Are you one of those parents who shudder at the thought of cutting newborn nails just because you don’t know how to do this properly? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Today’s post will offer some practical tips that will help you become an expert nail technician for your baby. 

Take It Easy 

When you look at the tiny fingers of your newborn baby, you may wonder how they can have such long and sharp nails that require cutting regularly. And though you’re ready to devote yourself wholeheartedly to your parental duties, trimming newborn nails might seem daunting at first. But as with any undertaking, you just need to start and practice a little to succeed. 

So, before getting down to cutting your baby’s fingernails, ensure you’re in the mood for that. You shouldn’t feel nervous or overwhelmed. Tell yourself it’s just part of your newborn care routine which is not only about responsibility but also bonding.

Get Some Help

If you find yourself unable to tame your anxiety, though, get someone to help you. Your partner can feed a baby or distract them with their favorite toys. Meanwhile, you can attend to your child’s lovely fingernails. 

It also would be wise to ask a midwife or hospital nurse to show you the ropes of newborn nail trimming. After that, you’ll be able to repeat the procedure at home without being afraid to hurt your baby.  

Have Necessary Tools at Hand 

It’s much easier to nail (no pun intended) a task when you have all the necessary tools at hand. And cutting newborn nails is no exception. You won’t need the contents of your first aid kit, of course. Make sure you have nice baby scissors with ergonomic design, which will help make the nail-trimming procedure a breeze. So, if you’re still asking yourself ‘What are rounded-point scissors for?’, it’s high time you found the answer before your manicure session looms large on the horizon. Alternatively, you may opt for quality nail clippers specifically designed for babies. You also want to have a gentle nail file in your arsenal. It will come in handy when you need to smooth rough edges. 

Timing is Key 

As a parent, the onus is on you to decide when it’s the most opportune moment for nail trimming. If your baby hasn’t got enough sleep, feels unwell, or is fussy, consider postponing the procedure. And until that, you can use newborn mittens that will prevent your baby from scratching themselves. 

The best time for a baby manicure is when a newborn is soundly asleep and fairly still. This way, you’ll have more freedom and peace of mind, which is very important when you don’t feel confident cutting newborn nails.   

Get Around to It 

So, you’re well-equipped for your baby’s first nail-trimming session and ready to start. The best way to trim newborn nails is as follows:

  • Pick one finger and hold it firmly. 
  • Push the skin away from the tip of the nail and hold it there. This way, you’ll make the tip of your baby’s nail more visible and easy to trim. 
  • Still pushing down on the skin, take clippers or scissors with your other hand and gently get them around both sides of the nail. Just a few gentle presses and you get rid of the nail or its part. 
  • Add the finishing touches with your baby nail file. Note that a file can be used not only for eliminating ragged edges but is also ideal for quick nail maintenance on the go.
  • Useful tip! If you need to trim your infant’s toenails, take care to cut them straight across. This will help to prevent ingrown nails, which might cause serious problems in the future. 

Dealing with Cuts

No matter if you’re a first-time parent or already have lots of kids in your household, you’re not immune from accidentally hurting your baby when cutting their tiny nails. Should you cut a newborn’s finger with nail clippers, don’t panic! What you want to do is apply pressure using a cotton ball until it stops bleeding. If the cut looks bad or is too deep, consider applying some antibacterial ointment, as well. But in this case, you would be well-advised to consult with your pediatrician.  

Final Thoughts 

You might be intimidated by the prospect of giving your newborn a manicure at first. It’s quite normal for responsible parents to be afraid of new challenges when it comes to caring for their firstborns. Still, all you need to do is get your feet wet and keep things under control. Knowing how to cut newborns’ nails is not brain surgery, after all. It can really be fun and conducive to bonding with your child. So, if you do this the right way, chances are you’ll start getting lots of pleasure from this chore very soon. 

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].