This past Saturday, DH and I went to our the final class in a series about parenting/infant care/childbirth in the area. I have to say that it was refreshingly helpful in contrast to the prior class and what I was expecting, and I even learned a couple things that I wouldn't mind sharing and getting some opinions on. Specifically, the public health nurse who was teaching the class said not to use scratch mittens because newborns have only a couple of ways to self-soothe that they learned in utero and one of them is to rub their hands and fists on their face or suck on their fingers. Scratch mitten prevent them from doing that. As far as she was concerned, finger nails can be filed down with an emery board if necessary but that face scratching is more of an aesthetic concern for parents than it is a danger to the baby.
Along the same lines, she also recommended that if you're going to use a swaddling blanket you swaddle the baby with her hands up near her chin so she's still able to soothe herself.
I had never heard about this at all before, so I was wondering what everyone's opinions are on this matter and what you've all heard about this.