Tips For Trimming Baby's Nails

I know moms who start sweating just thinking of cutting their babies’ nails. With a few simple tips trimming baby’s nails does not have to result in tears – from baby or Mom!

mom and baby hands

When to trim

You don’t want your baby to end up with tiny scratches all over his sweet face from his own sharp nails so it’s important to keep them trimmed on a regular basis. At the beginning of their young life babies' nails grow so fast that you may have to tackle the trimming task at least once or twice a week. Check your baby’s nails every day to see if you need to clip or smooth them with a file.

Have the proper equipment

Make sure to use baby nail scissors with rounded tips, nail clippers designed for baby or even small emery boards intended for baby’s nails. You can find a kit like this by Dreambaby online or a similar one at your local drugstore.

Trim away

Hold baby’s hand by the palm and them hold each finger steady and trim the nail. Do not cut too close to the skin to avoid any pain for baby. If you can’t bear to cut the nail or if baby is too fidgety, try simply smoothing the nails with the emery boards so they are rounded and smooth.

Uh ohs

If baby moves or you accidentally clip him, don’t panic. It’s likely just a tiny cut that you can take care of easily. Stop the bleeding by applying gentle pressure with a sterile piece of gauze. Once the bleeding stops apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment. If the cut is minor, avoid putting a bandage on -- baby might work it loose with his mouth and accidentally swallow it.

Sometimes, the first few trimmings might be a two-person job. Enlist your partner to help you hold and distract baby while you trim his nails. If all else fails, wait until baby falls asleep then trim away without any struggle and without him even knowing!

More on baby care

Sugar water for infant pain relief
The ABCs of bathing baby
How to get help with your newborn


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