How to Cut Baby Nails

Baby’s finger nails grow surprisingly quickly. It’s important to keep them short, otherwise they scratch themselves. Babies have no control over their hands which often fly around and scratch their faces.

How to Cut Baby Nails by Dr Orlena Kerek, paediatrician

Baby Mittens

You can buy baby mittens or gloves that you put on so that they don’t scratch themselves. Or you can use socks.

In my experience they fall off after 5 minutes and you still end up needing to cut your baby’s nails.

Baby Finger Nails

Cutting a baby's finger nails is no easy task. Some people advise nibbling them with your teeth. The problem with that is that most human mouths contain all manner of unsavoury bugs that can cause a nasty infection on your baby's fingers.

Use Baby Clippers

It is a much better idea to use a clean pair of clippers, the small ones rather than the really big ones. The baby's fingers or toes need to be still. (Ha! I hear you laugh.) I know, it's not easy. Try when they are relaxed, perhaps when they are being fed (you'll need someone to do the cutting and someone else to do the feeding.)

  • Clean clippers
  • Hold them still
  • Do it quickly

Baby Finger Nail Cutting Tips

Try cutting them when they are nursing and distracted. (You may need to get someone else to do it for you.)

Or put them in a baby bouncer so that they can stand up and you have two hands free.

Or a baby sling and get someone else to clip them.

Try an Emery Board

An emery board removes the danger of accidentally cutting your baby’s tiny fingers.

Baby Toe Nails

You can cut your baby’s toe nails as well but they never seem to grow as quickly as finger nails. Also, they don’t normally scratch themselves with their toe nails.

I have to confess that I have cut my baby's fingers whilst cutting their nails. I tried doing it while they were in the bath. I don't recommend it. I felt awful, but in reality they only cried for a few moments. And at least they didn't end up with a nasty infection.

How to Cut Baby Nails by Dr Orlena Kerek, paediatrician