4 Tips for Cutting Your Newborn’s Fingernails

Newborn babies are perfect. Tiny ears, tiny noses, tiny wrists, and itty-bitty fingers and toes. The first time you lay eyes on your baby you’ll probably be overcome with just how little they are. You’ll be mesmerized. A few days or weeks later, though, you’ll likely begin to feel more puzzled than mesmerized when it comes time to cut your newborn's fingernails. Just how exactly are you supposed to do something so delicate with someone so small? Most parents worry about hurting their baby when they cut their fingernails but follow the tips below and you’ll be giving fantastic mini-manicures in no time!

hand, fingers
Image via Pixabay

1. Consider using an emery board instead of traditional nail clippers

When babies are very young, you can usually use an emery board or traditional nail file as opposed to using nail clippers. Though most nail clippers are guarded, parents tend to feel nervous as they clip their babies nails. Using an emery board can reduce anxiety and ensure the job gets done without any tears.

2. Give it a try when they’re asleep

When newborns are awake they’re often surprisingly wiggly. Instead of trying to wrangle your baby into being still while they're awake, consider cutting or filing their nails when they’re napping and still. 

{ MORE: The Science of Infant Bathing }

3. Make it a team effort

Trying to clip your baby’s nails for the first time can be overwhelming. Instead of going it alone, ask your partner or another loved one to hold your baby as you take care of their nails. Doing something hard can feel much easier when you’re doing it with someone who supports you, so don’t hesitate to ask!

4. Remember that this to shall pass

Taking care of a newborn is hard. As you struggle through the first few nail sessions with your baby, remember that in time this (all of it) will begin to feel easier and more natural.

Good luck out there parents! 

{ MORE: How to Deal: What To Do When Your Child Unwraps Something You Don’t Want Them to Have. }

Do you have any tips on caring for your newborn's nails?

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4 Tips for Cutting Your Newborn’s Fingernails

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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