How to Trim Baby's Nails

Trying to figure out the easiest way to trim your baby’s nails? Many moms worry about how to cut baby’s nails. It is difficult to trim the nails of a squirmy little guy or gal. Your baby’s nails grow really fast and if left untrimmed, she may scratch her adorable little face (or yours) and you don’t want that to happen. So what’s a mom to do? If you have never trimmed a baby’s nails, you may think its no big deal, and it isn’t, but it does take practice. Minor fingernail-trimming mishaps do happen with lots of moms but it’s okay. Don’t worry, trimming takes practice and even the best of moms have given baby a nail trimming “booboo” before. Here are some mommy tips for trimming your baby’s nails.

Nail Trimming Do’s and Don’ts

  • 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 baby’s 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 baby’s fingers.

Mommy Tips for Trimming Baby's Nails

Trim baby’s nails after she has a bath.

Her nails will be softer and easier to trim.

Get someone to help.

Have daddy or an older sibling help occupy baby while you work on trimming her nails. Distract baby with a toy or something she likes. Try to occupy her free hand with something.

Trim baby’s nails while she is sleeping.

Some moms find it easier to cut baby’s nails while she is asleep. It doesn’t always work but if you wait until baby is down for the count sometimes you can get them trimmed without waking her.

Don’t trim just file.

You may find this a lot safer and less scary. If you file baby’s nails with an emery board you may not need to trim. You can simply file them down until they are not rough or jagged.

Some mommies bite baby’s nails instead of trimming.

You may find this easier than trimming with clippers. (There are mixed opinions on this. If you ask your mommy friends they may suggest this. Your pediatrician may not be crazy about this method. Any time you put baby’s fingers into your mouth you are introducing germs, which could lead to infection.)

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7 comments

By EverSweetBabyBoutique on 12/10/12 at 8:29 pm

Great tips! As a new mom, I was terrified to cut my newborn's finger nails so these tips are very helpful.

By SharronMangold on 10/07/12 at 7:57 am

Thanks for the advice. I enjoyed reading this.

By janellewright on 02/07/11 at 8:40 am

Great advice! I also found a CD that has songs for all baby chores. Turns trimming nails into a little game where Baby has to hold still, while Mom trim  ...

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