Why Does My My 3 Year Old Always Smelling Other People’s Feet?

Updated on September 13, 2019
E.R. asks from Kokomo, IN
7 answers

My smells everything & started at 2 but he’s always smelling people feet the most or he’ll just smell them, does anyone else ever dealt with this?

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answers from Washington DC on

i'm always baffled when people post questions like this. do you really think people who have never met your child will be able to answer this?

smells are interesting. your son is a very small person learning how to navigate the world through his senses. smell is apparently an important one for him.

there's plenty of room for a sensible mother to allow her son the freedom to explore as he wishes, and still teaching him sensible boundaries if he's imposing his little nose where it's not wanted.


7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on


I think you can encourage the development of all his senses, including the ideas B suggests below.

Beyond that, 3 year olds need to learn boundaries, and they need to learn about the idea of other people's personal space. That comes from you. There are some things we can let kids do and explore. There are other things, like touching people and doing something personally invasive, that we have to physically limit even if the child doesn't understand. It's called manners. Don't worry so much about explaining it. They don't have to understand why they can't hit people, or why they can't run into traffic, or why they can't eat tacks They just can't.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I haven't got a clue why this is happening.
Perhaps he has an unusual sense of smell.
If smell is something he wants to explore I'd find him other scents to sample.
Flowers, cookies, fruit, etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Because he's a kid. As crazy as it sounds my cousins and I would smell a sofa or chair that someone sat in to see it if smelled. Just silly things kids do. He will grow out of it. It's just embarrassing for the parents.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia, E..

No. Actually, my kids didn't go through something like this.

Talk with your pediatrician. Maybe he has an exaggerated sense of smell?? I don't know. If he does it again, ask him to smell other things like flowers, trees, plants, grass, etc.

He's 3 so you can tell him about personal space and how people may not like their feet being smelled. Tell him that while he may be interested in it, he might be upsetting other people with this. HOW MANY people walk around without their shoes on anyway?? How does he get a chance to do this?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Sounds like your child may be sensory seeking... which is normal fir that age- give her other things to smell like lavender sachets or lavender scented stuffed animals to play with maybe? If it’s excessive check out sensory integration disorder- but I’m sure it’s just a phase.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Just trying to understand - does he go down on the ground and smell their shoes?

1 mom found this helpful
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