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How to Clip Your Baby's Nails

by Staff Writer

Baby nail care

Things You Need:

  • Baby-safe nail clippers or scissors
  • Baby-safe emery board

Clipping your baby's nails for the first time can be a little scary. You don't want to cut the baby's nails too short or accidentally pinch those tiny fingers with the clippers. The key to clipping tiny infant fingernails without pinching the skin is having the right tools. With some baby-safe nail clippers and a few expert tips, trimming your baby's nails can be painless and quick for both you and your baby.

Clipping Your Baby's Nails:

  1. Newborn nails: Newborns and infants have very soft nails and may only require regular filing with a baby-safe emery board. It is important to keep newborn fingernails short so your baby doesn't accidentally scratch his own face.

  2. Fighting wiggles: As your baby gets older, trimming his nails becomes a little more difficult. The biggest challenge to trimming your baby's nails is keeping him from wiggling and squirming while you clip. Trimming your baby's nails while he is sleeping will significantly reduce the amount of squirming you have to contend with.

  3. Be gentle but firm: If you're trimming your baby's nails while he is awake, lay him on his back and hold his fingers firmly in one hand. Gently press on the pad of each finger to slightly separate the skin from the nail while you trim each nail with the other hand. Follow the same process for his toes.

  4. Don't trim too much: Nails trimmed too short can be uncomfortable and even painful for your baby. Trim the white part of the nail straight across and then go over the sharp corners with an emery board.

  5. Trim baby nails regularly: A baby's fingernails grow quickly, so you will need to trim them approximately every four days. Keeping them trimmed will help prevent him from scratching himself. Your baby's toenails grow slower and will not need to be clipped as frequently as his fingernails.

  6. Accidents will happen: You may accidentally cut your baby while clipping his nails, especially if he's wiggly. If you accidentally clip your baby's finger or toe, wash the cut and apply a tissue to the area with some pressure; the bleeding will stop soon.

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