Baby Health Care Tips: Choosing A Safe Manicure Set

A guide to essential equipment for a safe baby manicure set, including tips on how to minimize trauma and properly trim a baby's fingernails.

Even the tiniest baby is a complete person, with eyelashes, dimples, and fingernails. Unfortunately, tiny fingernails can scratch, and a safe baby manicure set is a necessary tool for all parents. Properly trimming a baby's nails helps prevent accidental scratches and begins to teach proper grooming that may prevent a future nail-biting habit.

Baby Manicure Sets: Essential Tools

The most obvious tool that should be included in a manicure set is a pair of nail clippers. Clippers with curved edges make the task easier because fewer snips are necessary, leaving fewer rough edges. The handle should be coated with plastic or rubber for a firm grip, and preferably ball-shaped to prevent swallowing. Some models require the leverage arm to be rotated one hundred eighty degrees before clipping, which prevents any accidental use.

A soft file or emery board is also important in a manicure set. Even the most careful trimming leaves some sharp edges, and gentle filing will remove any possibility of unintentional scratches. Files should have rounded ends to safeguard against being poked, and the grain of the filing surface should be very fine to avoid irritating the baby's fingertips.

A pair of nail scissors can be used as an alternative to nail clippers if the baby's nails are quite long. The tips of the scissors should be rounded and blunt for additional safety, and the handles should be rubber-coated and close tightly to prevent pinched fingers.

A fourth tool for a manicure set is a pair of tweezers, which can be used to remove splinters or hangnails. Because a baby's nails are so tiny, a magnifying lens should accompany the tweezers, and several models are available that incorporate a lens as a handle.

When purchasing a manicure set, inspect the carrying case. Cases with zippers or multiple snapping locks help prevent a young child from playing with the tools, and the case should have elastic bands or individual pockets for each tool. This prevents the tools from being lost and keeps them in a universal location for easy access.

Baby Manicure Sets: Trimming Techniques

Many babies are upset by fingernail trimming, and using the proper tools helps minimize the trauma. Nails can easily be trimmed while the baby is asleep so they are unaware of the entire process. Trimming nails can be easier after a bath as well, when the nails are softer and the baby is more relaxed. If the baby is too upset to bear the clipping, a pair of no-scratch mittens can be used to protect them from accidentally scratching themselves until their nails are trimmed. These mittens are a soft cotton or fleece material with a snug elastic band around the wrist. Some varieties cover the entire hand, while others leave the thumb free to grip toys or bottles.

When trimming a baby's nails, first sterilize the clippers or scissors with an alcohol wipe or swab, which may be included in the manicure set. Do not trim the nails too closely, which might create a hangnail that can easily become infected and painful. After trimming, gently file the rough edges of the fingernails to prevent any accidental scratches from untrimmed corners.

Babies should not wear nail polish or other nail adornments such as stickers or sequins. Such details are potentially toxic and may present a choking hazard. A neatly trimmed nail on a smiling baby is the best grooming of all.

Trimming a baby's fingernails is safe and easy with the proper tools. Complete with clippers, emery board, scissors, and tweezers in a convenient case, a baby manicure set is an important nursery tool. Practical and inexpensive, it is certain to be appreciated by any parents-to-be.

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