Trimming Your Child's Nails With Baby Scissors

Trimming baby nails can be a challenge, but it's not impossible. Follow these simple methods for the best results.

Baby nails often grow quickly and can become very sharp. As babies mature and discover they can manipulate their arms and hands they can unintentionally scrape their little noses, faces, eyes or even the unsuspecting parent. If you're too timid to try using scissors, cover their little hands with tiny mittens or baby socks. It's also not a bad trick if you're in a hurry. But there are ways to get those little nails off without making yourself a nervous wreck. When all else fails, use some of these tried and true methods.

1. Invest in a good pair of baby scissors. Miniature nail scissors are needed for this miniature job"¦don't pull out the adult sized equipment. The blades on infant scissors tend to be rounded and pretty blunt"¦just sharp enough to get the job done. Select a stainless steel variety with coated handles for easy use.

2. Wait until your baby has drifted off to a nice little dream. Arms go limp and those tiny hands should be relaxed and open. If you're gentle, you should be able to get your snipping done without waking them.

3. Try applying a little pressure to the top of the finger pad, gently pulling the flesh away from the nail and then snip. It will give you a little more exposure to the actual nail and improve your line of sight for safe clipping.

4. Exercise care to not trim to closely to the skin. You'll avoid nicks and pinches this way. Also, leaving behind a little white eliminates cutting nails down to the quick.

5. Post-bath clipping is easier because nails are softer.

6. Be sure to follow the nails natural pattern and clip in one motion.

7. Use an emery board to file corners or sharp edges.

8. A favorite play toy can be a nice distraction and keep your little one calm and quiet during the procedure.

9. Recruit a partner. Infants have a tendency to squirm making your job more difficult. Have someone hold baby's hand steady while you gently trim each little nail.

10. Toenails do not tend to grow quite as fast so you can clip them maybe once a week. When you do clip them, be sure to clip each nail straight across.

Be sure to check the fingers and toes carefully after you are done. If by chance you nip the skin and a little bleeding occurs, just use a clean cotton ball to apply a little pressure and stop the bleeding and follow up with a little antibiotic to prevent infection. Don't be alarmed. It's just part of the trial and error process. And you will get lots of practice because baby nails grow fast!

If after trying everything else, you are still having trouble or are just too nervous, you can always give the nails a little nibble. They're really soft but don't worry, you won't tear off the entire nail. Play a little "finger eating" game and your little one will be none the wiser.

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