5 Tips to Help Make Trimming Your Baby’s Nails Less Stressful
One of the most terrifying aspects of caring for your newborn baby once you get home from the hospital is trimming their nails. Their skin and nails are both so delicate, and their nail beds are so teeny tiny. Even if you thought ahead to purchase, or to put baby safe nail trimmers on your registry, you don’t think to ask how to do this when you’re in the hospital.
Picture this: you’re home, by yourself, and your baby scratches their face. You can’t put it off or use those little baby mitts any longer. It’s time to trim their nails. Holding their squirming little bodies, it can be terrifying to trim their nails. What if you snag their delicate little skin? How much should you trim off?
Baby nails are sharp and grow rapidly. This makes for a recurring match up between you and their razor sharp nails. BeauGen is here to help with some advice from our team members and professionals.
Here are BeauGen’s Tips for Trimming Baby’s Nails Minus the Tears:
Try the Trimmers Out Ahead of Time
You’ll know what to expect and have a feel for how to hold and use them. Try the trimmers out on yourself so you can get a feel for them in your hands. This will give you a better idea of how to hold them and use them when you need to trim your baby’s nails.
Feed Baby First
Babies are less likely to move around when they have a tummy full of warm milk. When they’re little, sometimes you can even do this when they’re sleeping. Trimming their nails the first few times while they are sleeping can help you get over your anxiety, leaving you more calm for future trims.
Have Your Partner Help
Have your partner hold your baby so you have full use of both hands and arms. Holding your baby and trying to trim their nails can force you to work at a bit of an awkward angle. Having a family member, or friend help you by holding the baby can free up both of your hands and give you the freedom and flexibility to work.
Trim Baby's Nails While They Breastfeed
You know we have to talk about breastfeeding in almost every post right? This tips combines the previous two from some tandem trimming. Have your partner help you while you breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding calms, relaxes, and captivates your baby's attention. This allows you to trim their nails without them fighting you.
Give Yourself Some Room to Work
One of the things that scares us the most is getting a bit of your baby’s finger along with the nail. Try giving yourself some room to work by creating space between the nail and the tip of your baby’s finger. Using your thumb, gently roll the tip of your baby’s finger away from their nail. This will give you room to slip the nail trimmers around the nail without snagging any of their skin.
Some pediatricians recommend using your teeth to gently nibble off your baby's finger and toe nails. Baby nails are really soft and can be trimmed without much effort so you don't really need the sharp or frightening nail trimmers and scissors.
File Them Down
Who says we have to cut a baby's nails? Take a nail file, and gently shave down their nails until they are a safe length. The added benefit of a nail file is that it doesn't leave sharp edges the way cutting the nails can.
Take your time and celebrate nail by nail. After all, each nail you are able to trim might feel like an actual accomplishment. And make it fun, so that it will lessen your baby’s possible fear of the experience. Do a little dance. Sing a short song. Cheer and maybe even tickle them a bit.
For Older Kids:
As babies turn into toddlers, you might need to switch up your tactics. If you have been trimming their nails in their sleep, that might no longer work. However, you might still be able to carry a few of these tips like positive reinforcement into their toddler years.
Here are a few tips for trimming toddler nails without the fuss and fighting.
Play Nail Salon, But For Real
If your child has seen you do your own nails, and understands that this is a fun way to pamper yourself, you can let them in on the fun. The biggest part of this tip is to (not??) make a fuss over getting their nails done. Try taking a bath first. Next bust out a bit of moisturizer. Then trim their nails as just another step in the salon experience, before the finale of painting their nails! You can even pretend to file their nails just like mommy does.
Turn It Into a Game
Not all kids will be a fan of playing nail salon, and that’s okay. For these kids, think of ways to turn trimming their nails into a game. Maybe play a bit of Peek-a-boo, or tickle their tummies in between nails. The laughter will replace the fear and you’ll both be able to get through trimming their nails without any tears.