What To Use To Trim Your Infants Nails
Because infant nails are tiny and your babys hands and feet are much more fragile than yours, its important to use baby nail clippers or baby nail scissors designed especially for infant use. Most are rounded to help prevent injury, and some even have built-in magnifying glasses so parents can get an up close and personal view of the delicate work at hand.
Though some parents insist that peeling infant nails or nibbling on the nails is the best way to keep them short, pediatricians recommend that parents avoid these infant nail trimming methods. Peeling the nails can cause nail damage and uneven edges that can lead to the baby accidentally scratching his or her face, while nibbling the nails is considered unsanitary and can lead to bacterial infections.
Tips To Trim Baby Nails Safely
- May 29, 2020
Are you on your way to trim baby nails? Maybe wondering how to do it without hurting your baby?
Trimming your babys nails can seem like a really scary thing to do. And baby nails grow fast!
And as infants cant really control their movements during their first few months, they tend to scratch themselves all the time, especially in the face.
With a newborn, the baby nails are not too difficult to trim, because the infant is usually quite still. But in the beginning, your babys nails shouldnt be cut at all.
Later on, it is much harder, but must be done often.
Here youll find advice on when and how to trim your babys nails, and how NOT to trim them. Youll also find an instructive video at the bottom of the article.
What To Do If You Accidentally Cut The Babys Skin While Trimming The Nails
The process of trimming your babys nails can cause you anxiety, especially in the beginning. Remember that if you do it slowly, the risk of injuries is very low. If you happen to nick the babys skin, have a gauze, which you should wrap around the finger until the bleeding stops. Never use a bandage, the baby can swallow it and choke on it. Also, avoid using baby lotion on the cut.
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Why Should I Trim My Babys Nails
Baby nails may seem pliable and softer than yours, but they can cause significant damage. Those tiny claws are sharp! If youve ever handled a newborn with flailing arms or a six-month-old trying to grab your lips, you know they hurt.
Unfortunately, young babies dont have control of where their fingers land. This is mostly due to their lack of muscle control, which doesnt fully develop until theyre older .
Sometimes their fingers do end up in vulnerable places, such as their own eyes. For a while, my little one had nothing but tiny scratches near the eye. Even though I would trim her nails at least once a week, it just wasnt enough.
That leads us to the next point. Baby fingernails grow fast, and by fast, I mean lightning speed, or so it seems . Some moms report having to trim their babys nails every few days I ended up having to do the same.
How Do I Cut My Baby’s Nails
The best time to cut your baby’s nails is when they’re asleep or very drowsy and calm. After a bath is a good time because their nails will be softer then.
Make sure you have plenty of light and that you hold your baby securely either in your arms or in a highchair. It can help if someone else holds the baby while you cut the nails.
You can use baby nail clippers or baby nail scissors with rounded ends. Pull the pad of the finger or toe gently away from the nail to avoid cutting the skin and then cut the nail straight across. Sometimes you may just need to use an emery board to smooth and round the nail.
Some babies might not like having their nails cut. You can soothe them by talking or singing to them, distracting them with a toy or making a game of it. Praise your baby when you have finished.
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How To Trim Baby Nails With Baby Nail Scissors Or Baby Nail Clippers
What To Do If Something Goes Wrong
Even with the best of care, it’s possible to accidentally nick the baby’s finger or toe. If it’s bleeding, gently press a soft, clean cloth over the cut until the bleeding stops. Dont put on a dressing like a band-aid as the baby might suck on it and it could come off.
Sometimes young babies get an infection next to their fingernail or toenail. If this happens, you can use a little water-based antiseptic cream, lotion or a saline solution to keep the area clean. If you use cream or lotion, put a mitten on your baby’s hand so they don’t suck it.
If the infection spreads and the finger or toe becomes red and swollen, you will need to see a doctor since your baby may need an antibiotic.
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Using A Baby Nail File
We get ityoure not exactly clamoring to trim your babys delicate fingernails and toenails. Despite the hesitation, when can you cut a newborns nails? is still one of the most popular questions parents have for pediatricians. New moms want to make sure they are taking care of all of their childs needs. While youll need to begin trimming while your infant is still in the newborn stage, you can get away with using a baby nail file in the first few weeks.
