How Long Do Babies Wear Mittens? (They Are NOT Must-Have!)

Let’s talk about babies and mittens. You can hear lots of different opinions about baby mittens from your mom friends in your mom tribe. Some parents may tell you that you definitely need them and babies can wear mitten all the time, while others will say that mittens are bad for babies.

So what is the truth about baby mittens?!

How Long Do Babies Wear Mittens

As a new mom you may feel like it’s really hard to figure out what your little one needs to stay warm and safe at night. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of items recommended to new parents as “must-haves” for babies. It can be hard to know what’s really necessary and what can be left off baby registry.

Are baby mittens REALLY a must-have item? And do you know how long should baby wear mittens?

It’s important for new parents to understand the pros and cons of mittens for their baby.

Some healthcare professionals recommend mittens as they help to keep baby from scratching themselves with their sharp nails. Additionally, they can be a good option for babies who live in cold climates, since they help keep baby’s hands warm.

However, mittens can also be a source of frustration for babies who are learning to use their hands. Babies need to be able to use their hands for exploration, and mittens can actually limit their ability to do this.

So the question remains: How long should babies wear mittens? Let’s dive in and see what pediatricians say about it!

This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

How Long Do Newborns Wear Mittens?

If you decide to get some mittens for your baby, keep in mind that newborns typically wear mittens only for the first few weeks of their life.

It is important to note that mittens are not necessary for all babies and if you are unsure whether or not your baby needs them or when it’s the right time to stop using them, it is best to consult with your pediatrician.

Mittens help to keep newborns from scratching their delicate skin with their sharp nails. They also help to keep their hands warm and help prevent them from putting their hands in their mouths.

It is important to make sure that your baby’s mittens fit properly. If they are too tight, they can restrict circulation and cause discomfort. Too loose, and they can easily fall off.

It is recommended that newborns wear mittens for several weeks until their nails have grown long and become hard enough to be trimmed. Then the mittens become useless, because if you can cut baby’s nails the risk of scratches on that cute cheeks actually disappears.

It’s important to keep an eye on your baby’s nails and assess when it is the right time to start trimming them and stop wearing mittens.

You should also make sure that your baby does not overheat. Make sure to dress your little one appropriately for the weather and avoid overdressing them, as babies can easily become too hot. Be sure to check their hands and feet regularly to make sure that they are not overheating or become too sweaty.

One more thing, keep your baby’s mittens clean. Wash them often using a gentle baby-safe detergent and warm water. Check for signs of wear, such as fraying or loose seams.

Should Newborn Babies Wear Mittens To Bed

Should Newborn Babies Wear Mittens To Bed?

When you take a look at your newborn baby, you might notice that the baby’s hands are bluish or feel cold. Moreover, your baby may have sharp fingernails that can accidentally scratch their skin.

That’s why lots of parents wonder if their baby needs mittens at night.

While mittens may seem like a good solution to these problems, the truth is that newborn babies not always need mittens. It’s normal for healthy babies to have bluish and cool hands and feet, and the cool feeling probably doesn’t bother them at all.

Newborn babies can wear mittens to bed, but it’s not a must-have, but it’s also not something that you have to avoid.

Every baby is different and it is important to consider several factors before deciding whether your little one needs mittens for bedtime.

First, consider how warm is your baby’s nursery. If the room is warm, the mittens may be too much and could cause your baby to overheat. If the room is cold, the mittens may help keep your baby’s hands warm.

Another thing to consider is how much your baby moves while they sleep. If your little one is an active sleeper and moves their hands a lot (or even put hands in their mouth), mittens can help prevent them from scratching themselves.

However, if you trim your little one’s nails carefully, you can avoid scratches and won’t need mittens at all. Some hospitals even discourage using mittens, so don’t be surprised if they don’t give you any at the hospital where you have your baby1.

Last thing to keep in mind: make sure not to “overuse” mittens. When your baby is a few weeks old they have to start learning how to use their hands. At this time, they don’t need mittens anymore.

If older baby continues to wear mittens to bed, it may actually interfere with their development!

Why Do Newborn Babies Need Mittens? – Benefits Of Using Baby Mitt

Even though mittens are not a must-have item, some babies do need mittens. They may be useful during the first month of baby’s life, before you are able to cut baby’s nails regularly.

Here are five reasons why mittens may be beneficial for newborn babies:

  • Mittens Help Keep Babies Warm

Newborns are unable to regulate their body temperature, making them susceptible to becoming cold. Mittens can provide extra warmth and help keep them comfortable. But keep in mind that mittens are not the only way to keep baby’s hands warm at night!

  • Mittens Prevent Newborn From Scratching Themselves

Mittens can help prevent babies from scratching themselves and irritating their extra sensitive skin. Babies’ fingernails can be quite sharp and may cause scratches and skin irritations when babies rub their face or eyes. And this in turn may wake up the baby and cause them crying.

  • Protect Mom’s Breasts From Scratches

When you’re breastfeeding, your little one may grip your breasts and dig into your delicate skin with those sharp nails, which can be really painful (and your nipples are probably already sore and cracked!). If your baby wears mittens during nursing, both of you will be more comfortable.

  • Mittens Help Keep Baby’s Hands Cleaner

Newborns often put their fingers in their mouth, which can lead to germs and bacteria entering the body. Mittens prevent this from happening.

  • Keep Babies From Tugging On Hair

Newborns are curious and love to explore. Mittens can help keep them from pulling on their own hair or tugging on mom’s hair during breastfeeding session.

