Tips for Clipping Your Newborn’s Nails

clipping nails

Trimming your baby’s tiny fingernails can be a challenging task, but it is an extremely important one!

Newborns require a lot of care and attention. One of the things you need to stay on top of, as a parent, is your baby’s nails.

While the nails are soft and pliable, they can still cause injury to babies when they are touching their faces, or other parts of their bodies. Trimming your baby’s fingernails should be done at least once a week, and their toenails may need to be cut once a month.


Use blunt, rounded-tip scissors, or baby nail clippers. Using adult nail clippers can cause injury to your baby by cutting the tips of their fingers instead of the nail. You can also file your baby’s nails with an emery board or file.


Enlist a partner to help you clip your baby’s nails. Have them hold the baby’s hand steady while you carefully clip the nail close to the fingertip. You may find it easier to clip the nails while your baby is sleeping or eating. Smooth the jagged or sharp edges with an emery board.


{ MORE: Infant Nail Care }

If you draw blood, or accidentally clip the fingertip, apply gauze until the bleeding has stopped. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after several minutes, the cut might be deeper than originally thought. Call your child’s pediatrician to see if additional medical attention is needed.


What do you think?

Tips for Clipping Your Newborn’s Nails

Tell us what you think!


  1. Profile photo of EbyMom EbyMom says:

    i clip my baby’s nails when she is asleep. that way it is easier and safer.

  2. Who knew nail clipping could be so scary! Having a baby changes everything.

  3. Profile photo of Holly Holly says:

    cutting my baby girls nails was scary to me at first… no i guess im getting braver i have been doing them when she is awake now…

  4. Profile photo of katherine katherine says:

    I stilld dont clip my babies nails bc some lady told me that he could end up blind!

  5. Well stupid question- can you just file them a bit every day to keep them trim and blunt?

  6. Profile photo of sheenaholman sheenaholman says:

    I have a hard time clipping my baby’s nails. It’s scary!

  7. Profile photo of verochka31 verochka31 says:

    it’s a scary and delicate process but it’s not so bad. you could simply tear them off gently.

  8. Profile photo of emi285 emi285 says:

    I like to use the emory boards…I have cut two of my kids by accident in the past :/

  9. nap time is the best way!

  10. Profile photo of Valerie Valerie says:

    I do believe i will clip his nails while he sleeps, just to be safe..

  11. Profile photo of Jeanetta Jeanetta says:

    I’m scared to clip her nails, I think I’ll use an Emory board.

  12. Profile photo of ChrisS ChrisS says:

    Its easier for me to clip my son’s nails only when its getting long and while he is sleeping.

  13. Profile photo of Angelwings Angelwings says:

    That’s good to know, I see some babies in mitts all the time cause parents weren’t taught to clip or didn’t buy baby clippers.

  14. Profile photo of Grace Grace says:

    clipping his nails makes me nervouis too

  15. My baby is 7 weeks old, My husband tried clipping one finger nail, she cried and cried, he didn’t cut anything, but we won’t be trying again for awhile

  16. Profile photo of Bebe+Emmys Bebe+Emmys says:

    I tired cutting her nails once…. Yep, not doing that again for awhile. Now I just bite them off as they tear. She’s only 4 weeks old on Friday. I’m sure it will change with time, but for now it works for us.

  17. I think it was the 2nd time I clipped my daughters nails when I also clip her pinky. My husband was panicing (he was holding her as I was doing it) and I told him that I will be right back and then I added pressure to her finger with a clean dry cloth and after the blood had stop everything was alright and I put a bandaid on it. Always try to stay calm even if u feel bad and sick inside. I had my mom do her nails after that till she was almost 2.

  18. Profile photo of Julie Julie says:

    I am so afraid to cut her nails. I really hope I don’t hurt her when the time comes.

  19. Profile photo of Jessica Jessica says:

    I’m having to do this nearly daily. Either I’m horrible at it or my baby’s nails grow like weeds.

  20. Profile photo of Kendra Kendra says:

    I am so scared to do this. Her hands are so tiny and I’m scared I might hurt her!! 🙁

  21. Profile photo of MommyMagic MommyMagic says:

    As they get older, it is faster and easier to do it once they fall asleep. Just be careful if your little one moves a lot in their sleep.

  22. Profile photo of Sarah_Long Sarah_Long says:

    I filed them for the first few weeks until i got enough guts to clip them. He sure does hate it.. but im getting pretty quick at it!! 😀

  23. Profile photo of britt britt says:

    im still nervous to clip my babys nail by myself my fiance has to hold his hands down for me to do them

  24. Profile photo of kiminbill kiminbill says:

    im always afraid of snipping a tip =(

  25. I was so nervous the first time I clipped my baby’s nails!