A baby nail file is a safe and simple choice for parents, especially when your child is little and their nails arent growing too fast yet. Check their hands and feet daily for sharp or long nails and then file as you can. Nap time is an excellent time for filing, especially when your newborn is sleeping most of the day.
Wait Until Baby Is Distracted
You want to choose the time for nail clipping wisely. For instance, nail trimming sessions may go much more easily if you cut them while your baby is either asleep or busy feeding.
If you choose to trim your baby’s nails while they are feeding, you will likely need to get someone to help youespecially if you are breastfeeding. Also, keep in mind that fingernails are easiest to trim after a warm bath. So make checking them a normal part of your bath routine, and then you won’t forget to do it.
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What To Do When You Accidentally Cut Babys Finger Tip
Usually, it happens when you are not aware of the correct method to cut babys nails. Dont worry, as you have read this article, now you must be aware of the correct procedure to cut the nails.
Now, in case you accidentally cut your babys fingertip, make sure you Do Not Use any antiseptic solution and bandit. As using antiseptic solution is not allowed especially for newborns and infants.
First, cleanse the affected fingertip with lukewarm water. Then, press & apply pressure to the fingertip continuously for 2 to 4 minutes to let the bleeding stops itself.
In case, bleeding doesnt stop, do not try to use home remedies. It is strictly advisable to consult a paediatrician as soon as possible.
Other Alternatives For Clipping Babys 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 childs nails can always be discussed with a medical expert, ideally a paediatrician.
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How To Cut Baby Nails
Before cutting your babys nails, be sure you have special baby nail clippers or baby nail scissors and a small emery board. Press your babys finger pad down, away from his fingernails. Hold your babys hand and quickly trim her nailalong the natural curve. Trim toenails straight across. It can help to enlist the help of a second person to hold your baby and distract him.
What Is The Importance Of Cutting Nails
Long nails can be found very dangerous for any baby. Not only it can cause infection but can also cause scratches on the babys face.
Long nails may contain dust particles. So, when the baby put his/her fingers inside the mouth, it may cause stomach infection as those dust particles contain bacteria which are harmful to the babys health.
When a baby faces any irritation on the face, as it usually happens, then he/she scratches its face to reduce the itching. Sometime, they might even hurt their own eyes.
But these little babies dont know that they are hurting themselves by scratching their own faces. And this is due to their long nails.
Thus you should cut your babys nails from time to time, to avoid the above-given situations. Also, always keep your babys nails and fingertips clean.
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Nail Trimming Dos And Donts
Do use baby nail clippers, baby nail trimming scissors, or an emery board.
Do push down on the pad of her finger. Make sure that none of her skin is showing when you cut the nail. You only want to cut the nail.
Do cut along the shape of the nail. Round any rough edges with an emery board.
Do cut toenails straight. Even though ingrown toenails are not likely with a baby, you still want to try to cut them straight across.
Do not worry if you have an oopsie. It happens. If you accidentally cut babys finger apply pressure to stop the bleeding. You can use a clean cloth or bandage and apply a little antibiotic ointment after the bleeding stops.
Do not use regular adult nail clippers. They are very sharp and may cut the tip of babys fingers.
Preventing Accidents And Injuries
When you sense your little one getting anxious or tired of the trimming session, try and distract them. Sing a familiar song, talk to them in a soothing voice or have your partner entice them with a toy. Some infants also respond well to a pacifier. If he or she begins crying or flailing, stop and try again later. Forcing it will only make you stressed and cause your baby to protest harder.
Experienced parents may suggest that you bite your babys nails, especially if they only have a few sharp pieces or a hangnail. Dont do it! Biting can damage their brand-new hands and feet. Experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics also warn the practice can transfer bacteria and diseases from your mouth onto your childs skin.
Even if youre extra careful, you may pinch some skin or draw a little blood. Try not to panic about it. It will distress the baby and make him or her fearful. Instead, quickly collect yourself and follow what the pediatricians at WebMD consider basic first aid for small nicks and cuts. Run your childs finger under clean, cool water. Soothe them as much as you need while gently covering the wound with a piece of gauze or a clean cloth. Apply a small amount of pressure to the area with your finger. When the bleeding stops, you can remove the cloth. If youre interested in using an antibacterial cream, ask your pediatrician about the best brands for babies. Dont put a bandage on top of the wound since your newborn can bite or choke on it.
