How Long Should Babies Wear Mittens? Are They Necessary?

In order to prepare for the arrival of your baby, there are certain essential items that you will need. However, some of these items may not be as necessary, and there are also things that your child will only wear for a short period of time before outgrowing them.

How long should babies wear mittens? Honestly, baby mittens are not an essential item that has to be worn for a certain amount of time. While some parents find mittens beneficial for their babies, others don’t bother with them at all. If they are worn, babies really don’t need them past the two-week mark.

If you decide to have your baby wear mittens, know what the safest options are and what risks all mittens can pose.

Mittens for Newborns: Necessary or Not?

Though mittens for newborns are not necessary, there are reasons that some parents choose to have their little ones wear them.

Why Do Babies Wear Mittens?

One main reason babies wear mittens is so they won’t scratch themselves with their nails. Their tiny fingernails are difficult to trim when they are little, but they are sharp enough to draw blood.

My oldest twin has a scar on their face from an unfortunate encounter with their own nails when they were days old. They are now 13, and the scar is still there.

Mittens may also be used to warm a baby’s hands since they tend to have a harder time staying warm than adults.

Baby Mittens Pros and Cons

Baby mittens can definitely keep your little one from scratching themselves or others. They may also keep your little one’s hands warm, especially if they are born during a cold season.

However, many babies don’t want to wear mittens. They will shake them off as soon as they are placed on their hands. Your child may also try to chew on mittens, and that can be a choking hazard.

Are Mittens a SIDS Risk?

Mittens can be a SIDS risk, especially if they have strings, tassels, or other decorative items attached to them.

Even plain mittens can be a SIDS risk and a choking hazard. If your child can get the mittens off their hands easily, they do not need to be with them in the crib.

Mittens: Baby Development

Using mittens for a couple of weeks shouldn’t affect your child’s development, but you do need to let your child explore using mitten-less hands. He will be able to touch and explore textures using his sense of touch when he’s not wearing mittens.

Should Babies Wear Mittens All the Time?

Babies should not wear mittens all the time because they need their hands to explore the world and feel things around them. They also like to put their hands in their mouths for comfort, and this is not a good idea if your child is wearing mittens.

When Should Babies Stop Wearing Mittens?

Babies don’t have to wear mittens at all. If you do choose to have your baby wear mittens, don’t use them for longer than two weeks.

Your baby needs their hands to explore, and you can trim your baby’s nails at this point to reduce the risk of them scratching themselves.

A tiny baby asleep in his stroller while wearing a blanket, a hat, and mittens.

Are Mittens Bad for Babies?

Inappropriate mittens that can be choking hazards are a bad idea for babies. Plain mittens that stay on a child’s hands can work, but you should still be aware of the increased SIDS risk when babies sleep wearing mittens.

Baby Sleep Mittens vs. Mittens for Warmth

Baby sleep mittens tend to be thin and easy to put on and remove. Mittens that your baby wears for warmth will be thicker and may be tighter at the wrist so they stay on.

Each type has its own purpose, so use the right mittens for the situation.

Baby Mittens That Stay On

One of the hardest things about baby mittens is that they don’t stay on for long. Babies can shake them off easily, and some just fall off as a baby moves around or waves his arms.

Fortunately, there are mittens that are made to stay on so you won’t constantly be searching for a lost one.

Goumikids Super Soft Adjustable Mittens

Made from bamboo and cotton, the Goumikids Mittens are soft, adorable, and practical. The Velcro strap makes keeping these mittens on your baby easy.

Newborn No-Scratch Mittens

The Newborn No-Scratch Mittens stay on your child with ease using Velcro, and they are also adjustable so your child can wear them as his hands grow.

Baby Items To Skip

There are plenty of unnecessary baby items on the market. While you may decide to grab the nonessentials at times, here are the items you can skip when you are putting together your absolute-need list for a baby.

  • Shoes: Babies don’t wear shoes. They barely tolerate socks.
  • Wipe Warmer: Your baby doesn’t care if his wipes are warm. He just wants to be clean.
  • Newborn-Size Clothes: You likely will not need newborn-size clothes at all. If you have a premature baby, you might need some, but most babies skip this size.
  • Crib Bumpers: Crib bumpers aren’t necessary, and there are questions about if they are even safe.
  • Newborn Diapers: Again, unless you have a premature baby, you likely won’t need newborn diapers.
  • Changing Table: You will end up throwing a blanket on the floor and changing your baby there most of the time, so a changing table is not necessary.

Related Questions: 

Do Newborns Need Hats?

Newborns do not need to wear hats, even though there are plenty of cute ones out there to tempt you. If your child is out in the cold, a hat is appropriate since heat can escape from the scalp.

However, your little one does not need to wear a hat to sleep. A hat could cause your child to overheat while sleeping, and it can also be a suffocation and choking hazard.

Should Babies Wear Socks?

It is important to keep your child’s feet warm when it’s cold outside. However, your child doesn’t have to wear socks all the time. Your child needs to be able to stretch and move his toes, and he should never wear socks that are too tight.

Closing Thoughts

My kids hated socks and kicked them off at the earliest opportunity. When I needed to keep their feet warm, I relied on onesies with footies. 

There are so many cute baby items out there, but you won’t need all of them. Grab the essentials, and then enjoy accessorizing with the rest.