Does your baby have smelly summer feet? Here are a few home remedies that can take away that stink.
Babies are just full of strange odors. That’s probably no surprise to any mom, but what may be surprising to some new moms is that sometimes a terrible odor can come from an expected place: their feet.
We usually associate bad foot odors with star athletes and runners who spend all day in a pair of sneakers that wind up smelling like everyone in a gym locker room died in a set of footwear. But bad smells can even hit the extremely young, especially if your baby spends a lot of time outdoors in a single pair of shoes.
Luckily, getting rid of a baby’s foot odors is usually a lot easier than fixing an adult’s. Also, the solutions are basically the same for infants as they are for full-grown children, er, I mean husbands.
We’ll start with the one baby-centric solution to foot smells. If you’re lotioning up your baby’s feet then you might want to skip it when they start to smell. Foot odors are almost always caused by bacteria, which breed and feed in moisture. Some can even feed on the lotion you’re applying to keep your baby’s feet all smooth and soft. But if those feet start to smell it could be because of over-applying cream. If that happens, cut back on the essential oils or just skip them altogether.
Your second fix for smelly feet is cotton socks. Cotton tends to be more absorbent than moisture-wicking synthetic fibers, so it can cut down on a foot’s humidity problems. But it also tends to suck up some of the bacteria that might be causing a funk. The solution here is to simply remove your baby’s socks and cycle them out regularly to prevent a buildup.
The third solution is to buy more shoes. Bacteria can also build up in shoes if your baby spends a lot of time in a single pair, and sometimes the time between having a toddler’s tootsies stuffed in them isn’t enough time for them to air out (and thus have that bacteria die-off to the point of not smelling anymore). You don’t need to have a closet full of baby shoes, but one or two extra pairs can really help cut down on sneaker smells.
Our next fix is to just wash your little one’s feet with something antibacterial. There are plenty of soaps that do that, although you’ll want to be sure that the one you pick up is gentle enough for your baby’s skin. You can even use white vinegar if you’re really cash-strapped, although then your baby’s feet will smell like vinegar instead of soap. But perhaps that’s better than foot smell?
Finally, you can use cornstarch, talcum, or just plain old baking soda. Put a thin layer of the stuff on your toddler’s hind paws to cut back on moisture in the same way an adult might use Gold Bond. But don’t actually use Gold Bond–that stuff is a little more potent than a baby’s feet can endure.