Hypersensitivity to touch, otherwise know as taking an hour to put his sock on in the morning 18

Maxi has always had issues from being a baby with tags in his clothes and I have always just unpicked the seam and taken them out, but recently this has been getting much much worse, to the point of it taking an hour each morning to get his socks on as he hates the feel of the seams.


So out of desperation I have bought some seam free socks (although they still have a flat seam) and also started EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) with him.  Sue from Positive Parents was kind enough to talk me through the system, which I am also using with Mini to work on his tantrums (but that is another post).

Other things that Maxi really has issues with include:

  • Maxi hates having his hair brushed
  • Tooth brushing can be a real challenge sometimes, even though he is aware of how important it is
  • He always complains his bed covers are too rough (so we now use flannel)
  • Labels in clothes are a big issue
  • He doesn’t like the feel of hats
  • He will not have any zips up near his neck, therefore, coat zips can cause an issue
  • He liked to ensure his hands are always clean

If there are any other mums out there going through similar issues I would love to hear from you.  How do you tackle this without it becoming all consuming?

18 thoughts on “Hypersensitivity to touch, otherwise know as taking an hour to put his sock on in the morning

  • Mom-on-a-Wire (Alethea)

    One of my cousins had similar issues when she was little. My aunt used to dress her inside out so that seams and labels didn’t touch her skin, she had a special sponge for bath time etc.
    I remember that at the time it put quite a strain on their family, but she outgrew it, probably early in primary school, and there were no after effects.
    I think the biggest thing was acknowledgment. At first everybody thought she was acting out and being difficult, but once they realised she was being serious and they changed their mind set it calmed down a lot.

  • icklebabe_com

    Don’t really have this problem, although Milly is ALWAYS pulling off socks, to the point of having no actual pairs, ever!
    Glad you have found some help tho, sounds very wearing, Maxi looks like an adorable little soul too 🙂 XXXX

    • admin

      @icklebabe_com: He is adoreable, but it can be pretty hard, espeically when he is still not getting dressed over an hour later!

  • Josie @Sleep is for the Weak

    Kai is exactly the same and it’s such hard work. He can’t bare the touch of any covers on him at night which is a bit of a challenge in winter as he even bundled in lots of layers up he gets cold. Teeth brushing too, and hair washing, and zips and buttons and his sleeves not being right in his coat and rain on his head and wind and sun and ARRRGGHHGH!! I have no idea how not to let it take over everything. Let me know if you find out!!


    • admin

      @Josie @Sleep is for the Weak:

      I am really struggling with it, he also bites the ends of his fingers raw, it is a real issue at the moment. The new socks have helped (they were only £1 each), but he will not zip up his coat and I have resorted to flannel sheets in bed and flannel PJ’s too. It seems that some children are more sensitive than nothers

  • Liz@VioletPosy

    We have most of those problems, I’ve cut the labels out of most of her clothes, she prefers tights to socks – less cutting in on her ankles etc. Problems with zips and materials scratching she’s now grown out of thankfully. But the taking ages to get dressed, brushing hair, cleaning teeth, not wanting baths I have more of a problem with. I try cajoling, bribing, treating her like a more grown up child but get nowhere! So all advice welcome x

    • admin

      @Liz@VioletPosy: It seems that this is a lot more common than I thought. I hope someone comes along with some ideas to help us all make it easier for our children!

  • Carole

    Your Comments Sounds like Maxi is a very sensitive little boy indeed. My youngest son Ryan is very sensitive too and has had similar issues along the way. He stresses out over what most children just take in their stride. I remember all to well not washing his hair for about 6 months because I could not handle the stress that went with him not wanting to get water in his ears, like Maxi he hated zips anywhere near his neck, the list was endless. I have found though from bitter experience not to get all consumed in these habits and rituals that they develop and have found that the best way to cope is to just let them get on with it and not force the issue. I used to spend hours trying to reason with Ryan and devoted so much of my time and energy with very little results. I learnt over time to just be matter of fact and not let these things become a problem. You can feed these habits and they can become all consuming, my advice would be to let them run their course and you will find over time that they will indeed fade, it may take weeks, months or even years, but they will fade, usually to be replaced by something else 🙂

  • geekymummy

    love the new look! Geekygirl wears her socks inside out, seems to solve it. She is very similar to maxi, though i have not heard of hypersensitivity, will look into it.

