Newborns have very sharp fingernails, which seems odd considering they have spent 9 + months in fluid! Mothers worry that their babies will scratch their faces and get scars. The solution would appear to be to cover their hands with very cute mittens.
Unfortunately, your little ones need to have their hands free in order to explore the world and also to assist them in finding food. It is believed that the mouth and hands have the most sensory receptors per square inch of any part of the human body. This means that babies need their hands for exploration and input – it also helps us to understand why babies and children need to touch everything and put everything into their mouths!
Returning to the importance of uncovered hands for feeding – there are three reflexes involving the hands and feeding –
The Palmomental reflex – when you touch your babies palm a muscle under the lower lip everts – this helps your little one latch on to the breast!
The Babkin reflex- when you gently press the base of your baby’s palm you baby will open his or her mouth, their eyes will close and their head will move forward!
The last is the Grasp reflex – when you press your finger into your little ones palm they will grasp and hold tightly! Often the grasp tightens with suckling!
So, uncover those precious little hands and let them explore and help them find you at feeding time!