Do you find it hard to trim your baby’s nail, especially for the first time? Well, you may consider their soft nails and fear bleeding if you make any mistake while trimming. But you can do it right if you learn the best way to trim baby nails.
The truth is that the nails of newborns tend to wear down by themselves through regular contact with their clothing. And when older babies interact with their surroundings, they easily wear down their nails.
But there is still a need for you to trim your baby’s nails because baby nails do grow fast.
Here are the following tips for the best way to trim baby nails
Gather the needed tools
It is wrong to use your nail clippers on your baby’s nails. That’s a No-No. Instead, you should use a pair of baby scissors or clippers that are designed specifically for tiny baby fingers.
However, for the first week of your baby’s life, you may only need to use a soft emery board for nail care. The reason is not far-fetched- newborns have nails that are soft enough to easily file down.
Choose the appropriate time
The best time to cut a baby’s nails is when they are asleep, very calm, or drowsy. So if you have a heavy dozer, lucky you. But before beginning to trim, wait for about 20 minutes to allow your unsuspecting baby to get to a deep, non-REM level of slumber. Then you can begin your move.
Another way is to trim your little one’s nails right after bathing them. During this period, they are usually relaxed and happy, and their nails are soft and nice.
Make sure you have plenty of light
Ensure you find a place that is well-illuminated before trimming your baby’s nails. You need to be able to see clearly to differentiate the nail from the skin. Some moms will run their baby’s nails through a bit of cornstarch to get a good contrast before trimming them.
Get the best position
Positioning matters when it comes to the best way to trim a baby’s nails. You have to get the best position to prevent them from thrashing. Here are some ways to achieve that:
- Front Carrier Method: This method involves placing your child in a front-facing baby carrier (both you and your baby should face one direction). Hold down one arm with one hand, and work on the other hand.
- Tag Team Method: Get someone to help you hold your baby’s hand as you clip the nails or vice versa.
- The Distract “Em Method: Stick your baby in a high chair and turn on the show. Try to distract them while you trim their fingers. This works well when you’re working with sharp tools.
After creating the perfect set-up using all the measures above, grasp your baby’s hand with a firm hold, slightly press the finder pad down, and cut along the finger curve. But if your child’s toenail is the target, it is okay to cut straight across.
However, ensure you don’t trim your baby’s nails by biting on their nails. By doing this, you may expose your child to a condition called herpetic whitlow (caused by the herpes simplex virus).
If you accidentally nick your baby’s fingers, do not freak out. Yea, it happens. All you have to do is to rinse the cut under cool clean water, and then use a sterile gauze pad or tissue to apply a little pressure to it. Usually, the bleeding will stop in a few minutes. But if it doesn’t stop, ensure you call your doctor. And don’t use a liquid bandage product on your little one’s finger because babies love to chew on small objects.
Here are some more tips to keep your baby happy when trimming your baby’s nails:
- Sing to your baby or talk calmly
- Use a toy or activity to distract your baby
- Make out a game to involve your baby in the process
- Praise your baby for cooperating till the end. This can help you both feel good about the whole process.
You don’t have to trim your baby’s finger very often. You can keep it on a weekly basis because a baby’s nails grow very fast. However, ensure you stick to the best ways to trim a baby’s nails highlighted above if you want to get the best result. But if your baby has a wound that won’t stop bleeding, ensure you consult your child’s doctor for immediate treatment.