Trimming Baby Nails – How to Trim, Tips And Alternatives

6 min read

Written by Pradeep


Trimming Baby Nails

Trimming baby nails can be a daunting and scary task for moms and caregivers. It is the fear of nipping their tender skin that holds us back. Baby nails are delicate and pile up more dirt than adults. They are very soft yet have the potential to cause a good rash and wound to their delicate skin. Baby’s skin is so sensitive that even a tiny wound can hurt them too much. So, here we are with this article that can help you get an idea of how to trim your baby’s nails.

Babies do not have control over their movements yet, and their nails have the potential to hurt anyone taking care of them at that point. To prevent a baby from hurting themselves and those around them, trimming baby nails regularly becomes vital. You can even file the nails gently and put on mittens. Remember not to bite and tear the nails as it can be more dangerous. So, here we are with this article that can help you get an idea of how to trim your baby’s nails.

In This Article

How Often to Trim Baby’s Nails, And in What Shape?

Baby nails grow very fast till a few weeks after their birth. Hence, you may need to clip them off once or twice a week. Often baby nails pile up very fast and are easily breakable. But the breakage may sometimes be uneven and can hurt them. Keep an eye for their uncontrollable hand movements as they may end up hurting themselves. Their toenails are slow in growth and may not need regular trimming and filing.

You should trim your baby’s nails using a baby clipper. Follow the shape of the nail and clip them gently. It is vital not to nip the sensitive skin pad with the nails, be very careful about that. After clipping, gently file the nails with a filer. Do not use metal filing tools as it may hurt their skin and cause infections. You should trim the baby toenails straight using a small baby nail scissor or a clipper. You may need to get a firm grip on the tool. Hence, it is always better to use a specially designed baby nail filing and clipping tool. You can easily a baby nail clipping set at any shop selling baby products.

How to Cut Your Baby’s Nails Without Hurting Them?

How to Cut Your Baby’s Nails Without Hurting Them

It is a task, and here we have tips that may help you clip your baby’s nails without hurting them. The possibility of nipping the skin is very high while clipping those tiny nails. It may harm them, and improper clipping may lead to infections. Press the skin back gently and trim the nails without going too low. Going too low may cause pain like it does to adults.

Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind when cutting your munchkin’s nails.

1. Get Comfortable

Right, baby nail clipping is a task, and you need to select a proper and comfortable position for you and the baby. Sitting wrong for a long time, you either end up nipping the skin of your little one or hurt your back before finishing the task. Sit comfortably to get a firm grip on the clipper that you use. You can work on this when your baby is asleep or ask for the help of your family to hold the baby. You can strap your baby to their high chairs if they are slightly older and can sit with support.

2. Get Good Light

Working on your baby’s nails in a well-lit area is vital. It will help you see properly. Getting good light while clipping your baby nails can also help you avoid accidental skin nips.

Top 6 Tips to Cut Your Baby’s Nails

Top 6 Tips to Cut Your Baby’s Nails

Cutting a tiny human being’s nails is admittedly a scary task. Here are a few tips to get this process a little easier on you and on them.

1. Take Advantage of Your Baby’s Nap Time to Cut Their Nails

It is important that the baby doesn’t move when clipping their nails to avoid injury. If you feel this is not possible when they are awake, you can cut their nails when they are asleep. This method is especially beneficial for new parents or parents with super active babies.

2. Distract Them With a Toy or a Gentle Song

Generally, older babies might require something bold like a musical toy or distracting lights to grab their attention. Younger babies can be distracted by gentle songs or smooth talk. If your baby looks nervous and starts to clench fist, sing a song or talk with them gently to soothe and distract them.

3. Start by Filing the Nails

Filing a baby’s nails before clipping can make the task easy for you. Also, filing them can reduce the sharpness even if you do not get time to trim them the same day. You can put their tiny mittens and socks on till you finish the task. Make sure not to use metal filing tools as it may hurt their delicate skin and cause infections.

4. Clip Them Gently

Use a good baby nail clipper and clip your baby’s fingernails by following the shape. You must be careful not to clip the skin under the nail. Baby clippers are small and have a big handle for a firm grip. Make sure you cut the nail only to the nail line without going too low. The chances of trimming baby nails skin pad are high if you try to make it shorter.

5. Clip the Toenails Straight

Baby’s toenails are slow in growth and may not need regular maintenance like the fingernails. You can trim them straight and leave.

6. Trim After a Bath or a Wash

Opt to trim your baby’s nails after cleaning them with water. It will make the nails softer and the trimming baby nails easier for you.

[Read : 7 Amazing Facts About Your Baby’s Skin]

Other Alternatives to Cutting Baby’s Nails

Using a good baby nail clipper and filing tool is the best option to trim a baby’s nails. Baby nail clippers work gently for their tender skin and do not cross the nail line. You can also use baby nail clipping scissors with blunt edges. Most mothers find it easy to clip their baby’s nails using scissors. They will provide a firm grip, and you can have control over the length you trim.

Since the baby’s nails are tender and can effortlessly come off when contacted with clothes and blankets, it is when you may want to tear them off with bare hands. It is not suggestible, and if you accidentally nip the skin with the nail, it may lead to pain and infections. Do not bite your baby’s nails, or you will introduce them to the germs that your teeth and mouth carry.

What to Do if You Happen to Cut Your Baby’s Skin Accidentally?

What to do if You Happen to Cut Your Babys Skin Accidentally

It is common to get the nail clipping wrong sometimes. It may nip the baby’s skin to a small extent. Do not worry, and no need to panic if the cut is small. But ensure not to apply any ointment or bandaid. Band-Aids can be a choking hazard for babies. Hold a cotton pad and press it back gently, and the bleeding will stop automatically. However, you can always visit your doctor if you are too concerned about the nip or cut on your baby’s skin.

Motherhood is a happy and adventurous journey. You may sometimes have to do so many things alone with none around you to help. It is the same with trimming baby nails. It might look scary to touch the tender skin of your little one. But, by following these small tips and tricks, you can do it. There is no need to panic if you nip the skin accidentally, press a cold cotton cloth gently on the wound. Visit your doctor if you are worried.

[Read : First Aid Kit For Babies]


1. When Should I Cut My Baby’s Nails First?

You can start trimming your baby’s nails once they are firmer and are comfortable to clip. You can wait for the baby to be a month old and begin to trim their nails using a baby nail clipper or baby nail filer.

2. How to Cut My Newborn’s Nails?

Using a baby nail clipper or baby nail scissors can make the task easier for you. Gently follow the curve and clip them only till the white nail line. Going too low can nip the tender skin beneath.

3. Are Baby Nail Clippers Necessary?

Yes, a baby’s nails grow too fast till certain months of their growth. It is vital to clip them regularly, or they will end up hurting themselves with all their uncontrollable hand and leg movements.

Read Also: Taking Care Of Your Baby’s Eyes


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