“With their tiny hands and feet, babies can seem so fragile and vulnerable,” Dermatologist Dr. Kachiu Lee, an expert from the American Academy of Dermatology, said.
What can you read in this article?
- Why cut baby nails?
- Tips on how to cut your baby’s nails
“However, babies are more resilient than you might think, and parents can maintain good hygiene for their baby by following a few general guidelines,” she added.
Babies’ fingers and toenails can have different lengths at birth, and they grow at different rates. Their nails may be softer and pliant than ours, yet they can still cause scratches and need regular trimming.
Infants have little to no control of their arms, hands, and finger movements and may accidentally injure their face and eyes. How confident are you when it comes to trimming your infants’ nails as well as toenails? Are you afraid of clipping your baby’s teeny-weeny nails?
Why cut baby nails?
Cutting a baby’s nails is a common concern for parents. Trimming your baby’s nails may be scary, especially for a first-time mom or dad. But remember that keeping their nails short is vital to your little one’s safety.
Since infants have less muscle control, they might involuntarily scratch and cut their sensitive skin. More than protecting your infant’s delicate skin, cutting, or trimming his or her baby nails regularly will also help to prevent ingrown nails which will save you from a trip to the pediatrician.
When to cut baby nails?
As you bathe your little one, you may check the length of his or her nails. As soon as the baby’s nails have grown long enough to leave behind scratches on his or her smooth skin, they need to be trimmed. Baby nails are softest after a bath. It is easiest to clip the nails when your baby is asleep or while he/she is eating.
How often should you trim baby nails?
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Grabbing those clippers may vary depending on how fast your baby’s nails grow. It will require filing or trimming at least once a week.
It can also be a semi-weekly basis since having long baby nails, especially on the hands may result in self-inflicted scratches. As for the toenails, it is recommended to undergo trimming twice a month.
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Here are ways how to cut baby nails and toenails safely and easily
Once you observe that his or her baby nails appear to grow past the end of their fingers and toes, you may want to pick up a pair of nail clippers or scissors or a nail file specially made for infants.
Find a suitable position for you to easily get in touch with your baby’s hands or feet. You may place your baby on your lap, have him or her seated in a rocker, or even wait until your little one is asleep.
Usually, the most convenient time to cut their nails is while they are asleep. But if you choose to trim your child’s nails while he or she is awake, try your best to distract your baby.
Image from Shutterstock
Make sure that you’re doing this routine in an area with good lighting:
- Prepare and use the right tools. Pick up a pair of baby nail clippers or baby nail scissors that have rounded tips to avoid accidental damage to his or her skin. Many nail-care kits for infants also come with emery boards or nail files to avoid jagged nail edges. If you are reluctant in using baby nail clippers or scissors, you may use an emery board to file your baby’s nails to avoid the possibility of giving your child any nicks. Remember not to use adult-sized clippers as this can clip baby’s fingertips instead of the nail.
- Using one hand, hold and support your child’s hand or foot and secure the finger or toes of the nail to be cut.
- Carefully place the blade of the clippers or scissors under the infant’s fingernail or toenail.
- Push down on your baby’s fingertip skin before applying pressure on the clipper or scissors to avoid accidental nicking. This will also help you get the clipper or scissors around both sides of the nail.
- Make sure to cut just a small one. This is to lessen the possibility of cutting off too much and making the fingertips painful.
- Similarly cut the toenails straight across to avoid having ingrown nails.
- Gently finish off any sharp or rough edges using an emery board or a nail file to tidy up ragged edges.
What if you accidentally cut your baby’s finger?
Image from Shutterstock
If you unintentionally draw blood while trimming baby nails, don’t fret! There’s no significant damage if you have been trimming small amounts with each cut.
Use a sterilized gauze pad to clean the area and gently apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Keep away from putting a plaster or bandage since babies often put their fingers or toe in their mouths.
Having the dislodged bandage then may cause them to choke. Instead, use a glove or sock to cover the entire hand or foot that may be removed and washed as soon as the bleeding has stopped.
If you’re not yet confident in trimming your baby’s nails, here are some courses of action you may consider:
1. Put on mittens
If your little one’s nails seem sharp and you just can trim them right away, put mittens on their hands to prevent self-inflicted scratches.
2. Seek help
You may ask a seasoned parent for assistance to show you how you must do it. You may tap a regular sitter, a nanny, a grandparent, or someone else who’s comfortable in cutting an infant’s nails.
Once you decide to cut the baby’s nails by yourself, you may ask your partner or a friend to hold your baby and keep him or her from moving too much while doing the work or to distract your child while you are doing the clipping.
After mastering the whole nail trimming process on your baby while he or she is asleep, you can now take forward on doing this while they are awake as long as the infant is not fussing or unwell.
Doing this ritual might seem scary at first, but once you get the trick on trimming your baby’s nails, you won’t fear doing the whole process all over again.
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