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It's winter here and our place doesn't have central heating. We have been using freestanding heaters and layers of clothing to keep warm. In order to keep our daughter's hands warm, I've been putting socks on her hands.

I've been trying to limit this to overnight when it's coldest but have had to during the day as well because it has been particularly cold this week so far. We're expecting it to be this cold all week, and for the majority of the next month at least, although there will be warm days.

Would covering her hands for the next few weeks the majority of the time be a problem for her development? Although she is very small and isn't doing much with them right now, I am concerned about her not having a range of tactile things to feel if she's just feeling socks all day.

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    What temperatures are you talking about? “Cold” and “winter” is pretty vague. – Stephie Jul 2 '18 at 21:29
  • @Stephie 0-5C overnight and 10-15 C during the day. Point is more about the developmental concern. I am satisfied she is warm enough. – user30275 Jul 2 '18 at 22:00
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    Thanks for the clarification, I just wanted to ascertain whether no mittens is an option or not - and this will of course depend on ambient temperatures. That said, cold hands are perfectly ok for babies and not a warning sign. Always gauge their temperature at the rump, e.g. by touching their neck (under the clothes). Which of course doesn’t answer your question. – Stephie Jul 2 '18 at 22:12
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    @SiXandSeven8ths yes it's our inside temp. We use heaters inside but not all the time. Only when bathing and changing her and ourselves. – user30275 Jul 3 '18 at 20:35
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    @pojo-guy It's definitely something that one has to get accustomed to. I have never lived in a house with central heating and grew up dealing with these kinds of temperatures indoors, so, while inconvenient, it's something that I'm used to dealing with. I live in South Africa where houses are rarely built with central heating (except for the upper upper class) and many people just can't afford the fuel/electricity bill associated with heating a house in its entirity. – user30275 Jul 5 '18 at 8:17
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I am not a medical professional, nor am I a developmental psychologist; I am simply speaking from my own experience and knowledge.

I think how much this would affect her would depend a lot on your daughter's age. If the only thing she is doing with her hands is waving them in the air and perhaps sticking them in her mouth (young infant), I can't imagine the socks having a significant effect. If she's old enough to grab and hold onto things, I suspect the socks will make that more difficult, and could potentially delay her development slightly (again, I am not an expert in this field).

From my own experience with cold temperatures, I doubt that any above-0°C temperatures will have a significant effect on her hands, as long as the rest of her body is kept warm. Her hands may get cold, but as long as the skin isn't freezing, I doubt it will have any adverse effect (again, I am not a doctor).

My suggestion would be to leave the socks off during the day, and only use them at night, unless the temperature gets significantly colder.

(My own son hated wearing mittens when he was younger, and despite my best efforts would regularly spend hours outside with no mittens in -15° to -20°C, with no significant adverse effects. The skin on the back of his hands did get somewhat chapped, but it wasn't anything serious.)

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