Cutting Your Baby’s Nails with Care

BabyNailTrimYour new baby’s hands are soft and sweet, but her fingernails can feel as sharp as razor blades.

Trimming an infant’s nails is a nerve-racking task, but here are some tips to make this mini-manicure easier.

  • Invest in some newborn mittens or simply place socks on your baby’s hands. This will keep him from accidentally scratching himself.
  • Never bite your baby’s nails. This could lead to infection.
  • Use nail clippers or scissors specifically designed for babies. Adult clippers can be difficult to maneuver on tiny fingers.
  • Press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin while trimming.
  • Don’t trim the nails too short. Just short enough to prevent scratches is fine, otherwise you risk exposing that very tender skin on your baby’s fingers.
  • If using nail clippers or scissors makes you too nervous, use a soft emery board to file down nails instead. You will likely have to do this more often than clipping, though.
  • For wiggly babies, try clipping during naptime. You could also have one parent trim the nails while the other parent feeds the baby.
  • If you do accidentally cut your baby’s finger while trimming, don’t be too hard on yourself. It is a common mistake parents make, and you will get better at it with practice.
  • To ease a nail-trimming nick, apply pressure and the bleeding will stop. If the cut won’t clot or the amount of blood seems excessive, call your pediatrician just to be safe.