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As a first-time mom, I can tell you that having to trim my daughter’s teeny nails was anxiety and fear-inducing to say the least. The last thing I wanted to do was cut her skin and cause her to bleed.
Thankfully, I learned how to overcome my fear and clip my baby’s nails properly (without ever once cutting her!)
If you’re worried about trimming your baby’s nails, don’t be. Follow my step-by-step guide and clip your baby’s nails like a pro!
Nail Cutting Step-By-Step Guide For First Time Parents
Newborn’s nails are incredibly tiny, very light colored, and softer and more fragile than ours. Naturally this makes for a very nerve-wracking task at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to trim your baby’s nails the right way.
Step 1: Make Sure You Have The Correct Tools
In order to ensure you have the best chance of cutting your baby’s nails safely, you need the proper grooming equipment.
A pair of baby clippers, like this one I use, is just the right size to handle your baby’s very small nails. Plus, it comes with a built-in spy hole so you can see exactly where you’re cutting to reduce the risk of snagging your baby’s delicate skin.
If you need a quick trim and the nails are too short to actually get a good cut, use an electric baby nail file. This was a must-have for me, especially in my daughter’s first few weeks! It comes with several different cushion pads, an LED light, and 4 different speeds. The best part? The cushion pads are safe on baby’s skin and won’t cause any harm!
Step 2: Push Your Baby’s Fingertip Away From The Nail
In order to avoid cutting your baby’s skin and causing it to bleed, the best thing to do is move the skin away from the nail itself.
Hold your baby’s finger and push down on the tip to open up a small gap between the skin and nail. This allows you to insert the nail clippers around the nail itself, avoiding any skin.
With fingers, cut along the nails natural curve. Be very careful to not cut too deep as this can lead to bleeding or a possible infection. Short, small clips are best.
Step 3: Handle Toenails Differently Than Fingernails
With fingernails it’s best to trim following the nails natural shape. But with toenails, the best way to cut is straight across. This reduces the likelihood of your baby getting an ingrown toenail.
Fortunately, toenails don’t grow as fast as fingernails do, so you won’t have to worry about frequent maintenance.
Step 4: Try To Trim Nails When Baby’s Sleeping
The best (and safest) way to cut baby nail’s is when they’re drowsy or sleepy. While they’re asleep, they won’t be squirming around or have the chance to pull their hand away. Just make sure you have adequate light before beginning to cut.
If your child is awake, try to distract them. Put on their favorite show or sing them a song while your trimming. If this doesn’t work, put on mittens to avoid them scratching themselves until they do settle down for a nap.
Step 5: If you do cut the skin, don’t panic
It’s okay if you accidentally cut the skin, it happens. The best thing to do is to remain calm. Grab a cotton pad or gauze and hold it over the cut until it stops bleeding (which should be very shortly). Don’t apply a Band-Aid, as it poses a potential choking hazard for newborns.
And now you know how to cut your baby’s nails like a seasoned expert! Tell me how you did in the comments below!