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Our house is reasonably cold (and try to keep it that way) and so I insist that aside from summer, the kids wear socks; including for sleep.

The problem is that they take the socks off - it seems like, in their sleep. BOTH of them. No matter what kinds of socks we get them - loose or tight. Short or longer.

Whatever we tried, didn't work:

  • Talking to them is useless. They seem to be kicking the socks off either while asleep or in dreamy state, not consciously.

  • Warming the room up isn't something we are willing to consider

  • We considered footed pajamas but they don't sell those for ages above toddler (they are in preschool/elementary school age range).

  • "simply keep their feet covered with a blanket" is a fantasy land proposition for us - they are both very active sleepers and rarely stay UNDER a blanket for longer than half the night.

What other approaches can I try to deal with that situation?

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Why do you insist the take their socks on? Your kids seem old enough to be intelligent about this. If they're more comfortable with them off, then let them take them off. It seems likely that is the case - I've always been happier sleeping with socks off, and while I don't have any real evidence, I've been taught that it is healthier to sleep with bare feet (various supposed reasons, including air flow and skin sloughing, avoiding sweat buildup, etc.) We keep our house reasonably cool (63F at night in the winter) and have active sleepers and they manage w/o socks. Just use warmer PJs. – Joe May 23 '14 at 13:41
@DVK I question the premise because without knowing the reasoning, it's hard to supply valid solutions. Like Joe, I'm not really sure why this is an issue that needs to be solved unless I understand what the issue actually is. – Doc May 23 '14 at 14:43
@DVK If the kids want their feet cold at night (some people sleep better when their feet are colder - I know I do) and no physical harm comes to them (I assume your place isn't so cold they're going to get frost bite - and even if it is, they'd get uncomfortable well before hand and wake up - probably put socks on themselves), then I don't see why it's a parent's problem. Now, if they complain of cold feet despite unconsciously taking off their own socks, then we've got issues to discuss. – Doc May 23 '14 at 14:48
Cold feet don't cause colds. A virus causes a cold. Since there is no orifice on your feet that leads directly into the respiratory system, your not going to contract a cold from them. I don't think comparing wearing socks to eating ice cream at every meal is at all similar. – ChristopherW May 23 '14 at 15:11
How old are the children? How cold is cold? Safe temperatures are 16 celcius to 20 celcius. If the room is colder than that you need to increase the temperature of the room to avoid illness. If the room is in that range the children will self regulate their temperature by removing or adding clothes. You could use infant sleeping bags (if they're small enough), or you could learn to tuck blankets around the mattress. – DanBeale May 24 '14 at 8:49

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you're insisting on the socks staying on no matter what, you might have to hack some footie pajamas of your own. Sew some thick long socks to the legs of the pj's; that should do it.

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I like that! Now that I recall, I think that's what my parents did when I was little - they didn't even have a concept of footie pajamas where I grew up. – user3143 May 23 '14 at 14:00
You could also just try longer socks. If the socks came above the knees, they would take an awful lot of kicking to remove while sleeping. – MJ6 May 25 '14 at 20:54

What other approaches can I try to deal with that situation?

I see five general options:

  1. Take Valkyrie's approach of hacking your own footie pajamas.

  2. Make the children's room colder, to encourage them to want socks on. This doesn't strike me as a great approach, since they may simply bundle up in more blankets, rather than put on socks.

  3. Make the children's room warmer, so that you feel more comfortable with them not wearing socks.

  4. Decide that trying to enforce a sock rule is not worth the effort, and simply drop the restriction.

  5. Come up with more comfortable footware aside from footie pajamas. Perhaps a loosely-knit crocheted set of socks might be more comfortable for them, resulting in them being left on. You may even be able to find some that secure with a draw-string, making it more difficult for them to be unconsciously removed. A more breathable mesh might provide some relief from the cold, without causing the feet to become too hot, if, in fact, that's what is prompting them to keep them on.

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"Make the children's room colder, to encourage them to want socks on." - since they don't seem to take them off consciously, that won't work (they took them off in pretty cold conditions - as in, they voluntarily put warmer extra cloths over pajamas those nights) – user3143 May 23 '14 at 15:08
@DVK If they're taking them off because the socks aren't comfortable, no, it won't work, but if they're taking them off because their feet are too warm, it might work if you dropped the temperature even lower. Still, I realized I missed something key from my answer, so I'm editing it. – Beofett May 23 '14 at 15:10

Garters are made for the express purpose of keeping socks pulled up. Might be worth a try.

Also, while somewhat hard to find, footed sleepers for bigger kids are totally available. My 5'4" 13-year-old has a set that he still wears; they're Cherokee, one of the Target house brands, though I don't see anything on their site right now. But Big Feet PJs seems to specialize in footed pajamas for warmth-seekers of all ages and sizes.

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Why is it a requirement for them to keep their socks on? If they are kicking them off in their sleep and not waking up cold they were probably hot when they kicked them off (consciously or not!). My house is usually in the 50's in the winter and I do not wear socks! They are very uncomfortable for me, slippery and mean that I must either wear slippers or shoes all day. I don't like wearing shoes and I don't have slippers. I frequently go outside barefoot when it is well below freezing and have even walked barefoot in the snow. So I never have seen a real necessity to wear socks or shoes unless I am going someplace.

If the children are waking up cold then you should consider sewing a pair of socks to the base of each child's p.j. pants.

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I wasn't asking WHETHER the kids should have the socks on, so this doesn't answer the question in any way, shape or form (and the tucked on last sentence repeats what previous answers said). – user3143 Mar 16 at 13:58
@user3143 I understand that. However, I also wanted to make sure you had taken into consideration the fact that maybe they shouldn't be required to keep their socks on. Also, although I did copy what the above answer said, I most likely would have said the same thing anyway. – L.B. Mar 16 at 19:43
considering that their feet are usually cold to the touch on occasions we care about, the assumption in the second sentence also is likely wrong. – user3143 Mar 16 at 21:28
@user3143 Haha... Yeah, I understand that part! My feet are always cold. Half the time I don't even notice though... Not till my mom goes,"Leah, your feet are freezing." I'm just sitting there going oh, okay XD. – L.B. Mar 16 at 22:31

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