  • Prevent Thumb Sucking

Some infants suck their thumbs or try to nibble their hands and fabric mittens can prevent it.

Can Mittens Hinder Baby's Development

Why Your Baby May NOT Need Mittens

According to National Sleeping Foundation2 soft baby mittens may be useful to prevent your little one from scratching their face during sleep time.

However, some pediatrician have completely opposed opinion and recommend avoiding mittens. They argue that baby should be able to use their hands – which is important for their development. Besides, the scratching themselves at night is really unlikely to cause real harm to the baby.

Moreover, it’s normal even for healthy babies to have cool hands and feet, and it doesn’t even bother them!

Besides, with proper baby’s nails trimming, your little one will not be able to scratch their face!

Some experts also say that wearing mittens (and socks) to bed can actually do more harm to babies than do good. The reason behind it is that getting too hot and overheating is actually more dangerous to babies than being cold.

Your baby may also not need hand mittens if you’re using a swaddle or sleeping sack (especially in the summer) that keeps your little one’s hands tucked in, and away from their delicate face and eyes.

Another reason why your baby may not need mittens is their age and developmental stage. Lots of child care experts say newborn babies should stop wearing mittens around 1 month of age.

At this time baby has important motor skills to learn and becomes more active and interested in the surrounding world and their hands should be free for exploration and learning though sense of touch and movement3. It’s important for reaching developmental milestones.

Older infants shouldn’t wear mittens, because they can only hinder their development. If your baby is 1 month old & up and still tends to scratch their face, it’s best to put more attention to proper nail trimming and get rid of mittens!

Once your baby’s nails are long enough for trimming and you get a hang of it, the best solution is to stop using mittens. This means that around 4 weeks, baby may no longer needs mittens.

And you should definitely not use mittens when your child is 3 or 4 months old – they need those little hands for exploration!

When Do Babies Stop Wearing Mittens

Some experts recommend that babies should only wear mittens in the first 2 weeks of their life. Most pediatrician agrees that babies should stop wearing mittens when you can start trimming their nails (around 1-2 months of age).

Lots of child care professionals advises against putting mittens on baby’s hands when they are 3-4 months old, because at this time they need they hands to explore the world by touch and practice motor skill. This is crucial for their healthy development.

When Can I Cut Baby's Nails

Can Mittens Hinder Baby’s Development?

Baby mittens can be a useful accessory to keep your little one’s hands warm and protected, but they may also have some potential drawbacks that can hinder a baby’s development.

Restricting Hand Movement & Interfering With Development

Mittens can limit your baby’s ability to explore and touch objects around them, which is important for their cognitive and sensory development. Babies rely on touch to explore the world around them, and having their hands covered can limit this experience. If baby doesn’t have the chance to touch things with bare hands, it can really obstruct their sensory development.

Interfering With Hand-Eye Coordination

Mittens can also interfere with baby’s ability to develop hand-eye coordination, which is a critical skill for later development. Babies need to be able to see and touch objects to learn how to use their hands effectively.

Hindering Fine Motor Skill Development

Wearing mittens for extended periods of time can also hinder the development of fine motor skills, which involve using the small muscles in the hands and fingers. Without being able to use their hands, babies may struggle with tasks such as grasping and manipulating objects.

It’s important to remember that while mittens may be helpful in certain situations, it’s also important to give babies plenty of opportunities to explore their environment and use their hands.

How To Choose The Right Mittens For Baby?

When it comes to choosing those tiny mittens, there are a few important factors to consider to ensure your little one’s comfort and safety.


Opt for soft, breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo to prevent any irritation or discomfort on your baby’s delicate skin. Organic cotton mittens may be a good choice too, especially for babies with extra sensitive skin.


Ensure the mittens fit your baby’s hands properly, without being too tight or too loose. Consider purchasing baby mittens in a variety of sizes, as babies grow quickly.

Elastic Or Straps?

Choose newborn mittens with elastic if you want a quick and easy way to put them on and take them off. Elastics ensure secure fit and prevent mittens from slipping off your baby’s hands.

Built-In Teether

Some of these soft mittens come with built-in teethers, which can be a great option for teething babies who like to chew on their hands. Make sure the teethers are made from safe materials (BPA-free) and are securely attached to the mittens.

How To Keep Baby Mittens On

The good news is that it’s easy to keep baby mittens on – just choose the right size (not too tight, not too loose) and with elastics around wrists.

Once your baby starts to explore surroundings and wiggles more in their bassinet, crib or mini crib, the protective mittens may fall off, but this may be actually the sign that your child doesn’t need wearing baby mittens anymore, because they are developmentally ready for exploration!

Baby Mittens Alternative: Cutting Baby’s Nails

If you live in warm climate the only reason for wearing mittens may be to protect baby from scratching themselves. But there is an alternative: with proper early nail trimming, you may be able to skip the mittens altogether4.

When Can I Cut Baby’s Nails?

Usually when the baby is around 1 month old you may start to cut their nails using baby nail scissors or baby nail clippers – by this point they will be harder, therefore easier to trim. For babies under one month, who have soft fingernails, some experts recommend using a file or soft emery board.

As you can see, parents can ensure their newborn baby’s nails are not that sharp are able to scratch their delicate skin – even when they are just a few weeks old! If you were wondering “Should my baby wear mittens?” the answer may be actually: No, with proper mani for little babies, protective mittens are not necessary.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *