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 Grace Grace says:

    not to be gross but i have friedns how bite their childrens nails so to not hurt the childs fingers….

  2. Profile photo of Nancy Nancy says:

    I’m so afraid of cutting my baby’s nails and baby’s not even born yet! I’ll probably use the Emory board instead of nail clippers just to be safe!

  3. Profile photo of Jmo Jmo says:

    I use an Emory board. I was told by my pediatrician that the Emory board was the way to go til at least 3 months of age. I am TOTALLY fine with that because I’ve heard horror stories from other moms who choose to use a nail cutter or scissors and have snipped their baby’s fingers by accident. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I hurt my lil man.

  4. Profile photo of Jessica Jessica says:

    I started clipping my son’s nails when he was 3 days old, and clip them about every 5 days. I’ve never had any problems, I just make sure to do it when he’s sleeping (right after nursing) and I gently push the skin from his fingertips away from the nail before I clip it. I’ve also found it works best to hold the nail clippers up-side-down, this helps me get a close cut without cutting anything I don’t intend to.

  5. Profile photo of Timothy Timothy says:

    i snipped 2 the first time and from then on we have used a emery board. She is coming on 7 weeks old this week on Wednesday… Monday is my first day all alone with Meeka, as my wife is returning to work that day…

  6. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    Both husband and I accidentally clipped the finger tip. I was the first culprit. I can’t stand her cry. We’ve been cautious since then.

  7. Profile photo of gfeld gfeld says:

    I never had an issue cutting it with a curved nail scissors. I do it when they are newborn even.

  8. Profile photo of Dana Dana says:

    Yeah I think I will use an emory board for the first several months, then I will get brave with the clippers once the fingers aren’t as small!

  9. i bit the nails once, but i’m scared to clip them, so i might just use the emory board

  10. Profile photo of KaelinRae KaelinRae says:

    I would probably have to do it while hes sleeping, otherwise I would be way to scared of him moving around and clipping him.

  11. Profile photo of Marilyn Marilyn says:

    That’s new! I’ve never heard of people biting the nails off their baby lol I’d be way too scared to do that since the hands are so tiny.

  12. We bite the nails off since they are so soft.

  13. Profile photo of Marilyn Marilyn says:

    I’ll probably do it when he’s sleeping lol

  14. Profile photo of PamelaPlus3 PamelaPlus3 says:

    I think that is what we r going to do lol

  15. Profile photo of Sierra-Dawn Sierra-Dawn says:

    Sleeping is the best time to do the clipping. If u don’t feel comfortable clipping simply file the nails.

  16. Profile photo of EbyMom EbyMom says:

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

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

  18. 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…

  19. Profile photo of katherine katherine says:

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

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

  21. Profile photo of sheenaholman sheenaholman says:

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

  22. 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.

  23. 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 :/


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