Even though your baby's nails are softer and more malleable than yours, they can still create scratches and require frequent cutting. Here are some pointers.
Are you afraid to cut your baby's delicate nails? Even though your baby's nails are softer and more malleable than yours, they can still create scratches and require frequent cutting.
Because a baby's fingernails grow quickly, you may need to cut them weekly or more regularly. Toenails do not require as much frequent trimming.
Filing your baby's nails using an emery board is the easiest and safest method, but it takes longer. You should also avoid filing the delicate skin under the nail bed. Avoid using a metal nail file, which may be too harsh for your baby's skin.
Clip your baby's nails just like you would your own, carefully pulling the fingertip back from the nail to make room for the clipper. This helps keep your baby's finger from being clipped. Clipping too close to the white nail line may be avoided with short, tiny clips above the white nail line. Toe nails should be clipped straight across. As you clip, keep a strong grip on your child's hand (or foot). You may also use manicure scissors or scissor-shaped clippers. Using an emery board, smooth off any rough edges.
Wait till your infant is asleep before clipping her nails. If you're lucky, she'll fall asleep right away. And she's not going to wiggle or squirm. Even if you're cutting while the infant sleeps, make sure you have enough light.
Try to distract your baby if you choose to clip her nails while she is awake. When neonates are aware, they clench their fists, narrowing the space between the fingertip and the nail and making the procedure more difficult. Make yourself and your baby as comfortable as possible. A good moment is immediately following a baby's bath, when she is calm and her nails are soft. If your infant becomes tight, take a pause and give her a chance to relax. Singing a favorite song may be beneficial.
If you still don't have the guts (or the time) to cut your child's nails, consider the following alternatives:
Ask a more experienced parent to demonstrate how they do it. This might be a job for a grandmother or a favorite aunt or uncle. A regular sitter or nanny may also be available. If you opt to do it yourself, ask a spouse or a friend to hold your baby and keep her from wriggling too much while you work, or to distract her while you clip.
If your baby's nails are unusually sharp and you just cannot cut them at this time, place gloves on her hands to minimize scratching, especially while she sleeps.
Some parents bite their baby's nails, but this is not encouraged since it can introduce germs and leave the baby's nails ragged, and it is also easy to bite into the baby's tender flesh.
If the worst should happen and you nick a finger or toe, don't worry. Simply clean the wound with lukewarm water and wrap it with sterile gauze or cloth. Apply a little pressure and hold it for a few seconds. Usually, the bleeding ends immediately. You can apply antibiotic cream to your infant, but avoid bandages, which could cause him to choke.