When Should Baby Stop Wearing Mittens?

We often see babies wearing gloves or mittens to prevent them from scratching their faces and keep them warm.  Mittens only have two layers, while gloves have five layers of fabric sectioned for each finger. 

One of the questions many parents ask is When Should Baby Stop Wearing Mittens?

It has a small part for the thumb, while a larger part is for the other four fingers. Often, both terms are used interchangeably as they serve a protective purpose.

Different shops offer a wide variety of baby items for teething, including cotton mittens and silicone mittens. During the first few weeks or months, babies need to wear them to be safe.

It is important for parents not to cut a baby’s nails in the first few days after birth because they may be soft and sensitive. 

However, you can now take off the mittens when you are confident you can start cutting those nails.

Parents may decide to take mittens off their infants before they turn six months old. As babies reach this age, they become more sensitive as they use their hands.

Why Do Babies Wear Mittens?

Baby hand mittens are useful for parents and their newborns for several reasons

If their fingernails need shaving or filing, their sharp nails can easily scrape their skin. 

With their growing motor skills, newborns tend to move their hands toward their faces with jittery movements. 

Unintentional movements can easily lead to nicks or cuts, especially close to the face. 

By wearing mittens, your baby will avoid unnecessary ouches as they absorb sights and sounds. Having your baby safe will also put your mind at ease.

How Long Should Newborns Wear Mittens?

Babies can stop wearing mittens once they are able to control their hand movements. 

Some babies may need to wear mittens until they are 6-12 months old, while others may only need them for a few weeks. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide when their child no longer needs to wear mittens.

A few parents also decide to stop wearing mittens for their newborns before the six-month mark.

“There are no real benefits to infants wearing mittens. Even if babies scratch their faces, those kinds of scratches don’t cause scarring or long-term effects,”Dr. Stephanie Hemm, pediatrician at LifeBridge Health Pediatrics at Loch Raven tells Romper.

When Should Baby Stop Wearing Mittens

Why Should I Stop Making My Baby Wear Mittens?

While mittens can keep the baby safe, many experts recommend not wearing them for too long. 

Due to their lack of need to touch, they can affect the development of their senses. The development of sensory functions, or the lack thereof, will also significantly affect the child’s ability to develop brain connections. 

Consequently, if it is not necessary for your child to wear those baby mitts, you may let him or her explore on his own.

To keep your children safe from their nails, follow these tips:

  • Using a nail cutter is a good idea. Although this method may be the most difficult to use, it is still extremely effective.
  • Filing their nails. It is safer to file their nails instead of using a nail cutter. It would take longer, but it would be safer.
  • Ask someone for help. It is better to ask someone for help with all of the procedures mentioned above. Two pairs of hands can make your baby safer.

Why Should Newborns Not Wear Mittens?

Newborns may also have long and sharp fingernails that accidentally scratch different parts of their bodies. In such situations, mittens are a good idea. 

But Pediatrician Paula Arruda warns babies against wearing this accessory because it can jeopardize their health.

Are Mittens Really Necessary?

Doctors explain that newborns’ extremities tend to get cold. Consequently, parents shouldn’t be concerned – and there is no need to wrap their children in layers and layers of clothes, blankets, and more blankets.

According to Paula, excessive heat can increase the risk of sudden death as well as irritability.

To avoid scratches on the nails, it is necessary to cut them regularly, instead of wearing mittens.

How To Choose The Right Mittens?

Choosing the right mittens for your child is much like choosing your baby’s clothes. To match their outfit, you can choose from different designs and colors. Having a lot of extras is also a good idea since they will be likely to get stained when your baby wears them.

When Should Baby Stop Wearing Mittens
Baby woolen mittens on a white background

You can choose the right baby mitten by following the steps below.

  • For baby clothes, cotton is a popular type of fabric. Mittens are generally made of cotton. Bamboo fibers have been used to make some mittens. No matter what it is, it must be safe to use on your baby. Your baby will be safe from any allergic reaction if you buy hypoallergenic mittens.
  • Type of fabric holding – The type of fabric holding that works best for your baby depends on how he moves and uses his hands. It is your choice as to which one to use, based on your baby’s preferences.

Can Babies Choke On Scratch Mittens?

Mittens can be hazardous. A choking risk occurs when the cotton comes off inside the baby’s mouth. Because the nails are so soft, they will not damage a baby’s face or eyes. Using a soft emery board can prevent your baby from scratching his face if you are concerned that he might scratch it.

Bottom Line:

For many decades, baby mitts have been extremely popular with newborns. Not only do they keep their hands warm, but they also keep them protected from themselves. 

Take the mittens off your child and let them use their hands if they’re ready.

While you are waiting you can check out frequently asked questions regarding mittens, such as when should a baby stop wearing mittens.


Can Babies Sleep In Mittens?

Infants should wear protective mittens to sleep according to the recommendation of the National Sleep Foundation. Soft mittens can reduce the risk of newborns’ fingernails scratching their faces while sleeping, as noted on the foundation’s website.

Wearing mittens for infants has no real benefits. Dr. Stephanie Hemm points out that even when babies scratch their faces, those types of scratches don’t leave scars.

When Can I Cut My Newborn Nails?

A month old, you will notice that his nails have hardened a bit and have a more firm free edge. You can now cut them with baby nail scissors or clippers with rounded ends, but you still need to be careful.


Dr. Stephanie Hemm, Pediatrician at LifeBridge Health Pediatrics at Loch Raven


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