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Do You Actually Need To Cut Your Babys Nails
The answer to this one is yes very much yes. True, your babys nails can naturally file themselves while theyre exploring. However, those nails grow fast and can definitely cause harm to you. Any mama who has ever caught an overgrown newborn fingernail to the eye can attest to the damage those tiny daggers can inflict! But even worse, sharp little nails can be harmful to your baby. Its fairly common to see newborns with scary self-inflicted scratches. It honestly sort of looks as though theyve just gotten out of a bar brawl, but nope, its just a case of too-long fingernails.
You dont want your baby to get any scratches and you definitely dont want any self-inflicted scratches to get infected. So, absolutely, this is one thing you are going to want to nip in the bud.
A New Moms Complete Guide To Cutting Babys Nails
In the first few months as a new mom, there are so many new experiences to learn from and master. One of the most anxiety-inducing events for the parent of a newborn is learning how to cut babys nails for the first time. While youve been a pro at cutting your own nails for decades, a newborns nails are much different. For one, theyre much softer than those of an adult, which definitely makes it easier for you to cut their delicate skin or cause discomfort.
It can be tempting to try to avoid the practice or pass it off to a more experienced parent for as long as you can. Unfortunately, you wont be able to avoid trimming your childs delicate toenails and fingernails for more than a few weeks. Eventually, youll also have to be the one to do the job. Since we know youre nervous and experiencing so many firsts, we want to do all we can to help you learn ways to make the practice safer and less stressful.
Let us explain what youll need to do to complete the cutting and filing, as well as how to trim with care. In just a short time, youll become more comfortable with the task. And if you ask us, mastering one of the toughest baby hygiene activities will also enhance your confidence as a parent. Theres nothing like learning one of the most crucial techniques of your babys first year.
How To Cut Babys Nails
Filing lowers the odds of accidentally cutting babys finger, but sometimes baby nails are bendable, so its hard to file them, Posner says.
To cut babys nails, get a baby nail clipper . You probably wont be able to get a rounded nail corner with clippers, so its often helpful to file down sharp corners afterward, if you can, Slack says. Were not going to lie: That first baby mani-pedi can bring on heart palpitations. But youll get the hang of it pretty quickly.
It can be tempting to skip cutting those baby nails altogether and bite them down insteadbut resist the urge. Parents shouldnt use their teeth to avoid risk of infection and create a more controlled trimming process, Snyder says. Youll also want to take a pass on tearing off the nails. Definitely dont tear, Posner says. You can tear too low and injure your child.
Making The Experience Pleasant
Cutting a newborn babys nails can be extremely stressful for both the parent and the baby. Even if this is not the first time that the parent has cut a newborn babys nails, it can still cause anxiety for a parent as they do not want to hurt their baby. For the baby, the sensation of the nail clipping is new and can be scary. Often, the nail clippers are cold and not as sharp as they should be. This cold sensation can upset the baby and if the nail clippers are dull the nail could be pressed out of shape, making for a difficult cut and an unpleasant sensation for the baby.
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How Often Should I Cut My Babys Nails
Infants experience serious nail growth during the first few weeks of life, and parents may have to trim infant fingernails as often as twice a week during the first month they’re home from the hospital. However, this can be reduced to once per week and may be decreased to twice per month, depending on how quickly the babys nails begin to harden and slow in growth.
Infant toenails typically grow a lot slower and can be cut once or twice per month, depending on their growth rate.
When To Start Cutting Baby Nails
Babies nails grow quite quickly, and they can become sharp and ragged before you realize it. A few days after you come home from the hospital, it may already be time to cut your babys nails. When a baby is very small, their nails are so soft that youll be able to peel the ends off. If you have trouble doing this, you can also have the baby wear mittens for the first few weeks.
Often, your babys nails are naturally worn down by their interactions with the environment and their clothing. However, as their nails grow stronger, youll eventually need to switch to baby nail clippers. Many parents also choose to use a nail file to keep their babys nails smooth and at a safe length.
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