Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Trim Your Baby's Nails

As all parents know, trimming infant nails are a necessity when caring for your baby.  Infants are typically born with long nails, and being so little they are also quite sharp.  Ignoring their nails and neglecting to trim them only results in the infant scratching their cute little faces.  But, trimming them can be a tremendous task.  When awake, infants squirm so much and the last thing we want to do is attempt to use a sharp clippers near their skin.  So how can we go about this task quickly and make it painless for everyone involved?

According to Dr. Sears,
  • Trim your baby's fingernails while baby is in a state of deep sleep, recognized by the limp-limb sign: Baby's limbs dangle limply, and the hands are wide open.
  • Use a miniature nail clipper designed especially for babies. They are much easier and safer than scissors or adult-sized clippers, and baby's paper-thin nails are so easy to cut anyway. If not using a nail clipper, use safety scissors with blunt ends in case baby startles during the cutting.
  • To avoid snipping the fingertip skin as you clip the nail, depress the finger pad away from the nail as you cut. As a beginning nail cutter, have your spouse hold baby's hand while you manipulate the finger and the nail clipper. After a while you will be able to trim baby's nails by yourself.
  • Drawing a drop of blood is part of learning nail trimming. Apply a bit of pressure and a dab of antibiotic ointment to the little nip.
  • If you're squeamish about cutting tiny nails, cover them with cotton mittens.
A baby's toenails do not seem to grow as fast, and quite often the nails are surrounded with heaped-up skin, making trimming difficult. Don't worry that the toenails may grow into this skin. Ingrown toenails are rarely a problem in infants. 

I also found an instructional video if you are interested:

~Curious Mommy

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