Babies need their hands!

Mother breastfeeding her five days old baby
Babies need their hands !

It is very tempting to put mittens on your newborn’s hands when you see a scratch on their face or their nose or their scalp. As painful as it is to see the scratch mark, it is easier if you just file a newborn’s nails. The reason I say this is because babies need their hands to feel their world around them.

They need them to seek and find the mother’s breast. They need them to smell their food, they need it to calm them when they are trying to self-soothe. They also need their hand friends to tell you that they are hungry or tired. I urge new parents to get rid of those mittens.

As a student in lactation and a postpartum doula I feel like it is my duty to educate new parents about the vital role of a baby having access to his or her hands. Don’t we all need our hands for everything anyways even as adults ?