How to Trim Your Child’s Nails

This is similar to a parenting rite: it is impossible to cut a child’s nails for the first time.

When my daughter was only a couple of weeks old, I cut her finger and there was blood in it. I thought insomnia was also hormonal: forget about it. I can not do it. Who even let me take this baby home?

But she was fine, and in the end so was I.

Babies grow nails quickly. And they love to explore their cute faces with these cute little nails. If you don’t want to stuff their hands in mittens for their first year (I know some parents who do this), you need to get them trimmed regularly. Here’s how to do it:

Collect the tools you need

First off: no, you cannot use your own nail clippers. It’s like trying to trim your nails with the giant scissors used to ceremonially cut the ribbon. Use baby scissors or wire cutters designed specifically for tiny fingers. We loved these Piyo Piyo nail clippers when my daughter was little. Fridababy also makes a popular nail grooming kit called the SnipperClipper – it has a curved blade and a “spy hole” through which you can look and see exactly where you are cutting.

For the first few weeks of your little one’s life, all you need to care for your nails is a soft emery board. Newborn nails are soft enough to file off.

Choose the right time

Many parents love to trim their babies’ nails while they nap, and if you have a heavy bulldozer this might be a good option for you. Wait about 20 minutes for the unsuspecting infant to reach deep, slow motion sleep, then make your move.

I, however, could hardly afford to breathe on my girl after she fell asleep. Not that she slept particularly lightly, but keeping Napa holy was just that important. I couldn’t risk it. I found a good alternative – to cut your baby’s nails right after the bath. They are usually happy and relaxed, and their nails are beautiful and soft.

Get out of the dark

Finding good light is hard work. To help you tell the difference between nail and skin, one trick I’ve heard is to soak your child’s nails with a little cornstarch before trimming them. You now have a good contrast.

Position your child

Babies are writhing creatures. Here are some ways to prevent whipping up:

Front Carrying Method: This method is equally suitable for both small dogs and older children. Secure your baby in the carrier facing forward (you and your baby should be facing in the same direction). Work with one hand while holding the other hand with the other.

Attach them to a highchair and distract them.

Tag group method: Have the partner hold the child’s hand while cutting, or vice versa.

Now crop

Once you’ve created the perfect setup, how the heck do you actually trim your child’s nails? Grip the child’s hand firmly, squeeze the pad of the finger away from the nail and cut along the curve of the finger. Baby’s toenails can be trimmed straight.

Whatever you do, do not bite off your baby’s nails. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , parents who do this risk exposing their child to a condition called herpes simplex infection, an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus.

First aid

If you accidentally cut your child’s finger in the process, don’t worry . It happens. Rinse the cup with cool water and then apply gentle pressure with a cloth or sterile gauze pad. The bleeding usually stops within a few minutes. (If it doesn’t, see your doctor.) Do not use a bandage, as babies like to chew on small objects.

Then take a deep breath and relax – and get ready to do it again next week.

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