Takes off Her Shoes the Minute She Gets into a Car.... How Do I Make Her Stop?

Updated on December 10, 2010
H.X. asks from Los Angeles, CA
16 answers

HI... so my 20 month old has a few new habits... one of which, she takes off her sneakers when she gets into a car... then when i need to get out, i gotta put her shoes back on.... HOW ANNOYING!!!! for my older, he was doing it at 3 (ish)... i just told him when he does that, he'd have to walk barefoot and then come home and wash his feet immediately, which worked, because its a hassle for him to wash his feet and then still take a bath later... so it worked for him, but she's too young to get it, and i dont think washing her feet bothers her, nor running in the garage barefoot... well, it BOTHERS ME!!! is there any other way to teach her to keep her shoes on? tricks???

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answers from Boston on

I had robeez for my youngest when he did this he had a difficult time getting them off and if he did they only took a second to put back on.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We have the same issue! And I haven't found a solution. Snow is hard to find in Texas. It doesn't matter if the ground it cook an egg hot or freezing...it doesn't seem to faze her. My daughter is 26 months old. Lately I have been putting a pair of my socks on over her shoes. She fusses with it, but she doesn't take them off. Now granted, I have to take the socks off, which at times is almost as annoying as putting her shoes back on, but I am hoping that this will break her of her naked foot habit. We have lost untold dollars worth of shoes and socks all over the state because I don't always notice when she does it in grocery carts. I have been doing this over a week and she hasn't gotten a shoe off yet. We'll see how it goes.

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answers from Chicago on

My best friend had this problem with her son when he was younger. It was winter and he would always take off his shoes and socks in the car. So, one day she took him out of the car and set him in the snow with no shoes or socks on. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't there for even a minute, but it cured him. He stopped taking his shoes and socks off in the car. I know it sounds really mean to do, but it worked.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

my 22 month old does the same thing. And yeah it is a pain. My older daughter did this too at about the same age and it was just a phase...she stopped after a few months. So I just figure my 22 month old will do the same. But I would say get slip on shoes so they're easy to put back on. My daughter has boots right now (like the kind you just slide on and your pants tuck into) so even though she takes them off it's easy to get them back on.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

My daugthers both did this too and then they both eventually outgrew it. I would have to keep putting their shoes back on at each stop as well. I think they got as tired with me putting the shoes back on them as I did since they really didn't like having their shoes put on. It's annoying but try and keep a sense of humor about it =0) It will soon pass. My girls would take their socks off too, ugh =0)

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answers from Honolulu on

Get her flip-flops.
My kids did that too.
But here where I live, everyone wears flip-flops.

Going barefoot can be dangerous... they can get poked in the foot by who knows what or rusty pointed objects.

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answers from Seattle on

So does my 8yo. He HATES having things on his feet. Adidas Calisage Sandals makes things easy. They slip back on in 5 seconds. Of course, by now, he can put his shoes on himself. And even at 2, could get sandals back on his feet as long as I handed them to him.

Don't get me wrong... we OWN tie shoes/sneakers/boots/etc... but we only use them for specific things. The rest of the time... it's slip on sandals.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My 6 year old still does this with her winter cold on frigid days. Frustrating! My friend had a wonderful positive reward system with hand stamps when her kids were having similar issues getting in/out of the car. Maybe I can find her explaination and repost with more details.

Add: Robeez's are wonderful for this problem!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ah, the shoe fight! What worked for me was keeping a stamper and ink pad in the car -- and giving my child a stamp on the hand when he cooperated.

At first, you may have to give her a stamp after a fight, just to introduce her to the concept. Put the shoes back on after you get to your destination, then get out the ink pad and tell her, "Look at you! You've got your shoes on! Yay -- you get a stamp!" You might have to do this a few times. After a couple of times, start telling her *immediately before* she gets into the car, "Remember -- if you keep you shoes on for the trip, you'll get a stamp!" At that point, if she takes the shoes off -- no stamp. And you'll need to tell her calmly, "Oh well. Maybe next time you can keep your shoes on and get your stamp. Let's try again next time." She will learn that cooperating means a stamp -- and she'll be happy to cooperate. She'll start to look forward to getting the stamp.

Positive reinforcement can be really effective! This will also work with putting on a coat, getting shoes on in the house, or staying in the car seat. Any of those little "battles" that can drive a Mom crazy!


answers from Los Angeles on

Do her shoes fit well?
Do they hurt her feet?
Are they sticky or icky inside?
Maybe don't put her shoes on her before you put her into the car.
Get some extra sox that you can throw into the wash . . .
2-3 layers of sox. No shoes.


answers from Miami on

Hi H. :-)

I love Christine R's response! Nothing like LIFE giving lessons without you having to be the bad guy (gal) :-) Just plain reality... but probably harder to teach when it's nice and warm outside.. so hurry and get the lessons in now.. hehehe.
A. R.N., Energy Medicine Practitioner


answers from Las Vegas on

My daughter's 2 and she started doing this around that age too. She loves to walk everywhere so I told her if she doesn't keep her shoes on she'll have to be carried. She would take em off and I would carry her. A few times it was out of the way and irritating, especially when you have groceries and such but I stuck to it and she rarely does it and if she does she is reminded that no shoes means no walk.


answers from St. Louis on

My daughter did the same thing. I just let her do it and if we were going somewhere (the store, mall, etc) I wouldn't put them on her before I put her in the car. That way you are only putting them on 1x (when you get out of the car). If she took them off on our way home, I just made sure she took them inside. To me, not really a huge deal at this time. But if you eliminate the shoes when she gets into the car and wait to put them on when you arrive, she won't be able to take them off!



answers from Dallas on

my 15 month old does it, i got keep ty's from stride rite, you put the shoe laces inside of them then they cant untie them to take off their shoes, it's worked for us!


answers from St. Louis on

My son does this too. He wont keep em on. I dont even attempt to put them on until we get to our final destination, I throw his shoes in my purse before we leave. As far as how to stop it, still havent figured that one out. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

He'll grow out of it. He's a toddler and his "job" is being a scientist. He's learned that he can take off shoes!! He has a new skill. This is something his actions have an effect on. He has no concept at all of how annoying it is or how much time it takes you. All he knows is that when he grabs and pulls - wow! - his shoes come off.

I'd find shoes that are fast to put on. Honestly. - Time yourself and see how much extra time it is really taking. Change your perspective and think of this as a quick spot in the day to focus on him and remind him you love him and remind you that he loves you. Think of it as a way to connect.

I don't think I'd get shoes that are harder to take off because you are taking away his little toddler power. He has very few places where he controls things. Plus it won't last long. Be sure his shoes are comfortable and enjoy his quirk. I'm sure you'll laugh about it when you look back on this.

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