Dad for Beginners

Amateurism at its best

Baby Junk, pt. 3 – Mittens


Baby mittens were one of the strangest things I had to wrap my mind around when I first became a new parent. Throughout the entirety of my life, mittens were reserved exclusively for cold weather nerds and simpletons who where not cool enough for fingered gloves and not hardcore enough to handle the cold. Mittens were isolated into a niche demographic occupied by small, usually frail girly boys named Simon, Stewart, Marvin, or Napoleon. In this vein, it was reasonable to understand why mittens were grouped into the same nomenclature as litten or kitten; because they were archaic and fuzzy pseudo-gloves worn only by the weak.

baby mittens

Simon Birch; the original nerdy, small kid of my childhood. Shown here probably wearing mittens.

Baby mittens, however, are designed to prevent your newborn baby from scratching their plush and fragile skin with the tiny knives they wield on their fingertips. It’s true that baby fingernails are nothing short of miniature razorblades protruding haphazardly from the tiny phalanges of your mini wolverine. Because of these claws that babies develop on their fingers early on, some genius out there conceptualized cute little mittens to protect the baby from harming itself.

baby mittens

If these tiny mittens look useless to you, then you’re right. Well done.

While in theory it is a good idea, baby mittens are impossible to keep on a baby hand. Newborns and infants have the motor skills of a drunk Michael J. Fox and unless you’re keen on cinching the cuff tightly around your child’s little wrist thus compromising his circulation, the mittens will not stay put. Moreover, as your infant grows they will quickly learn how to intentionally spurn the mittens, at which point their finger knives will be directed at you, the mitten dictator. It is amazing how quickly an infant can slice a sizeable chunk out of even the most calloused adult skin.

baby mittens

No mitten can contain this reality. Focus your efforts elsewhere.

What most new parents will learn after a short 6 or 8 months is that infants are daredevils with reckless abandon. The baby mittens in comparison are like trying to put a band-aid on a buckshot wound. Infants, as they become mobile, face household obstacles far more dangerous than the jagged little bayonets they carry on their fingers. Do yourself a favor by remaining diligent over the length of your child’s nails and focus your energy on how you intend to rescue him when he wedges himself between the wall and the washing machine. Save yourself the $3.99 and buy a 40oz. Old English instead. At least a hearty helping of malt liquor will numb the pain when little Napoleon takes his next swipe at your face.

Part 1: The Crib

Part 2: The Diaper Bag

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