  • maria

    My son hates the feel of labels so he wears underwear inside out and I cut the labels off everywhere else. Socks are not a problem, thankfully, but he would not wear a scarf or anything woolly.

  • mummyrella

    Hi there, sorry to hear that maxi has to go through this every morning and it must be tough on you too. My soon to be daughter [adopting] who has been with us for over 14 months now – time flies! was a premature baby and so that is what we are putting down to her sensitivities – she too doesnt like her hair brushed so I have found a wonderful product in boots a brush for sensitive scalps, also she has started to say that she no longer likes jeans – she is 3 1/2 going on 16 and is quite savvy with her clothes, the reason she gives me for not liking jeans is that “they are too cold mummy” even when they have been on the radiator for ages. Bless her she also is very sensitive if she trips of bangs into something and the slightest little knock can bring on a terrible episode for sometimes 30 mins. We saw a specialist last week for her eating, as she has a sensitive gag reflex as well and she told us all these sensititivies could be down to being premature – obvisously do not know your history – so could this be a reason? – the only advice the specialist gave us was to bear with it – it may pass and if it is hurting her – then it really is hurting her. So if her hair goes unbrushed for a while we will let her do it herself and the jeans are disappearing and a drawer full of leggings and tights have appeared much to daughters pleasure – good luck

    • admin

      @mummyrella: Thankyou for the wonderful comment. Maxi wasnt really prem, he was born at 38 weeks, but he has always had certian sensitivities! He has never had an issue with eating, but the sock thing is really getting to us both.

      Please can you tell me more about this brush too, as I would really be interested.

  • Munira

    I’m a paediatric occupational therapist from the states now working in London and just read your blog post about your son’s hypersensitivity. It sounds so similar to many of the children I work with. Deep pressure input and massages can help. It may be worthwhile looking for an Occupational Therapist trained in Sensory Integration.
    Have you heard of Sensory Processing Disorder? Here are some links. In the US, they have found that at least 1 in 20 children, if not more, have such difficulties and they are working hard at getting recognition for this neurological problem so it can get more government funding. Here are some links:


    I also have a FB group called ot4kids where I often post about sensory processing as well as topics and resources for kids with special needs.


    Best Wishes,


  • dental hygienist

    Thanks for some quality points there. I am kind of new to online , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?

  • Melissa

    I have an 8 year old boy, he hates clothes, he has sensory processing disorder, we take him to a private OT once a week. mainly he can’t tolerate the feeling of clothes, he has never worn underwear, he won’t keep socks on, he wears croc like shoes and flip flops, fine in the summer but we get looks like we are insane the rest of the year, there are way too many judgemental people in this world, he can’t stand shirts by his neck, so we buy oversized shirts, he is currently wearing boardshorts/bathing suit without the liner for surfers, and when it gets really cold he will sometime tolerate for a short time pants with a jersey lining, he sleeps on silk like sheets/pillow cover. He has some developmental delays in reading, writing, however is very smart in all other areas, very creative and artistic. I’ve tried just about all kinds of clothes, it is so frustrating, if you have any tips/ideas for me, please let me know. I think what matters most is that he is comfortable but the rest of the world can’t leave us alone. The school principal and teachers really give us a hard time about it. It’s just so frustrating, and I just don’t know what else to do. He also hates going to any doctor, dentist, haircuts, I use a hair sprayer on the sink to wash his hair, and he can’t stand for someone/even me to cut his nails. It doesn’t matter if you try to punish him, he doesn’t care he is as frustrated as us!

  • Pinkoddy

    I actually learnt today that it may not be to do with touch at all – but trying to cope with all the senses. It’s very complex and something I will be trying to make sense of and blogging about at the same time. Thank you for linking this up to my post.

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