Trimming Your Baby’s Nails: All You Should Know

how to trim your baby's nails at home

Just like grownups, babies too need to have their bodies kept in perfect condition to ensure hygiene, freshness, and comfort. Apart from the regular routine tasks that every parent of a newborn becomes familiar with, there are other, less frequent events that must take place once in a while, like taking care of your baby’s nails. 

That’s right! Baby nails are quick growers and there are no baby manicurists out there to help you. This is something that every parent can easily do at home using the right supplies. However, before you take the baby nail trimmer, a level of research and preparation is essential to ensure that you keep your little one protected and safe during the process.

Don’t worry! We know that cutting your baby’s nails for the first time may seem a bit scary but we’re here to share everything we know and help you. In this article, we will look into the process of trimming your baby’s nails and answer some of the most commonly seen questions related to the topic. 

Why is cutting your toddler’s nails important?

Keeping your little one’s nails clean and at the right length is important for their health and wellbeing. Having in mind that babies are not yet in full control of their bodies, leaving their nails to grow long may result in painful face scratches. Furthermore, the longer the nails are, the more dirt and germs they are able to store. 

Considering that during their first year, babies spend a lot of time crawling on the floor and on other surfaces, you are probably getting the idea of why this is not an ideal scenario. Not to mention that it is an absolute baby favourite to put their hands in their mouth at least a couple of times a day. Long baby nails could easily become the main reason behind a bacterial infection or other dangerous health conditions. 

When should you start trimming your baby’s nails?

Every baby is unique and so are their nail growing patterns. However, in most cases, the baby’s nails start growing when they reach their first month. This is the time when you’ll notice that the nail is becoming a bit harder with a firmer and easy to notice edge. The hardening of the nail will make the trimming process a lot easier for you, especially if you use specifically designed for the purpose baby nail scissors. 

Tips for how to clip your baby’s nails with ease 

Regardless of the equipment you’ve chosen, we’d like to share with you a few useful secrets that will make baby nail clipping an easier and more enjoyable process for both you as a parent and the little one.

By trying to cut your newborn’s nails, you’re likely to discover a way that perfectly works for you that no one has ever talked about. And that’s great as you will have settled into a trimming routine that both you and the baby are comfortable with. However, for parents trying this for the first time, some guidance and advice may come in handy. 

Do the trimming during sleeping time 

This trick may seem a bit unfair for your little one but on second thought it’s maybe the only way to get the job done. If you notice that your child becomes extremely irritated and can’t stay calm when you attempt to do the nail cutting, wait for nap time and try again. If you are gentle enough and with a bit of luck, they won’t wake up and you will be able to cover all of their nails. In this case, there will be no turning or wiggling and the trimming will happen in an instant. If you are doing this during the night when your toddler’s room is dark, prepare with sufficient light to ensure that you are confident in your trimming. 

Buy a baby nail clipper

You can’t go into baby nail clipping unprepared. Choose a little baby nail trimmer that will help you along the way. Search for a product that can work on both fingernails and toenails and provides an automatic safety nail file to trim and polish. It’s also important to make sure that the motor is quiet and won’t disturb the peace of your little one just by making scary sounds. What’s more, a whisper-motor will allow you to trim the nails while they sleep without waking them up.

An ideal baby nail clipper will have different files that are suitable for babies, kids, and even adults. This way, you’ll be able to use the instrument that you’re already familiar with and have already relied on during the different phases of your kid’s life. Find a baby nail clipper that also offers an integrated night light to make things even easier. 

Use an emery board 

Probably one of the easiest and straightforward ways to solve the baby nail problem is by filing your baby’s nails using an emery board. However, there are a few drawbacks. For starters, this method usually takes a lot longer when compared to using a baby nail clipper. In addition, it’s important to note that you risk filing the sensitive skin positioned right under the nail bed if you fail to stop on time. Also, try to stay away from metal nail files as your little one’s fingers probably call for something more delicate and gentle on the skin. 

Use distraction methods 

If trimming your baby’s nails while they sleep is simply not an option, then you will be forced to find creative ways to do it while they are awake. One of the most certain paths to success is by taking advantage of distraction techniques. Newborns often stay alert as the surrounding environment is still a bit unknown and uncertain for them. When they do this, they instinctively clench their fists, meaning that reaching their nails is merely impossible. 

In such a case, it’s best to leave the trimming for another time or find a way to relax your child. You can do this in many different ways, which will depend on their personality. If you’re not yet sure what catches the attention of your baby immediately, this may be a bit more difficult for you. 

We can help out by suggesting the most common distraction ways or times when your baby is probably a bit more relaxed. For example, immediately after a bath, most babies are extremely relaxed and calm. With some babies, bath time even puts them to sleep, making things even easier for you. Even if they are awake, the nails have become softer thanks to the warm water and considering that your baby’s not irritated – you’ve got the green light to start the trimming. 

You can also try distracting them with a toy they love. For this scenario, you will probably need the help of a second person who will be doing the distracting while you are clipping the nails. Another option is to try and distract them with an animated movie or sounds that they aren’t very used to, like bird sounds or nature music. Anything could work as long as your baby finds it interesting enough to focus their attention on the distraction rather than the fear of having their nails cut. 

What to do if all fails?

Not every day is a good day to do baby nail trimming. You’ll notice that sometimes, your little one simply won’t give you this opportunity and there isn’t a lot that you can do about it. In such cases, it is best to use mittens to keep them safe, despite the long nails. The mittens will avoid any potential scratching while the baby sleeps or plays with toys or other kids. 

Are you ready to try?

We hope that by sharing this information with you we’ve made the process of trimming your baby’s nails a bit simpler and less fearful. The first time is bound to bring along some uncertainty and discomfort but once you pass it, you’ll notice that it becomes less stressful every time. Gear up with a suitable baby nail trimmer that will make the experience better for both of you and don’t postpone the trimming when you notice that it’s time. You could be preventing harmful and threatening events by cutting your newborn’s nails on time. All you have to do is make the first step with confidence!

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