Trimming your new born baby’s nails can be daunting, however, it is important to master this skill as soon as possible because babies’ nails grow quickly and it is common for infants to scratch and hurt their faces if the nails are not kept short. Even when your baby is born you may need to trim his or her nails so the sooner you attempt this task the better!
The best time to trim your baby’s nails is when they are asleep or absorbed in feeding so that they do not notice or resist what you are doing. The nails are softer after a warm bath so ideally, this is the time to trim them as it will be easier.
Some practitioners advise peeling or biting your baby’s nails rather than using a tool however this can result in tearing the nail too low and it is better to use a specially designed pair of scissors or clippers to do the job safely and efficiently.
When you have your baby asleep or relaxed in a safe position, pull the pad of the finger back gently away from the nail and trim the white part. Be careful not to trim too close to the pink quick of the nail. If there are jagged edges you can gently file them with a soft nail file or trim them so that there are no sharp edges.
If you do accidentally nick your baby’s finger (and this is not uncommon for the most well-intentioned trimmer!) just apply gentle pressure on the nick and hold the baby’s hand up above his or her heart until the bleeding stems. Do not be tempted to use a bandage or dressing as this could come off and be a choking hazard.
It is a great idea to keep a pair of clippers close to hand in the changing bag so that you can take advantage of an opportune moment when you baby is asleep to gently apply this task with the minimal of fuss!