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Baby & Toddler, Motherhood

Baby talk – scratch mittens or socks?

Scratch mittens - alternative solutions - baby girl Valentina is pictured

Do you put traditional scratch mittens on your baby? Do you also put them in socks? Well what if you didn’t have to buy both? Let me explain:

What are scratch mittens for?

These tiny hand covers are usually made of cotton. It’s important to protect your baby’s new skin as much as possible, because it’s super sensitive when they’re first born.

They are designed to cover your baby’s hands, to stop them from scratching themselves. Your newborn may needs this protection because they use their hands to soothe themselves in the womb, so they are likely to use them and to potentially cause themselves damage when they’re first born.

Scratch mitts are also known as hand covers, in some quarters.

Are scratch mittens necessary?

Some newborns are born with very sharp nails and you will want them protected from scratching themselves. But you don’t need to buy them, cotton socks will do the job.

Scratch mitten socks

Yes, you read that correctly, scratch mitt socks. You could be excused for thinking that I’m against baby socks, as I’ve written about why baby boys (as well as girls) should wear tights. But socks do have their place in your baby’s wardrobe; you can put them on your newborn’s hands in lieu of traditional mitts. This works well because socks are bigger, so they are easier to put on. You can also match them much easier than you can scratch mittens. And, last but not least, they have two uses; you’re able to use them on your baby’s feet and hands.

So if you’re considering buying scratch mittens, don’t bother. Use scratch mitt socks instead. They do the job perfectly well.

When should your baby stop using them?

Use scratch mitt socks until you’re able to trim your baby’s nails. Babies do like to use their hands to soothe, so although you don’t want them scratching themselves, you do want them to be able to self soothe.

Scratch mittens - alternative solutions - the alternative solution

Is it worth it?

Are scratch mitten socks worth trying? In a word ‘yes’. Why would you buy something extra if you don’t absolutely need them. You should absolutely try scratch mitten socks before purchasing typical scratch mitts.

If your head is spinning, with ideas of what your baby is going to need, this NHS guide will point you in the right direction. My motherhood blog section may help too.