Trimming tiny nails
Trimming tiny nails
Trim your baby's nails in three easy steps.
Your baby's nails are soft — but their ability to scratch may surprise you. If wielding a scissors or other sharp object anywhere near your baby runs counter to your parental instincts, don't worry. With the right tools and a little practice, you can trim your baby's nails quickly and safely.
What you need
Nail clippers or manicure scissors designed for infants are best. The tips are rounded for safety. Look for these products where you buy other baby supplies.
Resist the temptation to trim your baby's fingernails with your teeth. The nails may tear easily, but not evenly. And the germs in your mouth may cause an infection if there's a break in your baby's skin.
What to do
You can get the job done in three easy steps.
At first, your baby's fingernails may grow more quickly — and need more attention — than his or her toenails. But even if your baby's toenails don't need to be trimmed, check them for sharp or rough edges that may get caught on blankets or clothing.
When baby won't hold still
A squirming baby can take the challenge of trimming tiny nails to a new level. It may help to trim your baby's nails after a bath, when the nails are softer. You might ask another person to hold or distract the baby while you trim his or her nails — or simply wait until your baby is asleep.
If you cut too close
If you accidentally cut one of your baby's nails too short or nick a finger or toe, apply gentle pressure with a clean tissue or sterile gauze pad. Once the bleeding stops, there's no need to cover the area with a bandage. It may only pose a choking hazard.
© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Terms and conditions of use