When Should Babies Stop Wearing Mittens?
Babies wear mittens to keep their hands warm and prevent them from scratching themselves with their sharp nails.
Newborns wear mittens most of the time, but as they grow, they may not need them as often. There is no hard and fast rule for when babies should stop wearing mittens altogether, but parents should pay attention to their child’s development and needs.
Having said that, Most babies will stop wearing mittens around two to three months of age.
In this article, we will discuss when babies should stop wearing mittens and why.
What are Baby Mittens?
Newborn Mittens are a type of hand covering designed to keep the hands warm, commonly worn during cold weather. They are typically made of soft and warm materials such as wool, cotton, or fleece and cover the entire hand, including the fingers, unlike gloves which separate the fingers.
Mittens can come in different sizes and designs, including those specifically made for babies, commonly referred to as “baby mittens”. These mittens are often made of soft and gentle materials to protect a baby’s delicate skin, and they are usually elasticized around the wrist to prevent them from slipping off
Why do babies wear mittens?
Babies need mittens to keep their hands warm and protected. Newborn babies have delicate skin and are sensitive to changes in temperature. Wearing baby mittens helps them maintain their body temperature and prevents them from feeling cold.
Additionally, babies have sharp fingernails that can scratch their faces or other parts of their bodies. Mittens help to prevent babies from scratching themselves.
Some babies may continue to wear mittens for several months while others may not need them after a few weeks. Pediatricians and childcare professionals suggest that parents should stop using mittens immediately if they pose a choking hazard or if the baby’s hands and fingers need to move freely for their development of fine motor skills.
Parents should also regularly trim their baby’s nails to avoid the need for mittens altogether.
Different Types of Baby mittens
There are a few different types of baby mittens as explained below. It’s important to keep in mind that the best type of baby mittens for your little one will depend on their individual needs and the climate you live in.
It’s always a good idea to have a few different types on hand so that you can switch them out as needed or replace them when babies lose them. Here are some types of mittens :
Cotton Mittens: These are the most common type of baby mittens and are usually made from soft, breathable cotton fabric. They are comfortable for babies to wear and come in a variety of colors and patterns. However, they may not be warm enough for very cold weather.
Fleece Mittens: These mittens are made from soft and warm fleece material, making them perfect for cold weather. They also often have a non-slip surface on the palm, which can be helpful for older babies who are learning to grip objects. However, they may not be as breathable as cotton mittens, which could cause your baby’s hands to sweat.
Wool Mittens: Wool mittens are another option for cold weather, as wool is a naturally warm and insulating material. They also tend to be very durable and long-lasting. However, some babies may find wool to be itchy or uncomfortable against their skin.
Velcro Mittens: Some baby mittens come with a velcro closure, which can be helpful for keeping them securely on your baby’s hands. However, some babies may find the velcro scratchy or uncomfortable, and the closure can sometimes get caught on other fabrics.
String-Attached Mittens: These mittens have a string that connects them, which can help prevent your baby from losing them. However, the string can be a choking hazard, so it’s important to never leave your baby unattended while they are wearing these mittens.
Choosing the Right mittens for your Baby
Choosing the right mittens for your newborn baby is important to keep their hands warm and protect their delicate skin during cold weather. Newborn babies especially need mittens to prevent them from scratching their faces with their sharp fingernails. However, it is important to note that not all babies need to wear mittens all the time and there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to mittens.
When purchasing baby mittens, consider the baby’s age and the size of their hands. Cotton mittens or soft mittens are recommended as they are gentle on the baby’s skin and also keep babies warm. Make sure the mittens fit properly and have mitten cuffs to keep them in place.
It is also important to regularly trim the baby’s nails to prevent them from accidentally scratching themselves. Childcare professionals recommend trimming a baby’s nails regularly and using mittens only when necessary. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that most babies do not need mittens altogether and their fingers should be allowed to move freely to aid in their fine motor skills development.
When a baby starts to feel cold or the weather is cold, they may need mittens to keep their hands and fingers warm. However, if a baby starts to feel hot or uncomfortable, it may be necessary to stop wearing mittens immediately. A cool sensation in a baby’s hands can actually help them sleep better, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
It is also important to note that mittens can be a choking hazard if they come off or have an elastic band that is too tight. Always supervise babies when they are wearing mittens and choose mittens without any choking hazards.
Babies’ hand development and when to stop using mittens
While there is no hard and fast rule about when babies should stop wearing mittens, most babies will start to move their hands and fingers more frequently between 2-4 months of age. This increased hand movement is important for their development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Baby mittens do not typically affect a baby’s hand development. However, some experts suggest that it is important for babies to have the opportunity to explore and interact with their environment, including feeling different textures and objects with their hands.
Therefore, it is recommended that parents allow babies to have some “bare hands” time to encourage their development of fine motor skills. Mittens can be used when necessary to keep a baby’s hands warm and protected.
it’s generally recommended to stop using mittens once a baby reaches this age or starts showing signs of wanting to move their hands freely.
