Tips for Trimming Baby Nails

imageWhen you’re a new parent, the smallest and most mundane things about your baby can feel extraordinary — like baby’s first gassy grin — or exhausting — like trimming baby’s miracle-grow, needle-sharp nails. Healthy little ones tend to require their nails to be trimmed about twice a week. And due to newborns’ lack of motor skill development, they need those face-scratchers and eye-pokers maintained regularly. However, many parents discover holding a small, squirming (and often screaming) human while trying to clip ten itty-bitty twitchy nails is no easy feat.

Tips for Trimming Babies’ (and Toddlers’) Nails

  • Use baby nail clippers or scissors. They’re safer and easier to use.
  • Have your partner or other family member distract baby while you do the trimming.
  • Make sure you have good lighting and are in a good position to cut baby’s nails.
  • You can do it while baby’s asleep to make trimming faster and easier for everyone.
  • Cut sooth, rounded nails and corners — leave no jagged surfaces or edges.
  • If you’re concerned about nipping a wiggling wee one, try using baby emery boards or little nail files.
  • In the case of a nail-clipping boo-boo, apply pressure to the little cut to stop minor bleeding. Do not place a bandage on it because it will likely end up in baby’s mouth as a choking hazard.
  • Trim baby’s nails as often as necessary to prevent scrapes, scratches, and eye injury to him or herself and other children.

If you can trim the nails while baby is sleeping, that’s probably the easiest way to go about it. Mine always woke up. I had to buckle her in her car seat swing (off mode), put a video on, and position myself so she couldn’t see the nails being trimmed. Otherwise, it was a writhing drama scene. What works best for you?

I love this quote by Samuel Johnson; I love it even more when absurdly set in the context of trimming baby nails: “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”

Thank you for being tuned in parents. A special thanks to tuned in parent Amy in Seattle for these tips today! I welcome your comments, suggestions, and more parenting tips — let’s keep the knowledge flowing! There’s more for you, too, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

-Elle C.

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children's book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and "make it workology," she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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