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How to safely cut baby fingernails
Aren't they gorgeous? Baby fingers and toes are some of the sweetest things on the planet! But when you baby starts to scratch themselves, it's important to attend to their nails. Keeping them short reduces their risk of infection, and means less scratches.
How can you safely trim baby nails?
There are two options available:
- Cut them, or
- Bite them.
Cutting baby nails
If you choose to cut them, we recommend purchasing specialised baby nail clippers which are designed for tiny fingernails. We like the Safety 1st nail clippers. These have an easy to use handle for mum or dad which offers greater control, but the actual clipper part is small. However, any set of baby nail clippers will get the job done.
Wait until your baby is calm and relaxed before attempting to cut their nails. After a bath is a perfect time, once baby is dressed and possibly even while baby is drinking from a boob or bottle. The warm bath water will have helped the nails soften, and the bath itself should have helped your baby relax - and a relaxed baby is much more likely to stay still.
The method then is to press your baby's finger pad away from the nail, then firmly hold their hand. Cut their nails carefully along the curve of the fingernail.
For toes, the method is similar. Hold the foot firmly and cut straight across the toenail. Repeat for every long toenail.
Biting their nails
There's no need to actually purchase baby nail clippers if you are on a budget or feel more confident trimming their nails using your teeth.
Again, wait until baby is nice and relaxed before you begin. This keeps baby from moving suddenly and causing an accident.
Softly and gently take your baby's hand or foot with one hand, and use your other hand to keep them calm. Bite the edge of their nail, and then use your hands to slowly pull the nail off.
Which is best?
Of the two methods, we would recommend cutting nails simply because it's easier to do hygienically and there's no risk of accidentally biting your baby. However the ultimate answer is really up to you and your family. Best of luck and remember, whatever method you choose, be careful yet confident.