How to Trim Baby Nails

Cutting baby's nails

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When it comes to preventive measures for your baby’s health, the best precaution that a parent can take is cleanliness in their baby. By instilling good hygiene, you can get rid of germs that cause diseases and keep the baby healthy. One of the most overlooked parts of grooming a baby is the clipping and trimming of their finger and toenails. Dust, pollutants and bad bacteria collect under the nails and can be easily ingested into the body when they put their hands or feet in their mouth, or start the habit of thumb-sucking. Clipping your baby’s nails ensures that this can be avoided.





About Your Newborn Baby’s Nails

A baby’s fingernails are soft and supple, extremely flexible and fast growing. They cannot be clipped carelessly as you may cut off some skin in the process.

It is best to ensure you keep an eye out for scratch marks as the bad bacteria stuck in the nails can cause infections and illnesses.




How Often Should You Trim Your Baby’s Nails and What Shape Should It Be?

Something to keep in mind when clipping and filing a baby’s nails is to understand how short to cut baby nails and what shape they should be. It is best if one cuts the nail along the contours of the finger. A baby’s fingernails grow very fast and may need to be cut every week. However, a newborn’s toenails usually take longer to grow and can be managed if you cut them once a month.

How to Cut Your Baby’s Nails without Hurting His Fingertips?

Before cutting your baby’s nails, it is crucial to understand how to do that without hurting the baby. This means understanding the tools you need and the proper technique to clip those nails.





What You Will Need

  • A pair of baby nail scissors
  • A pair of baby nail clippers
  • A disposable trash bag
  • Nail files
  • Baby mittens
  • Socks
  • Anti-biotic cream

Tips to Remember

Things to note while clipping your child’s nails:

  • Choose a spot with a good lighting and a time when the baby is calm. Ideally, it would be best if the baby was asleep.
  • The toenail usually curves to the concourse of the toe. This is normal and is caused due to the flexible nature of a newborn’s nails. They will harden and take shape as the child grows.
  • Using baby nail scissors is recommended as they are specially designed to ensure that your baby’s skin isn’t cut.
  • Ensure you dip the child’s fingers and toes in lukewarm water for easier cutting.
  • Do not bite off the nails of your child as the bacteria from your mouth can cause illnesses to your child.
  • Clipping the baby’s nails when they sleep can ensure less resistance and a cleaner cut.
  • File your child’s nails with an emery board as this ensures the nail is shaped well and eliminates any latent bacteria hiding under uncut nail surfaces.

Cutting baby's nails

Other Alternatives for Clipping Baby’s Nails

If clipping the nails are challenging or if you decide to cut them in another manner, here are a few other alternatives:




  • File Them – If the nails are short enough, you can try filing the entire nail though this can be an intensive process.
  • Ask a Doctor – Alternatives to clipping your child’s nails can always be discussed with a medical expert, ideally a paediatrician.

What to Do if You Nip the Skin Accidently?

Even the most careful parent can accidentally nip or cut the skin while clipping or cutting a newborn’s nails. If this happens do not panic.

  • Clean the wound with cool or room temperature water.
  • Wipe the wound with a clean and sterile cloth or gauze.
  • Press down gently till the bleeding stops (this should stop in a few minutes).
  • Apply antiseptic and antibacterial creams provided by your paediatrician to prevent any infections.

Grooming your newborn begins with cutting their nails. Learning how to do that in a clean and safe manner is important. Remember to discuss any concerns you may have regarding this with your doctor. Try creating a grooming schedule to organize your baby’s grooming needs. It is recommended that initially, you take the assistance of another adult while clipping the newborn’s nails.





Also Read: How to Hold a Newborn Baby Properly