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July 21, 2024

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Reduce Claw Marks: Trim Those Baby Fingernails

Snuggling up with a newborn is pure bliss, until he scratches you (or himself) with his tiny little fingernails!

One of the scariest things parents have to do is to trim Baby’s fingernails. Who would’ve thought something so small could create so many irritating scratches? His tiny hands are all over the place as he explores movement, which can lead to random scratches on his face β€” or yours for that matter.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), baby’s nails grow so fast that you may have to trim them twice a week. You don’t want him clawing up his cute little face. So, it’s important to keep his nails short and trimmed smooth. There’s not as much worry about his toenails, because those grow at a slower pace. Keep an eye on them, though. You don’t want them to become ingrown. They may also look like they’re ingrown even if they’re not. “There’s no cause for concern unless the skin alongside the nail gets red, inflamed or hard,” says the AAP.

What to Use

The AAP recommends using a soft emery board, baby nail clippers or blunt-nosed toenail clippers. Be careful using larger nail clippers because you don’t want to cut his skin, which can bleed and be painful to him. If you’re scared out of your mind that you’ll hurt him, have someone else do it for you. In the meantime, cover his hands with socks or mittens.

You can even make your own mittens if you want. Here’s a cute and easy DIY for them we found on 5 Little Monsters.

Tips for a Smooth Trim

Baby’s are hard to keep still, especially when you’re trying to hold ’em down for something like nail trimming. The AAP says, “A good time to trim nails is after a bath if your baby will lie quietly, but you may find it easiest to do when he’s sleeping.”

As he gets older and easily wakes from you trying to do this, you’ll have to find another way. One idea is to sing a song to him as you trim each finger. Or, count them as you go. You’ll both be happy in the end when his fingernails are β€” and stay β€” short and smooth.

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