0 - 12 Weeks

How to cut your newborn’s fingernails

Caregiver cutting a baby's nails

Trimming your newborn’s nails can be daunting. Their fingers are so tiny and their nails so soft that you may hesitate to bring scissors anywhere near them. 

Your baby’s nails grow quickly in the early weeks, so cutting them regularly is important. Because your baby doesn’t yet have control over their larger movements, a long or jagged nail can scratch their face.

Soon, your baby’s nails will harden and stop growing so quickly, which will make nail trimming easier.

What to know before getting started

Don’t bite their nails. This was standard practice in bygone generations (and is still somewhat common), but experts advise against it. Germs from your mouth can lead to an infection, and it’s hard to differentiate between nail and skin with your teeth.

Avoid tearing and peeling. This method could accidentally damage the soft, tender skin below the growing part of your baby’s nails, or give them a hangnail or ingrown nail.

Do it when they’re sleeping. The best time to trim your baby’s nails is when they’re asleep. If you’re worried about waking them, try doing it when they’re drowsy and calm. 

Enlist support. You can cut your baby’s nails alone, but it’s often easier with two people: one of you holds your baby while the other does the trimming.

The best way to cut your baby’s nails

Once you’re ready, gently pull the pad of your baby’s fingertip away from their nail as much as you can. With a pair of baby nail scissors or rounded baby nail trimmers, snip across the edge of the nail, following the shape of it. Try to avoid cutting the sides. If you want to round the corners, you can use an emery board with a very light touch.

If your baby does get nicked, it’s okay—these things happen ❤️ Don’t use a Band-Aid, which could come off and be a choking hazard. Instead, press a small cloth over the cut area and blot it until the bleeding stops.

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Posted in: 0 - 12 Weeks, 3 - 4 Months, Lovevery App, Routine, Newborn Care, Safety, Baby Care, Child Development

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