part of a baby’s wardrobe, even after the baby is a few months old. So, why are socks important for your newborn?
Baby socks may seem like a trivial purchase, but good socks are essential for keeping your baby’s feet warm and protected. Socks also help regulate body temperature and are important when the baby is exposed to sunlight or cold weather. If you live in a cold climate, socks could help your baby stay warm in winter, keeping them free of cold and fever.
In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of baby socks and how to choose the right pair for your newborn.
Why are socks important for a baby?
Newborn babies are fragile and need all the care. They are not capable of voicing their needs, except by crying – cold could be a reason for crying. Doctors recommend keeping the newborn warm in the initial few months.
Socks do a great job of keeping babies warm while awake or sleeping. They protect the baby’s sensitive skin from the elements- sunlight, heat, cold winds, etc. As the baby grows up and starts crawling or walking, socks protect the skin of the soles of the feet. They can also help the baby sleep without catching a chill.
There are various reasons why baby socks are important for your newborn. Read on to find out more about why this small piece of clothing is essential to your baby’s wardrobe.
Socks help regulate body temperature: Babies are still learning to adapt to their environments. They are less adept at regulating body temperature when compared to adults. Babies born prematurely or with low birth weight may find it even more difficult to stay warm because they have lesser body fat. Winters can especially be harsh on babies. To help your baby stay warm throughout, you can use onesies, long sleeve hoodies, fleece jackets, and pants.
Layering these with accessories like socks will provide an additional layer and help to keep your baby warm and healthy. Nerve endings are most concentrated on human feet, so you feel the chills when you put your feet down on a cold floor. Keeping the feet warm is an excellent way to keep your baby warm, and socks are the best way to do that.
Socks offer protection: A good thick pair of socks will not just help your baby stay warm but also offers protection from bumps. If your baby is just learning to walk, they will be spending a lot of time on their feet, which means they are more likely to bump into things or fall over. Even if your baby is still crawling around, they are likely to get hurt when their feet hit something. Stepping on toys or a rough surface will inevitably happen, no matter how closely you watch your baby. Wearing a thick pair of socks will help soften the bumps and thus protect their feet and keep them safe.
Socks can help prevent falls: If you have hardwood floors in your home, you know how cold they can be. Your baby’s feet are delicate and sensitive, so walking on cold floors can be uncomfortable and painful. Wearing socks will help protect their feet from the cold and make it less likely for them to slip and fall. Newborns are often unsteady on their feet, and socks can help to improve their balance. Thick socks will also make it less likely for your baby to slip.
Socks can help your baby sleep: Babies need to sleep well, and socks can help them. When babies wear socks to bed, they are less likely to wake up because their feet are cold, even if the blankets you have tucked them in move around.
Socks protect delicate skin: Your newborn’s skin is quite delicate and much thinner than those in adults. Wearing a pair of socks can help prevent cuts and scrapes on their delicate skin. Also, when your baby is out in the sun, there is a possibility of getting rashes or sunburns from the sun’s heat. The socks will act as a protective layer against the harsh UV rays of the sun as well.
Socks can help soothe a baby: If your baby is fussy or crying, a pair of socks can help soothe them. The pressure and warmth from the socks can have a calming effect on your baby. Just make sure that the socks are not too tight.
Socks can be a fashion statement: Let’s not forget that babies are trendsetters too! A pair of cute or funky socks can add a style quotient to your baby’s outfit. They can also make for an excellent gift for new parents.
Socks can help keep your baby’s feet clean: Hygiene is as important to a baby as it is to adults, maybe even more essential as your baby has softer and more sensitive skin. Studies have shown that humans can sleep better with a clean body and feet. People who take a shower or wash their feet before bed are sleeping better. Your baby will either crawl or walk around most of the time, and socks can help keep the feet clean. Clean feet translate to better sleep for your baby.
What should I look for when buying socks for my newborn?
There are so many different socks to choose from when you’re picking out a pair for your baby. The simple truth is that it’s not easy; there aren’t any guarantees in this world, and everything important has an option. Materials, styles, construction -these are factors that you should keep in mind when buying new socks.
Let us go over a couple of factors that you should consider when looking for a pair of socks for your baby.
The first thing to consider is the material that the socks are made of and the fibre content. Most socks will be made of a blend of fibres. Socks may not be made of 100% cotton or other fibres because socks need some sort of elastic fibre like spandex or Lycra in the mix to allow them to stretch and fit properly.
Human feet contain sweat glands. Adult socks should absorb moisture and wick it away as well. This is not a priority when it comes to baby socks. Since baby socks play a big role in regulating your baby’s body temperature, the only thing that comes into play is the ability of the material to keep your baby’s feet warm. Keeping this in mind, let us look at the most common materials used to make baby socks.
Cotton: Cotton is the most common and most popular material that you will see baby socks made of. Cotton is affordable and offers good warmth retention. It is also completely natural. When looking at cotton socks, look for ones with a higher yarn count, making the fabric smoother. Another tip is to look for fabric made from cotton grown organically without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.
Merino Wool: While wool is generally associated with cold weather and winter, merino wool can be worn year-round as it is a breathable fabric. The yarn that is made out of this wool is soft and cushiony. While merino wool socks can be quite expensive compared to cotton or nylon socks, these make a good choice for your toddler.
Nylon: Nylon is commonly used in socks with other fabrics like cotton. Most socks will contain about 20% to 50% nylon. Nylon is used in stockings to add durability and strength and allows them to dry quickly after a wash.
Elastane, Spandex, or Lycra: Socks need to stretch and fit properly and not lose shape over time. A small percentage of the fabric content will be an elastic material like elastane, spandex or lycra, usually about 2% to 5%. This will ensure the socks fit properly and stay there.
When looking at baby socks, the things to consider are toe seams and sock top closure type.
Toe Seams: This takes into account how the socks are made. Fabric is first knitted into a tube to make socks. One end of this tube has to be closed with a toe seam that will eventually run across the top of the toes of the person wearing the socks. This can either be done with a machine or by hand. Machine linked toe seams are quite bulky and protrude beyond the cushioning of the socks, making them irritating and uncomfortable for your baby.
The hand-linked toe seams are small and sit within the cushioning of the sock. Socks that come with hand-linked toe seams are a little more expensive than those with machine linked, but they are much more comfortable. When buying baby socks, turn the socks over to check the toe seams to make sure they are not too bulky and will be comfortable for your baby.
Socks top closure type: The quality of the elastic fibre is one factor that determines if the baby socks will stay on. The other is the socks top closure type. Look for double rib stitching when looking for baby socks. Socks with double rib stitching will stay longer because of the double threads, and also the closure will not be too tight. Single stitched ones often leave a mark or become loose faster when compared to double-stitched socks.
Baby and toddler socks are usually available in these three styles:
Ankle Socks: As the name suggests, these socks reach up to the ankles of your infant. These socks are most likely to be the easiest to fall off as they cover the least ground.
Crew Socks: Crew socks are generally between ankle and knee socks that end under the calf muscle. These are the socks that you will find most commonly in the market as they are the most popular type of socks for babies.
Knee High Socks: These socks are longer than crew socks and end below the knee. These socks provide the best warmth and are best paired with boots. These are usually better constructed than the others and mostly feature double rib stitching, so they do not roll down easily.
As with everything else for your baby, make sure you focus on quality and not quantity when picking out socks. A good pair of socks will outlast five cheap pairs and be a better bet in the long run.