How to clip baby’s fingernails?

First-time parents often find cutting their baby’s fingernails somewhat intimidating and tricky. Who wouldn’t? Trimming those cute, tiny fingernails and toenails can make most new parents uneasy – but it’s not one you ignore. 

Usually, a baby’s fingernails are overgrown and long at birth. Trimming or cutting it would be nearly easy as it is soft, yet the challenge would be getting the baby to be still for the process. Parents’ ways of trimming or cutting may vary, but here are some valuable tips we can share to make the job as easy, painless, and tear-free as possible – both for you and your baby.

  • Lighting is important.

Always ensure you have plenty of light, so you can see well. You don’t want to trim or cut those tiny nails without proper lighting.

  • Trim it while the baby sleeps.

This perhaps is the most common parenting advice in the nail-trimming department. But this could only work if you’ve got a sound-sleeper or if you don’t mind waking your little one. 

  • Choose a trimmer or nail clipper made especially for babies.

There are now a lot of readily available nail clippers or trimmers made especially for your baby’s soft little nails. There are nail clippers with magnifiers that can give you a good look at baby’s teeny-tiny pins or baby nail scissors, or there are also electric nail trimmers. Remember to choose whatever it is you’re comfortable with using. 

Ensure the baby is involved in the process to avoid making too many movements. Some parents also incorporate screen time into their nail cutting/trimming time! 

An essential part of clipping is holding your baby’s finger and pressing the fingertip pad down and away from the nail. Snip the nail following its natural curve, don’t go too low, and nip the skin. When tending to the toes, always cut nails straight across. Remember that toenails tend to grow slowly, thus requiring less maintenance than fingernails.

It may feel awful if you nick your baby’s skin, but try not to feel too guilty, as it happens to every well-intentioned parent. If you accidentally cut your baby’s skin and it bleeds, gently press a soft clean pad onto the cut until the bleeding stops.

Always stay calm throughout the process and praise your baby for helping you finish. This can help you both feel good about getting the job done. The first two or three nail clipping sessions may feel challenging, but you’ll get the hang of it!