How to cut your newborn’s nails

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Cutting your newborn’s nails can be quite scary! Even though your baby’s nails are softer and more pliable than yours, they still can cause scratches and need trimming regularly.

Because your baby’s fingernails grow so fast, you may need to trim them weekly or even more frequently. Thankfully, toenails don’t grow as quickly so don’t need cutting quite as often.

Follow Baby-Arabia’s advice and learn how to do it safely and easily:

File them down

Filing your baby’s nails with an emery board is the, safest way, but it takes more time. If you use this method be careful not to file the tender skin under the nail bed. Don’t use a metal nail file, they are too rough for a baby’s skin.

Use a baby nail clipper

Clip your baby’s nails as you would your own, gently pushing back the fingertip from the nail to allow space for the clipper. This helps prevent clipping your baby’s finger. Short little clips above the white nail line will help prevent clipping too close. For toenails, clip straight across. Keep a firm hold on your child’s hand (or foot) as you clip. You can also use scissor-shaped clippers or manicure scissors. Smooth rough edges with an emery board.

Clip while baby sleeps

If you are lucky, you can trim nails while your baby is sleeping. They might sleep right through it. This is great because they won’t struggle and move making clipping or cutting more difficult. Even if you’re clipping while baby sleeps, make sure you have adequate light for the task.

Distract and relax

If you need to trim your baby’s nails while they are awake, try to distract them. When newborns are alert they like to clench their fists, making the process more difficult. Try to make sure you and your baby, are as relaxed as possible. A good time is right after baby’s bath, when they are relaxed and their nails are soft. If your baby tenses up, take a break and give her a chance to calm down. Singing a favorite song or nursery rhyme may help.