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How To Cut Newborn Nails

How To Cut Babys Nails Without Stressing Out

How to cut your baby’s nails

Cutting babys nails can be a terrifying proposition for any new parent. Is it safe? How do you actually go about it? What if you accidentally cut babys finger? Since you cant pay your pediatrician to trim those baby nails for you , heres what to keep in mind.

In this article:What to do if you cut babys finger

What To Do If You Cut Your Baby’s Finger:

First, dont panic! Accidents happen. Simply rinse the cut with cool water and gently press with clean gauze to stop the blood. But dont apply a bandage, as that could quickly become a choking hazard.

Before you know it, you’ll be a nail-cutting pro. You may even find that you like to keep a pair of baby nail clippers with you at all times, so you can quickly get the dreaded deed done anytime your child falls asleep in the car or stroller!

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person orcondition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child oryourself, please contact your health provider.

Nail Care For Newborns

Newborn fingernails and toenails are most often soft and flexible. However, if they are ragged or too long, they can hurt the baby or others. It is important to keep your baby’s nails clean and trimmed. Newborns do not yet have control of their movements. They may scratch or claw at their face.

  • Clean the baby’s hands, feet, and nails during regular bathing.
  • Use a nail file or emery board to shorten and smooth the nails. This is the safest method.
  • Another option is to trim nails carefully with baby nail scissors that have blunt rounded tips or baby nail clippers.
  • Do not use adult-sized nail clippers. You could clip the tip of the baby’s finger or toe instead of the nail.

Baby’s nails grow quickly, so you may have to cut the fingernails at least once a week. You may only need to cut the toenails a couple of times per month.

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Ask A Midwife: Stress

Nobody warns you of the terror of trimming your babys nails. We sent for help.

Your babys fingers and toes are perfect, no? So, the idea of using nail scissors on their dinky pinkies is an anxiety many new parents share. But needs must: babies can scratch themselves badly if the nails are too long, especially if your baby has dry skin or eczema. We asked Sonya Brear, a midwife of over 20 years to hold our hands and help us do the job without tears .

What If You Accidentally Cut Your Baby

This Life Hack For Clipping Baby

Hi. Welcome to the club. While its totally understandable that your first inclination might be to panic, know that this happens. Just apply pressure to the wound and follow up with some antibiotic cream and perhaps a small bandaid. Of course, if your baby seems to be in great distress or you cant get the bleeding to stop, go ahead and give their doctor a call. But for real, Mama, this little oopsie is more common than you think. So, forgive yourself and move forward.

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What Else Should You Look Out For When Cutting Your Babys Nails

  • Play some soothing music, try a little baby massage beforehand, or pop a baby TV programme on to distract them.

  • Have a favourite toy handy and play a game with your baby – but you dont want them too excited and wriggly!

  • Use your voice to help your baby know what to expect now the next nail, now your other hand or try singing the Tommy Thumb song. This helps them get used to the routine and also helps you know the name of the next finger/toe to tackle!

  • When you have finished, make sure you smile, cuddle and praise your baby for being so good.


What To Do If You Cut Babys Finger

No matter how careful you are, pinching babys skin is a distinct possibility. If you do happen to cut babys finger, youll probably feel terriblebut you definitely wouldnt be the first parent to do it.

First things first: Dont freak out. Instead, try to assess the wound. If you cut a lot, go to the ER, Posner says. If it doesnt look severe, Slack recommends applying pressure with a clean towel until the bleeding stops, then gently clean the area with soap and water. If the cut continues to bleed after a few minutes, call your pediatrician for advice, she says. You should also call your pediatrician if you see any redness, swelling or pus-like discharge from the injury or nailbed.

You can apply Neosporin to the cut twice a day until a scab formsbut skip the Band-Aid, since it can be a choking hazard. If a bandage is necessary, youll need to tape or securely cover the area to prevent any pieces from coming loose, Slack says. Also, dont suck on the wound with your mouth, since you dont want to introduce any bacteria.

If you cut babys finger, rest assured its likely no big deal. Most people just cut a tiny bit of skin, which is terrifying, Posner says. But the reality is, its going to heal just fine.

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How To Cut A Newborn’s Nails

While long nails may look great on adult women, they have no place in a newborn babys life. Long nails can cut the babys skin — as well as the parents — because of how fine and sharp they can become. In addition to this, it is always a good idea to get the baby used to having his or her nails done while they are young rather than exposing them when they are older. This can reduce the stresses that they feel when they are getting ready for their lives in the world.

