Parent Time

Multi-purpose Mittens

Sometimes our children unintentionally cause us pain. Hair pulling is a favorite infant trick; smiling sweetly into your face, winding a strand of hair around a tiny, sweet fist, then yanking down hard until Mommy or Daddy yells.

Nursing babies may grab with strong little fingers or bite down on unsuspecting (or even highly suspicious) mothers. Baby scratches are also painful, raising tiny little welts if you can't get those teeny fingers unclenched soon enough. Babies fingernails are very thin, which makes them sharper than those of adults, and infants wind up scratching themselves or their caregivers if the nails aren't taken care of. Read on for tips on hand care for your baby.

1. Use baby nail scissors or clippers to keep you infant's nails short.

2. You may also want to try a small emery board to file or buff away sharp edges.

3. Remember that washing your baby's hands is one way to limit germ transmission. Also wash toys, blankets and everything else that finds its way into your baby's mouth!

4. If your baby scratches herself with tiny, sharp baby nails, try putting baby mittens on her when she sleeps or during nursing. Baby mittens are also good for cool weather or cool houses when you want to make sure your child stays warm. Look for mittens I cotton or fleece: wool may be too scratchy and irritate sensitive skin.

5. If you don't have mittens but are getting tired of tiny fingers gouging at your face, put socks on your baby's hands when you're playing, cuddling or feeding her. Sew rattles or tiny jingle bells into the ends to keep her amused. You can also try a variation on swaddling: wrap your child in a blanket when feeding and don't let those little hands escape. Some infants will put up with this: it makes them feel contained. Others will simply howl for freedom.

Continue reading more baby tips about Putting a Baby Bib on a Squirming Baby

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