Baby Mittens Buying Guide

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Baby Mittens Buying Guide

Baby mittens are an indispensable part of a child's wardrobe from the child's birth to age three or four, before gloves can be put on and used easily by the child. Mittens serve different purposes for newborns as well as for slightly older babies. Newborns use special mittens that serve mostly to protect their faces from their fingernails, while older babies need mittens for warmth in cold climates. There are also different mitten closures that are helpful depending on the baby's hands and wrists, since it is common for mittens to fall off tiny hands and wrists. There are many materials to choose from as well, each of which provides a different level of warmth and protection from the elements. Baby mittens can be found in department stores and other places where baby clothes are found, as well as online. Those shopping for baby mittens should know about the different types of mittens for babies, different mitten closures, materials, sizing, and how to buy mittens online.

Types of Baby Mittens

There are basically two types of baby mittens. The first type is used exclusively for newborns and are sometimes called 'baby scratch mittens'. The second type is intended to keep small babies' hands warm. There are some important differences between the two kinds of mittens that one should be aware of prior to any purchases.

Baby Scratch Mittens or Mitts

Scratch mittens are intended to protect the baby's face from his or her fingernails which are very small and sharp. While baby fingernails need to be trimmed, doing so is difficult because they are so small and it is easy to accidentally cut the nail to the quick. They also grow so quickly that it may be impossible to keep them short enough to avoid nicks and small cuts. Scratch mittens are made of a lightweight material, have no thumbs, and are of the smallest sizes. It is not advisable to continue to use scratch mittens after the first few weeks because babies need access to their fingers in order to develop important motor skills.

Some parents prefer to allow the inevitable scratches, which should heal very quickly, rather than cover the baby's hands. However, in cases where scratching is causing a serious problem, scratch mittens are a great solution with no established negative side effects. They can also be used only at certain times, such as when the baby is asleep, to minimise scratching without preventing the baby from exploring with his or her hands.

Mittens for Cold Weather

Baby mittens for cold weather are comprised of thicker materials and typically have a thumb hole. These mittens allow the baby to grasp things while keeping the fingers together for maximum warmth. Baby mittens often come with matching hats, or other items like scarves. They may also have a long string that prevents the mittens from getting lost if they fall off the baby's hands. The string can be passed through the arms of a jacket, thus keeping the mittens securely with baby.

Very young babies, from newborns to approximately nine months of age, typically do not regulate their body temperature as efficiently as older children and adults. For this reason, mittens should be used for young babies but not relied upon completely to keep the baby's hands warm in cold weather.

Baby Mitten Closures

The most common issue with baby mittens of all types, is that they tend to fall off and get lost. This is generally due to the baby's almost constant movement and tiny hands which are even smaller when made into fists. To prevent the mittens from falling off, a few different closures are available. These are elastic, drawstrings, and velcro.

Elastic Mitten Closures

Elastic closures are the most common type of closure for baby mittens. The advantage of elastic mittens is that they are very easy to put on the baby. The downside is that they tend to slip off the easiest. Elastic closures are ideal for huskier babies since their wrists and hands are big enough for the elastic to stay in place.

Drawstring Mitten Closures

Drawstring closures are the preference of many parents because of their adjustability. Since mittens were traditionally knitted from yarn, a drawstring closure was the easiest adjustable closure to incorporate. However, it can be a little difficult to put them on a newborn and tie them, since the baby's fingers can get tangled with the string on the inside of the mitten.

Hook and Loop Closures on Baby Mittens

Some companies make baby mittens with hook and loop closures. These are adjustable, like drawstrings, but much easier to use. However, they generally come with a higher price tag. They are still not as common as drawstring or elastic closures.

Baby Mitten Materials

The materials from which the mittens are made has a lot to do with the comfort and usefulness of the mittens. Mittens can be made from a variety of materials including cotton, wool, fleece, polyester, and even fur. Choosing the right materials ensures that the baby's hands are kept at just the right temperature.


Cotton is generally the material of choice for newborn scratch mitts because it is lightweight and breathable. Since it does not trap heat as well as other materials, it is the ideal fabric to use indoors, where the temperature is not a concern. Cotton mittens are soft, durable, and easily washable.


Wool is a good material for outdoor use. It traps heat even when wet, setting it apart from most other fabrics. However, it can be scratchy and irritate delicate skin. Wool is practically unmatched as far as insulation is concerned, but if the baby is sensitive to wool mittens, fleece is a good alternative.


Fleece is a synthetic material with many of the same qualities as wool. Like wool, it is a good insulator and breathable. However, it is much lighter and does not insulate as well when wet. It is also more flammable unless it is treated. It is generally less itchy than wool. In very cold and wet conditions, wool may be preferable unless it irritates the baby's skin. In all other situations, fleece mittens can be expected to perform just as well.

Baby Mitten Sizes

Mittens come in many sizes and choosing the correct size can be the difference between mittens that fall off, and those that stay on the baby's hands. Unfortunately, manufacturers measure sizes differently and there is no current standard. The most important measurement for newborns is the circumference of the wrist. For older babies, the width and length of the hand are important as well. The table below gives the sizes most commonly found.













While age is the most common way to size baby mittens, weight is sometimes a better indication of a baby's size. For example, premature babies often wear one size smaller that their age would indicate while big babies may need one size bigger.

How to Buy Baby Mittens on eBay

The widest selection of baby mittens is available online but the main concern with online shopping is finding a reputable seller. This is made easy with eBay because of eBay's public feedback system. Every seller on eBay is rated by a feedback score which takes into account all past feedback from buyers. This makes it simple to find a seller who has a history of offering excellent products and service.

To find baby mittens on eBay, simply start on eBay's home page and search for ' baby mittens'. You can then refine the search with the criteria provided. These criteria include category, price, seller and even condition. Once you choose the appropriate subcategory, you can choose from more criteria to help refine the search, such as gender, size, colour, brand, pattern, and material. These search criteria allow you to quickly find just the mittens you need.

As with any online purchase, read the entire listing carefully, look at all pictures, and feel free to ask the seller any questions you might have. Also be sure to check the return policy and shipping charges. eBay's Top-Rated Sellers are denoted with an award icon next to their names and can be counted on to provide excellent customer service and fast shipping.


Baby mittens are an accessory that is always appreciated by parents of a newborn. Newborn scratch mitts prevent the scratches and cuts that are commonly caused by the tiny nails of newborns. As the baby grows, mittens help keep little hands warm. Baby mittens come in various types of materials. Some, like wool, are well suited to harsh outdoor conditions while others, like cotton, are primarily geared towards indoor use.

Baby mittens also come with one of several closures to prevent the mittens from being lost. Elastic is by far the most common but can be problematic if it is not tight enough. Adjustable closures that are found on baby mittens include drawstrings and hook and loop closures. Mittens can be sized correctly by measuring the circumference of the baby's wrist and the width and length of the hand with all fingers outstretched. Baby mittens can be found in many brick-and-mortar stores but by far the widest selection is found on reputable sites like eBay. By knowing about the variety of mitten styles available and how to find the right mittens online, family and friends can find a pair of adorable mittens for any baby.

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