Taming those killer baby nails

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like a warrior bearing my various baby wounds – from the pinches, scratches and love bites, I’m all marked up. But, the worst are the itty-bitty baby nail scratches. Not only do they sting like a paper cut, once one is gone, another scratch shows up.

The best way to tame the scratches is to keep your babe’s nails nicely cut.


If you are able to easily and quickly cut your baby’s nails without any sort of fuss, please contact me as soon as possible with your amazing secret. I’ve tried it all, from clipping at night while she’s slumbering, first thing in the morning when she’s still a bit asleep, and even having someone else hold her while I attempt to cut away at the darn little things.

No matter what I try, she squirms and pulls her hands away, which inevitably makes me flinch and worry I will clip more than just her nail!

I was given a couple of baby nail care items before our daughter was born (a baby sized clipper, tweezers and nail file) and spent some time checking them out before trying them on the real thing. Infants like to keep their hands clenched – it’s a comfort thing – so even prying the small fists open can be the first challenge. Keep a smile on your face and try to remain calm even if you’re the one freaking out. Your babe picks up on your emotional cues, so if you are calm and cool, hopefully she will be, too.

At first my baby was all about having her small wee nails clipped. That was before she figured out what was happening. The nail file has become my new baby grooming friend, with its ability to calm those sharp nails without any clip-clip-clipping. It may take a little longer, but there’s no fear of cutting more than just your babe’s nails!

So, what happens when you make a bigger snip that you planned? Keep calm – your baby is going to cry (try not to yourself) but she will survive. Clean the cut with some gentle soap and put a small amount of baby-safe healing ointment on the finger. Before no time she’ll be good as new, although she might be a bit more resistant when she sees the clippers the next time.

Keeping your baby’s nails trimmed ensures she wont hurt more than just you. With tamed nails she wont cut herself OR cause any other kid damage during play dates or preschool.

Seriously – anyone out there have any special tricks to make nail trimming time a success?

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