Steps to Follow When Trimming a Newborn’s Nails

trimming baby nails

As a parent, your responsibilities go beyond ensuring your baby is clean, fed and content. You also need to keep him or her safe. You baby’s nails, small as they are, can be the cause of pain if they are left to grow uncontrolled. Newborns already have long nails at birth, and like other parts of their bodies, the growth will be rapid during the first few months after birth. 

You will need a good nail trimmer for babies to help you keep the nails short. Since the fingernails grow quickly, you may need to set aside time for trimming, at least twice a week, while the toenails may need to be trimmed once a week. 

Use an emery board the first few weeks after birth.

Even though the baby is born with long nails, they are pretty soft, so you may only need to use an emery board specially made for newborns. Emery boards for filing a newborn’s nails are usually quite soft and small, so you need not worry about hurting your baby’s sensitive skin. If your newborn’s nails are too soft, you may not need to use baby nail clippers or scissors yet. An emery board is all you need to keep the nails short. 

However, if your newborn’s nails are too thin, it might be a good idea to start using a baby nail trimmer from the get-go instead. Ensure you get nail clippers that are specific for baby nails. They usually have a curved edge to ensure you don’t accidentally nip your baby’s skin. 

Prepare for the nail trim.

Preparing to trim your newborn’s nails is similar to every other preparation you need to make when it comes to grooming. For example, what do you do every time you prepare your baby for a bath? You need to figure out what needs to be in place before using the baby nail trimmer. 

Babies hardly ever stay still when their nails are being trimmed. The sudden movements have many parents spooked about the possibility of nipping the baby’s skin while cutting the nails. If this is a challenge, you can consider cutting the nails when the baby is asleep. If you are concerned about the baby awakening too soon, you can still clip the nails while the baby is awake, but you should instead pick the best time to do it. 

Find a distraction 

Babies are easily distracted, especially if they discover something fascinating. Observe your infant so that you identify things that get his or her attention. You can also use someone the baby is familiar with to help distract the baby as you work on the nails. You can do this by sitting the bay on your lap but facing away from you. This way, he or she can keep looking at the distraction as you work on the nails. 

With the baby distracted, you can firmly start working on one finger at a time. Hold the finger firmly, press the flesh under the nail to make it stick out, then gently cut the nail. Repeat the process on all the nails. 

Like with everything else they discover as they grow, babies will get used to the nail trimmer. You only need to be patient and ensure your child doesn’t develop a negative attitude towards nail clipping. How you trim your newborn’s nails will influence how well he responds to this part of grooming. So, you need to ensure the process is seamless, and that the baby remains calm as you work. 

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