Babies nails are usually softer and more pliable than ours, but they can still cause scratches and needs more trimming regularly. Trimming your baby’s fingernails can be a scary proposition, but it’s still one you’ll need to undertake sooner rather than later.
Just like the rest of their body, the fingernails have been growing since even before they were born, so they may be well ready for their first manicure in the first week of life.
There are some successful secrets for clipping your baby’s nails, and they are as follows:
- File them down: filing your baby’s nails might be a little bit risky because of her tender skin. So in order not to harm their skin, an Emery board is the safest way to do it, and the file should not be a metal file. You can also use an electronic file to remove the sharp edges before cutting.
- Use a baby nail clipper: with the use of an Emery board, you can clip your baby’s fingernails gently. you will have to push back the fingertip from the nail to allow space for the clipper. This also applies to toenails. Keep a firm hold on your baby’s hand or foot as you clip. Short little clips above the white nail line will help prevent clipping too close.
- Clip while baby sleeps: Wait till the baby is asleep before you clip and make sure you have adequate light for the task. If you are lucky, they may be asleep while you are clipping their nails and won’t wiggle or squirm.
- Distract and relax: Try to distract your baby while trying to cut their nails. Newborn tend to clench their fists allot, so the perfect time for clipping your baby’s fingernails is right after a bath. To distract your baby, try singing his/her favorite songs, or getting one of their favorite relatives close to them else, one might incur an accident during trimming.
- Seek help: Seek help from a more experienced parent before you clip your baby’s nails. If you decide to do it yourself, get a favorite uncle, aunt, or relative to help distract her while clipping the fingernails.
- Put on the mittens: If your baby’s nails are particularly too sharp and you can’t cut them at that particular point in time, apply mittens on your baby’s hand to prevent scratching, especially when she is asleep. If you do not have mittens for your baby to wear while she is asleep, then wear socks on her hands.
It is advisable for a parent to get a personal kit for your baby. This is because it is not healthy for one to share clippers with another most, especially that of a baby. Your baby’s kit should come with a nail clipper, scissors, an Emery board, and a first aid kit.
Do not purchase clippers or filing that are made for adults or much older kids. According to The National Institute of Health, they are too big and rigid for a baby’s tender toenail and fingernails.
Some stores sell clippers with safety guard and special sight, so it’s easier to see your child’s nails while you cut. Ask your pediatrician for their most trusted options if you are curious about the best type of trimmers and tools to get for your baby.
It is also helpful to know when to cut your baby’s nails and when to avoid the practice altogether. If your baby is tired, hungry, or needs a diaper change, she will probably be too fussy for a trimming. Offer her food, nap, or change her diaper before you grab your toolbox. The calmer your child feels, the less she will move around and cause you more anxiety. Toenails do not need cutting quite as often as the fingernails.
On the other hand, the fingernails should be trimmed weekly if possible because it grows faster than the toenails. Some parents bite their babies’ fingernails, but it’s not recommended because it can introduce germs and leave the baby’s nails ragged plus, it’s easy to bite into the baby’s soft flesh.
If the worse happens and you nick a finger or toe, don’t fret. Just rinse the cut with cool water and cover the cut with sterile gauze or cloth. Apply a little pressure and hold it briefly. The bleeding usually stops quickly. You can apply some antibiotic cream but avoid bandages, which could cause the baby to choke.
When you are attentive to your baby’s fingernails, she is less likely to suffer from uncomfortable infections or pesky ingrown toenails.
A regular nail grooming schedule is also helpful in preventing injury to you or your child from poking or scratching. As long as you inspect their nails while bathing them or putting them to sleep, you will know when to cut or file them down.
Besides making your infant’s hygiene easier, excellent nail care is the foundation for healthy hands and feet for a lifetime.