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Why Babies Should Have Bare Feet and Bare Hands

Baby with bare feet and hands

Newborn babies are so much fun to dress up, right down to their little toes, but did you know that there are good reasons to leave their hands and feet bare?

Here’s why babies should be free of socks and mittens

In the womb, your baby got to know their hands, and they became one of what the Montessori approach calls a “point of reference”.  In other words, something baby remembers from being in utero.

As newborns adjust to being in the outside world, you may notice how they bring their hands to their face, hold them up in the air, and begin to map out how their hands are related to their bodies. 

We don’t want to cover their fingers and thumbs, taking away those familiar friends they made in the womb.

(What about those sharp little fingernails? We recommend a nail file like this one to keep them smooth and short.)

Babies use their hands for self-soothing

Whether they grip something like your shirt or finger while nursing, or discover their thumb as a tool for sucking and falling asleep, hands can be important self-soothing tools for babies. Let them access their hands outside of sleepers or mittens that cover them.

Babies need their bare feet to explore

We avoid socks when inside, whether nursing or playing. Even very young babies are using their toes to push off of surfaces and move around.

Playtime is exercise

Movement-friendly clothing enables babies to roll, scoot, and crawl, free from negative feedback that a hard seam or scrunched up fabric may provide. Imagine wearing jeans when you work out and how quickly you would stop doing squats!

Related: Montessori Tips On How To Dress Your Baby


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