Why Does My Baby Feet Stink? What Can I Do About It?

Undoubtedly, babies are blessed with the perfection that we adults can only dream of; be it fragrance, smile, or natural beauty, they have got it all. Our babies have got this sweet, addictive smell that no one can resist. But as they start growing, nature starts taking a toll on them, smelly feet being one. With socks on almost all around the year, it’s understandable why their little soft feet can stink. But is it really just a foul smell and nothing else? I had the same question when I first experienced my baby’s foul-smelling feet. You never know what can go wrong with them at any time, but thankfully it was just a foul smell, and that’s all. Here’s what I did and what you can do about your baby’s stinky feet!

According to a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Claire McCarthy, it is pretty normal for a baby’s feet to stink from time to time. It isn’t necessarily related to a health problem. There’s a very rare chance of feet being smelly as a sign of metabolic illness or early puberty, but that’s followed by other symptoms as well. The human body has the most sweat glands on the sole of the foot than any other body part, around 250,000, which makes sweating pretty justified. The reason why a baby’s feet can start to stink is the same as adults: sweat. Baby’s feet tend to sweat more than adults, providing a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive and leave a stench. By following basic hygiene, you can get rid of this odor in no time. Make sure to keep your baby’s feet clean and dry as much as possible. Keep the socks off while indoor to allow your little one’s feet to breathe, and use the correct shoe size. If your baby is constantly suffering from stinky feet, then make sure to bathe him daily or wash his feet daily can help you deal with the situation. Also, make sure to use socks and shoes made from a natural material because synthetic materials add a lot to the sweatiness and are certainly not for your baby who’s already suffering from stinky feet. Keep changing your baby’s pair of socks to avoid bacteria from thriving in the wet socks. Keep your baby’s towel separate from yours as they may transfer stink-causing bacteria from your feet or anyone else’s in the house to your baby.

Things to do to avoid smelly feet for your baby

Keep them clean

The most important thing to avoid smelly feet is keeping them clean. Wash your little one’s feet right away, whenever they feel a bit wet, by dipping them in water and scrubbing gently. Ensure that you dry your baby’s feet and use a fresh pair of socks after every wash to avoid the bacteria from thriving again.

Use the right socks

Things to do to avoid smelly feet for your baby - use the right socks.

Socks are an essential part of a baby’s life and are worn frequently. Make sure that you buy socks made of lightweight and breathable material like wool, cotton, or special knits. Special knits that are made for athletes are the best, as they absorb the sweat and allow the feet to breathe.

Switch shoes

Make sure to dry the shoes for a couple of days before putting them on your baby again, as wearing the same shoes every day can also make them stinky.

Use correct shoe size

Using tighter shoes can increase your baby’s feet’ tendency to stink greatly, as there is no room for air to circulate. Especially shoes that have no openings at all prove to be the worst for babies.

Use odor eaters

Odor eaters (Amazon link) are safe and harmless for babies. Using a small amount in the boots or shoes can make the odor go away.

Wash, wash, and wash!

Make sure to wash the shoes and socks every day. You can buy shoes that are washable (Amazon link) to avoid any damage to the shoes. Never choose plastic shoes for babies, as they have no room for air circulation within them and are hardest to wash or get rid of the odor.

Wear insoles

Insoles are the best way to prevent feet from stinking for both babies and toddlers. You can either buy them from the store or cut your own from a regular adult insole.

Let your baby go barefoot

Make sure to let your baby’s feet rid of any shoes and socks for some time of the day, especially at night. But avoid taking your baby out of the barefoot as it can invite certain bacteria to live on their feet.

Remedies to get rid of stinky baby feet

Remedies to get rid of stinky baby feet

Household ingredients are the best and most effective for getting rid of smells. They are not only safe and involve no chemicals but are also hassle-free. Using the following ingredients and methods, you can get rid of your baby’s smelly feet phase quickly and harmlessly.


Baby’s feet can hold onto moisture and give way to bacteria to do their smelly magic, especially if they are extra bundled. To avoid your baby’s feet from getting wet, you can use a little bit of talcum powder, baking soda, or corn starch before putting the socks on. These ingredients not only absorb moisture but also neutralize odors without adding any strange smell to them.

Buy more shoe pairs

Another main reason behind those stinky toes is the unavailability of more shoe pairs. Unlike adults, babies do not own a wide range of shoe pairs, which is understandable as their size is changing every week. But making your baby wear the same couple of shoes every day can make their feet stinky as well. Buy a few more pairs, and let the rest of the shoes air out before putting them back on. Canvas and leather shoes are the best for babies as they are breathable and washable.

White Vinegar

For your stinky baby’s feet, wash them with white vinegar mixed in lukewarm water. Vinegar has the ability to fight stink, causing bacteria. Dr. Mark A. Kosinski, a professor at The New York College of Podiatric Medicine, suggests parents soaking their baby’s feet daily in 1-part vinegar and 2-parts water to get rid of the stubborn smell.

Cotton socks

Try keeping your baby’s feet in sandals, if you can, during summer, as it will help them sweaty toes to air out. For closed-toe shoes, make sure that you use cotton socks and not socks made of synthetic fiber or other artificial materials. Pediatricians suggest keeping your baby’s feet free from shoes and socks as much as possible to rid of the stinky feet fast.

Avoid lotion

If you have a routine of putting lotion up on your baby before bed or post-shower, skip that this instant. Dr. Claire McCarthy recommends parents not to put-on lotion on their baby’s feet as it will block the pores and make things worse. Instead, use a talcum powder to keep those feet dry. Also, babies with sweaty feet do not need lotion anyway as their feet are moist enough.

Take away

Stinky feet are most common among babies because they are often bundled up with socks and shoes. But you can do things to make this stink go away by maintaining basic hygiene and using kitchen ingredients.

Parents need to make sure that they keep their baby’s feet clean and dry as much as possible. Apply talcum powder instead of lotion to prevent things from getting worse, and never use the same pair of shoes and socks consecutively. Letting your baby go barefoot for some time of the day can make all the difference, so do that often.

Let me know what tips do you have for us mommies, in the comments below!

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Hajira is a certified editor, an experienced and thoughtful writer, and a mother of two. Her deliberate passion for writing convinced her to become a writer along with her mom duties. Driven by her passion for writing, she takes pride in providing the best possible. She aims to incite and provoke enthusiasm in her readers.

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