3 Easy Ways To Cut Your Baby’s Nails


Motherhood does not come with a manual and no two experiences are the same. For some it may be a jolly ride, and for others a bucket of heightened anxiety and confusion. When it comes to tasks about your baby’s hygiene and grooming basics, you may have lots of concerns which is normal.



Taking care of your baby’s nails is part of maintaining good hygiene. When the baby’s nails grow unattended, there is the possibility of your baby harming themselves especially when they get fussy. A baby’s nails can be surprisingly sharp even just a few days after birth. Keeping the nails short helps to prevent the accumulation of germs underneath them. 



When is the right time to cut your baby’s nails?

There are no strict measures to begin trimming your baby’s nails. If your baby’s nails are already longer than their fingertips in a few weeks, you can cut them to avoid them scratching and injuring themselves. Due to the fragility of their skin, you should let it be for about a month to harden a little if not yet overgrown. This will give ease to trimming with a special baby nail clipper.


The best time to do the trimming is when they are more relaxed to avoid sudden jerking, you can do this when they are asleep or after they eat. Also, if your baby naturally has a calm disposition, it makes it easier too. 



Are nail cutters the safest option for cutting a baby’s nails?

During the first few weeks, It is always best and safer to use a nail file or an emery board (not a metal file) specifically designed for babies for your baby’s nails, Although time-consuming, the nail file is ideal for the thin and tender nails, it will help to smoothen out sharp edges too.


 You may choose to transition to using a baby nail clipper or baby nail scissors with rounded ends to trim carefully once your baby’s fingernails begin to harden. Please do not use manicure tools for grownups or try to bite the nails.



3 smart ways to cut your baby’s nails

  1. Appropriate positioning:  Hold your little one with caution or possibly wait till they are fast asleep. Find a position convenient for you and your baby while ensuring that you have good lighting. For the first few times, you may need to have someone help you hold your baby to limit fidgeting. 


  1. Clip when your baby is calm: It is preferable to clip nails when your baby is asleep or drowsy. This is to avoid any hyperactivity that may result in injuring your baby in the process. If you are using a nail clipper, gently push down the hyponychium (that is the skin underneath the fingertips) to access the nails and avoid the skin getting in the way.


  1. Use special tools: Strictly use manicure tools specially designed for babies. No matter how tempting it may be, do not use your teeth, never chew or bite your baby’s nails. 



It is good to keep an eye on your baby’s nail growth to avoid scratches as they are usually sharp although thin. Do not attempt to cut your baby’s nails when they are agitated. There may be a feeling of anxiety from your end for the first time, if you cannot do it alone, seek guidance. In case of any injury during the process of trimming or infection on the nail, do not be quick to administer any over-the-counter drugs without first consulting your baby’s doctor and getting a prescription.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if I injure my baby when cutting her nails?

Rinse with warm water and gently press into the area with a towel or a clean gauze to cease blood if any. Apply a petroleum jelly lightly around the area, this will help support skin healing. Breast milk is also known to have antiseptic properties that promote healing. You may try putting drops of breast milk on the superficial cut.  Do not use a bandage around the tiny cut as your baby tends to get their fingers into their mouth, thereby exposing them to the risk of choking.


Is using vaseline on my baby’s nails necessary before cutting it?

Vaseline hydrates the nails and helps to soften them no doubt but it is not a must to apply on your baby’s nails before cutting them, your baby’s nails are already soft and tender.


Can I bite or peel my baby’s nail?

Please never bite or peel your baby’s nails, you could give them infection or soreness. Use baby nail clippers or files instead.

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