How to clip your babies nails
If you ask any parent they’ll tell you that there’s no task more daunting than clipping your baby’s nails for the first time. One of the most surprising things you will find about your newborn baby is how jagged their little fingernails are.
Although your baby’s hands and nails are tiny, they can do some damage if left to grow, causing them to easily scratch themselves. This is why it’s so important to trim your baby’s nails as soon as you can.
If the idea of cutting your little one’s nails is completely daunting, don’t worry – it’s natural to feel that way, and, once you’ve done it once it gets much easier.
In this article we will go through everything you need to know about clipping your baby’s nails so that you have the confidence to give it a try!
What do you need to clip your baby’s nails?
You’ll need a few key pieces of equipment to be able to trim your baby’s nails including baby nail scissors, baby nail clippers and a little emery board.
Baby nail scissors
Baby nail scissors are round ended safety scissors that are the right size and shape for your baby’s fingernails.
They are comfortable for you to hold and help you cut your little one’s nails easily and safely.
Baby nail clippers
Baby nail clippers are smaller versions of adult nail clippers. They are suitable to use from birth and help you to clip straight, ensuring there are no jagged edges.
Baby emery boards are another great tool to have in your arsenal as they help to provide a safe and gentle solution to trimming down your child’s nails.
Easy to use and often classed as a safe alternative to nail scissors and clippers, these can help to file nails down with ease!
You can usually find great baby vanity kits which include these items plus more, Check out Amazon for a range of suitable kits.
What is the best way to cut your baby’s nails?
The best (and easiest) way to trim little nails is to use special baby nail clippers or a pair of round ended baby scissors that have been specifically designed to cut the smallest nails.
Whilst your baby is asleep, or calm, gently hold them in your arms and then take a firm hold on their fingers. Snip across the nail either with scissors or clippers, ensuring you follow the white nail line. For toenails, follow the same method except nails should be cut straight across.
If your baby’s nail growth isn’t long, or they have some rough edges you need to take care of, you can use a soft emery board to smooth rough edges. Just be careful to not file any skin under the nail bed as this can be uncomfortable for them and cause them distress.
How often should I cut them?
Believe it or not, baby fingernails grow quickly, so you’ll need to ensure you trim or gently file them once every two weeks. Toenails, on the other hand, grow more slowly so once a month is usually fine.
What shape should my little one’s nails be?
Your baby’s nails should be kept nice and straight, as tempting as it can be to go shorter you should avoid this at all costs as it can cause them mild discomfort and may result in ingrown nails.
What happens if I accidentally cut my baby’s skin?
No matter how careful you are, accidentally cutting your baby’s skin is always a possibility – don’t worry though! It’s a common error and you need to remind yourself that plenty of parents have done it before.
The best advice we can give you is to stay calm and hold a piece of clean, damp cotton wool on the cut until the bleeding stops. Apply a little pressure and your baby should be fine within a few minutes.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, or the small wound looks infected after a few days, you should consult professional medical advice as it could be sign of an infection.
Plasters are classed as a choking hazard to small babies, so whatever you do avoid putting one on them.
Can I bite my baby’s nails?
If you’re a serial nail-biter, don’t be tempted to bite your little one’s nails to keep them shorter! Any germs or bacteria from your mouth can transfer into cuts on your baby’s fingers which can lead to infection.
Tips for trimming baby nails
Although trimming your baby’s fingers and toes for the first time can feel daunting – don’t worry. We have plenty of tips to keep you and your little one calm.
- Cut your baby’s nails when they are sleeping, or calm and content. Trying to cut them when their agitated will only lead to you both feeling stressed!
- Some parents may find it easier to cut their baby’s nails with the help of another caregiver. One adult can gently hold the baby whilst the other one focuses on cutting the nails.
- Another top tip is to find a comfortable position with enough light, this could be in a nursing chair or on their changing mat.
- Stay calm! Ok, this one might be easier said than done, but if you are feeling anxious and stressed, your baby will pick up on it and mirror you.
- Don’t worry if you don’t manage to trim your baby’s fingernails in one go. Just keep the scissors, clippers or nail file handy so that you can finish up when your little one is feeling calmer