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Question

How long is it appropriate to keep hand mittens on a newborn baby?

Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP

Answer

​As parents are looking over their precious newborns, most notice baby's hands are bluish in color or feel cold. For some, baby may have long, sharp fingernails that accidentally scratch skin. Mittens seem to be a good solution for both of these problems.

The reality, however, 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. Plus, good early nail trimming can avoid scratches—avoiding the need for mittens altogether. Some hospitals now discourage mitten wearing, so don't be surprised if you notice this trend in the hospital where you deliver.

Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org:

Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP

​Natasha Burgert, MD, FAAP is a board-certified general pediatrician in Kansas City, MO. Within the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), she is a member of the Council on Communications and Media. If she is not in clinic, you will find her regularly sharing evidence-based child health information combined with her personal experience on KCKidsDoc.com and on Twitter @doctornatasha​. She is fueled by her husband and two young children. ​

Last Updated
10/15/2016
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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