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A Guide To Trimming Your Little One’s Fingernails

It is important to ensure that your little one’s fingernails are trimmed regularly to avoid your baby accidentally scratching themselves. Although babies fingernails are softer and much more pliable than adult fingernails, they are just as sharp and can be dangerous to them and to you. Little fingernails usually grow a lot faster and so will require cutting back a couple of times a week. However, toenails usually grow a lot slower so these don’t need to be done as often. Cutting your little one’s fingernails can be a scary prospect but it gets easier the more often you do it. Here are our top tips for trimming your little one’s fingernails.

The best time to cut your baby’s fingernails is after a bath when the nails are at their softest, or when baby is sleeping as they are less likely to become fussy. However if you do decide to cut their nails whilst they are awake, then it is a good idea to ask your partner or a friend to hold your little one to keep them from wriggling too much, or to distract them so you can hold their hand steady whilst you cut their nails.

It is important to make sure that you have enough light so that you can see what you are doing as well as ensuring that you use specialist baby scissors or clipper as these are designed for smaller fingernails. When it comes to actually cutting the nail, make sure that you press the fingerpad away from the nail to avoid cutting the skin accidentally. Make sure that you keep a firm grip on baby’s hand to avoid any accidents and use an emery board to file away any short sharp edges.

For the first few weeks of your little one’s life, paediatricians advise that new parents use only an emery board to trim baby’s nails as they are much more pliable and fewer accidents are likely to happen. Alternatively, some parents prefer to bite their little one’s fingernails into shape, however you need to be careful if you do decide to this because a baby’s fingernail is a lot smaller than your teeth!

If you do accidentally nick your little one’s finger, then try not to be too hard on yourself, accidents happen! All you need to do is run the wound under cold water to clean the cut, then apply a little pressure using a tissue to stem the bleeding. As tempting as it is, don’t put a bandage on the cut as this could easily fall off and become a choking hazard. If the wound doesn’t stop bleeding then consult your paediatrician as soon as possible.

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