As a mom, one of the things you might have bought and prepared before the baby arrived is its own set of baby mittens. With varying colors and designs, it was truly a delight and added fashion for your newborn.
But did you know that some doctors actually don’t recommend the wearing of mittens anymore?
What can you read in this article?
- Why do babies wear mittens
- Mittens baby development
- Should babies wear mittens to bed
Why do babies wear mittens
Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels
Mittens are one of the must-haves of newborn babies. This is what we believe. First, because we think they protect it from the cold. And second, to cover their long nails that can injure their face or pierce their eyes.
But according to pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Tiglao from Makati Medical Center, the use of mittens is only recommended after the baby is born because these protect babies from temperature changes. Since from the heat in their mother’s womb, they are now exposed to the cold and unique temperatures of the real world that they are in.
But when the baby arrives home, Dr. Tiglao says that it is safe to remove the mittens. Since your newborn’s body has already adjusted to the new temperature around him.
“For newborns, of course, in the nursery, you need to keep them thermoregulated during the first 24 hours.
So you need a bonnet, mittens, and socks. But when you come home, the temperature has already adjusted from the nursery to the home environment. ”
Mittens baby development
Dr. Tiglao further explained that instead of mittens being good for the baby, it can actually be an obstacle to his development.
That is why Dr. Tiglao suggests that you cut your baby’s nails regularly and remove his mittens. Keeping his hands free from the mittens will prompt motor and sensory development.
“I always suggest that after cutting their nails, take off the mittens. Because your touch therapy is important.
As those newborns haven’t seen anything yet, it’s just pure light that helps them dig into what’s around them. So it is important that they can explore your hand for EQ or emotional development and IQ or intellectual development. Because they learn around them when they feel that way. ”
This statement by Dr. Tiglao was supported by a statement from another pediatrician Dr. Natasha Burgert from Kansas, USA and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Baby mittens pros and cons
Dr. Burgert explained that babies don’t really need mittens. Because the coldness of their hands and feet is said to be normal. They also may overcome this as time goes by.
“The reality is that mittens are rarely needed for newborns. Bluish and cool hands and feet are normal on healthy infants, and the cool sensation of extremities likely do not bother baby at all.”
Moreover, according to Dr. Stephanie Hemm from Maryland, USA, there is no real benefit to wearing baby mittens.
What if my baby scratches her face
Photo by Enrique Hoyos from Pexels
If you’re worrying that baby might scratch his face without mittens on, it would not cause a deep wound. No scarring and no long-term effects on the newborn baby.
“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”
Another reminder is to watch or be careful with the mittens worn on the baby. Because if it is strapped or loose, it can still be a choking hazard to them.
“If mittens have decorations, strings, or loose threads on them, they can pose a choking hazard for infants.”
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Should babies wear mittens to bed
According to the National Sleep Foundation, soft mittens may help prevent your baby from scratching his face while asleep. Even the U.S. The National Library of Medicine recommends mittens as a good strategy to avoid your baby from scratching his face (albeit it doesn’t say whether or not to use them while your kid is sleeping.) So it appears that safety mittens are the way to go.
However, not everyone supports the use of sleep mitts for babies. Supporting the statement of Dr. Hemm, pediatrician David Geller says, babies require full use of their hands for development and scratching at themselves while sleeping is unlikely to cause any harm.
How long should a baby wear mittens
Dr. Hemm recommends that it is better not to wear baby’s mittens for more than two weeks. It is important for the baby to use his hand to explore around him. Having no mittens will help him feel and reach out to objects easily.
“However, I don’t recommend using them for longer than about two weeks. It’s important for infants to use their hands to explore the world around them through their sense of touch and movement.
Whether it’s putting their hands into their mouths, reaching for things, or learning what objects feel like. By about 3 to 4 months old, babies really need their hands to figure out how things work.”
Based on the studies, by exploring the things around them, babies can learn a lot like the textures, color, shape, and weight of things.
This learning teaches the infant language learning opportunities. It can also help or influence their problem-solving abilities as well as motor and sensory development of their body.
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels
Freeing the hands from mittens: what to do
Mittens become obstacles to their proper sensory development which is also important for the development of their brain. Therefore, experts recommend removing the baby’s mittens and letting them explore.
To make sure they are safe even without mittens, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Cut the baby’s nail. If you do this just make sure it is bright or there is enough lighting to avoid cutting their skin.
- If you are afraid to cut your baby’s nails, just file it. Although it takes longer it is safer to do so.
- In order to perform the two mentioned procedures properly, it is better to seek help from others. It helps to have someone else hold the baby while cutting or filing his nails. Or it is best to do it while he is asleep.
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