Start with the right tools (and a positive attitude) to trim your baby's tiny nails.
Posted on March 07, 2016
It can be a scary proposition, but one you'll need to undertake sooner rather than later: Clipping your baby's itty-bitty nails. Just like the rest of her, they've been growing since before she was born so she may well be ready for a manicure in her first week of life (and every two or three days during the first three weeks until the nails harden and stop growing so fast!).
Wielding a scissors anywhere near your darling's tiny fingers can be daunting, but it's an important task. Those overgrown nails may be softer and more pliable than yours, but they can also be sharp enough for your baby to scratch herself, especially around the face.
And while Grandma may suggest you peel or nibble off the tips of baby's nails, it's probably not the best idea. Peeling may accidentally take off too much of the nail, while nibbling may transfer your germs to her skin.
So brace yourself and get trimming. Use special baby scissors with rounded tips (so you don't accidentally poke her if she startles while you're working) or a clipper designed for the purpose — some even have built-in magnifying glasses to help you get a good view. Still squeamish? Try a baby-sized emery board instead.
When clipping, hold your baby's finger, pressing the fingertip pad down and away from the nail. Gently snip following the natural curve of the fingernail, taking care that you don't go too low and nip the quick. When tending her tiny toes, cut nails straight across. Keep in mind that toenails grow more slowly and therefore require less maintenance.
Many parents find it's easiest to pare nails when baby is sleeping. Keep a clipper in your diaper bag so you can seize scissoring opportunities whenever they arise — in the stroller, in the car (when someone else is driving!), or at Grandma's house. Or do the job when you have a helper available — one of you can hold the baby's hands still (and distract her with a song) while the other clips.