Why Cut Baby Nails

How to Trim Baby Nails – Babylist

Babies lack of muscle control means they can easily scratch their face or eyes. Children are very flexible, and in the first weeks of their lives, they cant control their arms or legs. Keeping a babys nails trimmed keeps them from accidentally hurting themselves.

Your infants nails may seem soft and pliable, but that doesnt mean they cant hurt themselves with them. An additional concern is that your baby might accidentally scratch you with their nails. Protect both yourself and your baby by learning when and how often to trim their nails.

Regular trimming can also help prevent ingrown nails. An ingrown nail can be painful and lead to a serious infection. If a baby has an ingrown nail, it requires a trip to the doctors office to resolve.

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What About Baby Gloves

You may have noticed that some baby sites and stores sell gloves meant to shield your child from their sharp claws. While wearing gloves makes your baby look extra fancy, you really dont want to overuse them those tiny hands are discovering a lot! You could use them as you work up the confidence to cut their nails regularly, or if the scratching is still bad despite regular trims. Otherwise, you may want to limit the use of baby gloves to when your baby is sleeping. And even then, you want to make 100 percent certain that theyre snug enough not to pose a choking hazard.

How To Cut Baby Nails Safely

Some parents will find it easier to cut a babys nails with the help of their partner or another adult. One person can hold the baby and keep them from squirming while the other focuses on cutting the nails.

Find a comfortable position with adequate light. This could be a chair where you can place the baby in your lap or a bed where you can lay the baby down. Some parents try to cut their babys nails while they sleep.

Make sure youre prepared with the right supplies. Instead of using an adult nail clipper, use special baby fingernail clippers. Baby nail scissors have blunt, rounded tips for safety. Additionally, if youre using an emery board, use a babyproof one. A metal emery board can damage your babys soft skin by mistake. If you cut your babys nails short enough, an emery board wont be necessary.

Instead of using an adult nail clipper, use special baby fingernail clippers. Baby nail scissors have blunt, rounded tips for safety.

Some parents who are unsure about using baby clippers may feel more comfortable using an emery board. This will take longer but feels safer for some parents. However, its important to be careful and not file down too far and scrape the babys soft skin.

Hold your babys palm and finger steady with your nondominant hand and cut with the baby scissors in your dominant hand.

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What To Do If You Accidentally Cut Your Babys Finger With The Nail Clipper

Ouch! Theres nothing more aggravating than cutting nails too short or worse cutting the delicate skin on the end of a finger while trimming them-especially for babies! The second you know youve trimmed more finger than fingernail youre likely apologizing to baby while trying to stop the bleeding and the crying all at once .

Despite your best intentions to trim babys nails carefully to prevent them from cutting or scratching themselves and, lets be honest, you too you may have cut the skin. Those little fingers are fast-moving targets, which dont mix with sharp objects, like nail trimmers.

If you accidentally cut a babys finger while trimming, follow these first aid steps to make that booboo all better:

  • Wash your hands! Always use clean hands before administering first aid.
  • Clean the babys hand with soap and warm water .
  • Apply firm yet gentle pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze to stop the bleeding.
  • Once the bleeding has subsided, which shouldnt take more than a few minutes for a minor injury, you can wrap it up, if necessary.
  • If the cut is minor and bleeding is controlled, dont use a band-aid on the babys finger as they may put their finger in their mouth and accidentally swallow the band-aid.
  • If the cut doesnt seem to be healing well or was fairly deep, keep an eye out for the following signs that you may need to put in a call or visit the pediatrician:

    • Medical tape
    • Hydrogen peroxide

    Tips For Trimming Baby Nails

    How do I safely trim my newborn

    Trimming your little one’s nails can be both terrifying and frustrating for all involved but it doesn’t have to be.

    With these few tips and tricks up your sleeve, nail trimming can be, quite literally, painless.

    Why is it so important to keep your child’s nails short in the first place?

    Even when your baby is first born, their nails can cause some pretty serious scratching, to themselves, you, their siblings and anyone else within arm’s reach. While their nails are generally quite soft, they can also be sharp and the skin of a newborn is so very delicate. Their motor control is yet to be refined and so their hands often go flailing. With long nails these movements can easily result in nasty cuts and unnecessary pain for your child. Many parents put mittens on their child’s hands to avoid this but this is only a short-term solution keeping those tiny nails trimmed instead can make the world of difference.

