How to take care of your baby’s nails

Having a newborn is both a scary and exciting moment in people’s life. A new addition means a new person to care, love and be responsible for. That means keeping them well- fed, warm and most of all clean and tidy as much as possible.

One thing not to forget and feel bad about it that little people are worrying! Plus, a little bit scary! They’re teeny tiny and it’s not as if the world gives you a manual on ‘how to look after your baby’ with every detail in there, that answers every single question that you might have.

This article isn’t an answer for everything I’m afraid, but what it does provide is some helpful advice on how to clean, maintain and trim your baby’s nails safely. We’ve even added an FAQ part to the end of some of the questions that you might be able to relate to as well!

Hopefully, this area of looking after your little one will be smooth, compelling and a lot less terrifying than it initially felt! Let gets talking!

Firstly, ensuring that your baby’s nails are clean is essential in making sure they stay away from unnecessary germs. It’s a known fact that these little ones love to put things and fingers into their mouths. So, while they’re exploring, let’s help your baby to keep as clean and manageable as they can be while they discover those dribbly orifices.

It’s a little-known fact that trimming your baby’s nails before cleaning is the best way to go. If the nail is shorter, then the ability to get right under it and remove any dirt while not causing distress is sorted for you. It’s easier, more manageable and a lot less hassle for both yourself and baby.

Trimming your baby’s nails

What do I need?

Don’t worry the list is simple and you hopefully have half of it already – your baby!

Secondly, purchase a baby manicure set with nail scissors, clippers and an emery board inside. These are available from most high street shops and come in various forms at many prices that are well within a small budget.

  1. Help your baby feel comfortable.

Make sure that you cuddle your baby as you would so that you both feel comfortable. They’re pretty wriggly as you know, but try and get to their hands, comfort them for a little and complete the trimming one finger at a time.

  1. Locate the nail to trim.

Pop a little bit of pressure to the nail. You will be able to see two different colours which makes it easier to locate where the nail to trim sits.

  1. Choose your trimming tool.

Take a look at how small the area to trim is. Carefully take either the nail clippers or baby nail scissors and cut the end of the nail as needed. (Don’t forget, do this one finger at a time to create the least amount of distress to your baby.)

  1. Ensure the nail is soft

To ensure that the baby is safe after trimming, make sure that you use the emery board to soften the edges of his or her nail. This way, they won’t scratch themselves from any nasties left poking out.

  1. Keep your baby comfortable (Repeat number 1)

If your baby begins to wriggle during the trimming process. Make cooing noises or sing little songs to them to sooth them in this time of distress. Comfort is essential and will make trimming your baby’s nails so much easier! Lastly, don’t forget to pick up the baby’s fingernail ends so that they don’t poke into their skin or end up in that dribbly mouth of theirs.

See, it’s wonderfully simple. I’m sure that you will do a fantastic job and your baby will be very grateful for having those smaller nails ready to reach out for their next growth opportunity.


Cleaning your baby’s nails

What do I need?

As mentioned before, you already have the central part for cleaning your little ones’ nails, your baby!

Additionally, get a small, soft toothbrush ready for your baby’s delicate nails.  (Make sure it is a new one and not one a used one.)

Some lukewarm water in a bowl or tub

Some baby-friendly soap (optional)

  1. Soothe your baby as you did when trimming their delicate little nails. Make sure you are both comfortable and that the water and toothbrush are easily accessible.
  2. Take the toothbrush and dampen it in the lukewarm water (make sure this is not too hot.) Take the baby’s nails one by one and brush the bristles against the dirt.
  3. Ensure that you rinse your toothbrush thoroughly until it is clean and repeat on each nail.

Moreover, that’s it. It’s as easy as that. All that panic for nothing and a baby that now feels clean and refreshed. Not only will your little pumpkin be grateful but you will also feel more confident for the next time you do it for them.

Baby maintenance FAQ

Is there a best time to trim my baby’s nails?

Yes, after a bath is always a better time to trim your little one’s nails. They’re not only warmer, but they’re also softer making the process easier for all.

What happens if I accidentally nip my baby’s finger?

Don’t worry! The bleeding will be minimal despite you feeling like a monster. Just pop a little pressure on your baby’s finger and the nip will hopefully stop. If it continues to bleed, then seek advice from a medical professional. Also, make sure you comfort your baby and most of all, don’t panic!

Should I trim my baby’s nails when they’re sleeping?

Don’t attempt this until they are 18months old. It’s always best to make sure your baby is awake when cleaning and trimming. However, the older they get, the easier it will be and the more practice you will have had.

Photo by Aditya Romansa and Tina Bo on Unsplash