Can a baby wear mittens while sleeping
According to the National Sleep Foundation, babies can wear mittens while sleeping, but it is not necessary for them to do so. Babies can wear mittens while sleeping, especially in cold weather, to keep their hands warm.
Newborn babies have delicate skin and need extra protection, especially since they cannot regulate their body temperature yet. Mittens made of soft and breathable cotton can be a good option.
.Some babies may find the sensation of mittens uncomfortable and may try to take them off. If your baby is constantly removing their mittens, you can try using a sleep sack or swaddle to keep their hands and fingers warm instead.
When to switch from Mittens to Gloves
As a baby grows, they will eventually stop wearing mittens and switch to gloves. Most babies wear mittens during the first few months of life to prevent them from scratching their delicate skin with their sharp nails.
Newborns wear mittens almost all the time, especially during the cold season. Cotton mittens or soft protective mittens are the most commonly used to keep their tiny fingers warm.
There is no hard and fast rule for when babies should stop wearing mittens and start wearing gloves. However, as a general guide, most babies stop wearing mittens between the ages of 2 and 4 months. Some babies may stop wearing mittens sooner or later, depending on their development.
Parents can consider switching their baby to gloves once they notice their child’s nails becoming less sharp and more rounded, which usually occurs around 2 to 3 months of age. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that babies can start wearing gloves once they can move their hands and fingers freely.
When choosing gloves, parents should make sure to purchase the right size to ensure their baby’s hands and fingers are protected from the cold weather. Gloves with mitten cuffs or an elastic band around the wrist can help keep them in place and prevent cold air from entering.
While mittens and gloves serve the same purpose of keeping a baby’s hands warm, gloves are preferred as they allow for better movement and dexterity, which can help develop a baby’s fine motor skills.
Different Types of Gloves and their Pros and Cons
There are a few different types of small gloves to choose from for your newborn or older baby! we have tried to provide a comprehensive list below :
Fleece Gloves: these gloves are soft, warm and lightweight, making them perfect for cold weather. They are also machine washable and dryable.
However, They may not be as durable as other materials and may not provide as much protection against moisture.
Wool Gloves: Wool gloves are natural and breathable, which makes them great for regulating temperature. They are also soft and warm, making them a great option for cold weather. on the downside, these may be more expensive than other materials and may require special care when washing.
Cotton Gloves: Cotton gloves are soft, breathable, and lightweight, making them a great option for warmer weather. They are also easy to clean and care for. However, They may not provide as much warmth as other materials and may not be as durable.
Leather Gloves: Leather gloves are durable and provide great protection against cold weather. They also look stylish and can be used for dressier occasions. On the downside, these gloves may be more expensive than other materials and may require special care when cleaning.
Synthetic Gloves: Pros: Synthetic gloves are often made from materials such as nylon or polyester, which are durable and can provide great protection against moisture. They are also usually lightweight and breathable. Cons: They may not be as soft as other materials and may not provide as much warmth.
Overall, It is not a hard and fast rule for when babies should stop wearing mittens as it can vary depending on the baby’s needs and the weather conditions. Delicate baby skin needs to be protected from the cold weather, but keeping mittens on all the time can hinder the development of fine motor skills.
Additionally, mitten cuffs can be a choking hazard for babies, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using mittens with an elastic band. Many babies tend to move their hands around a lot, which can cause the mittens to fall off, and it’s essential to make sure that the size of the mittens fits the baby’s hand to prevent sharp nails from scratching delicate skin.
As an alternative to mittens, small gloves can be used to keep the baby’s hands warm while allowing fingers to move freely. Ultimately, it’s up to parents and child care professionals to assess the situation and determine when babies should stop wearing mittens.
Do babies need to wear mittens all the time?
No, babies do not need to wear mittens all the time. It is recommended to use them during the cold season or to prevent scratching in newborns, but it’s also important to give babies the opportunity to use their hands and develop their fine motor skills. Parents should assess the need for mittens based on the situation and their baby’s needs.
What month do you remove mittens?
There is no specific month to remove mittens for babies as it depends on the temperature and weather conditions. Generally, mittens can be removed when the weather gets warmer and there is no longer a risk of cold air affecting the baby’s delicate skin.
When should I stop covering my newborn’s hands?
You can stop covering your newborn’s hands when they start showing signs of hand control and can move their hands to their mouth on their own, which is usually around 2-3 months old. However, if your baby still has sharp nails or their hands are frequently cold, you may want to continue using mittens or small gloves.
Do baby mittens hinder development?
Baby mittens do not necessarily hinder development, but prolonged use can limit a baby’s opportunities to explore and develop their fine motor skills. It is recommended to allow babies to have some mitten-free time, with their hands uncovered and free to move, while still being supervised to avoid any accidents. This can help encourage the development of hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and grasping skills.