    What about when your child starts crawling?

    Even though they’re less likely to end up in someone’s mouth, your child’s toenails are also important to consider. Long toenails can create holes in socks, make shoes uncomfortable and easily scratch others, particularly in summer when shoes are only worn when absolutely necessary! Incorrect trimming often causes painful ingrown toenails so it’s important to pay particular attention to those little toes.

    So what does make for good practice when trimming those little fingernails and toenails?

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    How To Cut Your Baby’s Nails

  • Use a baby scissors, theyre easier to use – most pharmacists will have them.
  • Hold the finger you plan to start working on first between your forefinger and thumb, use the rest of your hand to enclose the rest of your babys hand.
  • Gently push back the fingertip from the nail to allow space for the scissors – this avoids nipping the skin
  • Repeat with each finger and thumb until all the nails are cut.
  • Most parents accidentally nick their babys skin at one time or another. If this happens, dont worry. Gently press a clean towel or gauze to the cut until the bleeding stops.

    Newborn babys will have very soft nails in there first few days after birth. So it will be possible to gently peel the ends off with your fingers instead of using a scissors.

    These Are Tried And True Methods Of Nail Maintenance:

    • Use clippers that are designed for babies. With clippers, there is the risk that you may accidentally cut the finger or a small blood vessel causing bleeding.
    • Use a nail file. If you do not want to use clippers, a nail file is a good option for trimming the nails of your baby. Look for soft emery boards especially when babies are less than a month old. This prevents any accidental harm when trimming or smoothing the edges of their nails. The nails of a baby are softer, so be careful the nail does not bend and scrape the skin
    • Use nail scissors that are specially designed for babies. This is the preferred choice of many parents as they offer better control, but this does not prohibit accidents from happening. This tool has a blunt edge which offers increased confidence with use.


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    Tips For Trimming Baby Toenails

    Baby toenails grow more slowly than fingernails and dont need trimming quite as often. Although toenails arent as soft as babys fingernails, the same basic principles apply.

  • Ensure you and baby are in a comfortable position
  • Hold the pad of the toe away from the nail and gently trim straight across.This will helpto prevent ingrown toenails.
  • What Not To Do


    Even though you have quite a free rein when it comes to trimming your babys nails, there are two methods that you just shouldnt try.

    • Dont bite your babys nails: Staring at your babys nails in need of a trim with no tool handy, you might get the urge to bite them off. But please dont. By biting their nails, you introduce germs from your mouth, which can trigger a viral or bacterial infection. Its also likely to leave sharp edges behind.
    • Dont tear the nails off: Even if its just a small section of the nail, dont be tempted to just pull it off you could cause an ingrown nail by doing this. Ingrown nails are painful and can become infected.

    Both of these methods could easily remove too much of the nail, causing injury to your babys finger or toe.

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    When Should I Cut My Babys Nails

    Parenting hack? Cut your babys nails when theyre sleeping and calm. Its great to limit the possibility of any sudden movements before tackling this task. You really dont want your baby moving their hand when youre in the middle of cutting a nail.

    Cutting your babys nails after a bath is also a good idea. Not only will your little one be drowsy, but their skin and nails will also be softer. Plus, lets be honest: The delightful smell of baby wash will help you keep your zen.

    Do You Really Need To Cut Babys Nails

    Unfortunately, yes. This is one of those things you really dont want to do as a parent but have to anyway. Cutting babys nails is important to keep the nails clean and to help baby avoid unwanted and unintentional scratches, says Dane Snyder, MD, section chief of ambulatory pediatrics at Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

    As for when to cut babys nails, theres really no set timeyou should do it whenever theyre long. But keep in mind that baby nails grow faster than adults, and typically require trimming around once a week, says Kristen Slack, MD, a pediatrician at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. Some babies are born with long fingernails, so you should start filing or cutting newborn nails right away. However, you may need to trim those baby toenails less frequently. Often, toenails dont grow as quickly in the newborn period, so you may notice they dont need to be trimmed as often as fingernails, Snyder says.

    Once youve resigned yourself to the reality that baby nails need a regular trim, there are a couple ways to approach the task: You can use a nail file to sand the nails down or nail clippers to cut them. Read on to learn the proper technique for both methods.

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    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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