Are baby mittens safe?

When it comes to parenting, there are as many opinions as there are people who have them. It seems that each parent has their own method of parenting, and there are often disagreements about what is right and wrong for the baby. Sometimes disagreement occurs even within the same family. One of these debatable questions is: are baby mittens safe?

Parents who are in favor of baby mittens will point out that the mittens act as protection against the baby’s sharp nails. They protect her delicate skin. They can also act as protection for the baby’s eyes.

However, there is another camp that would prefer their babies not to wear gloves because they believe that wearing gloves will affect the baby’s sense of touch. They also feel that the fragile nature of a baby’s skin is a good reason not to wear mittens due to concerns about the materials used in the mittens and the possible presence of chemicals that could irritate the skin.

Another factor contributing to the debate is where the family lives. If they live in a cold climate, mittens may be a necessity to keep babies’ hands from getting cold when outside.

When it comes to newborn safety, most doctors don’t directly promote the use of baby mittens. However, they will remind parents to keep the baby’s fingernails and toenails trimmed so that they do not scratch their skin or eyes.

Clipping a baby’s tiny nails can be a daunting task, but there are ways to make it a little easier. Sooner or later you will have to learn these techniques because you can’t keep a baby’s hands covered in gloves forever. Once you’re ready to try cutting your nails, follow these helpful tips:

  • Trim nails at times when the baby is sleeping. This helps eliminate the possibility of sudden movements that can cause problems.
  • Be sure to use small nail clippers that are specially made for use on a baby’s tiny fingernails.

An alternative to mittens is clothing with long sleeves that have flaps at the ends that cover the baby’s hands. One problem with this type of clothing is that the baby’s hands can often slip and still scratch.

For those parents who are against mittens for babies because they inhibit their sense of touch, covering their hands only when unsupervised may be the solution. If the baby is under direct supervision (most babies are most of the time), then she should have the freedom to have her hands free to explore and touch the world.

In the first days of life, babies have very little ability to focus with their eyes. Their sense of touch is a very important aspect of how they explore and discover the world around them. In the end, perhaps the best solution is a combination of glove use and special touch-and-touch sessions throughout the day. This may work for some and not for others. It really is up to each and every parent to answer the question: are baby mittens safe?

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