How to cut your newborn’s nails in 3 simple steps

Newborn care is all about maintaining health and hygiene. Here are 3 simple tips on how to cut your newborn’s nails in a jiffy!

New parents are always struggling to find a way to cut their baby’s nails. They are often seen asking around if it’s fine to cut a newborn’s nails and how often should it be done? Well, the fact is that a newborn’s nail growth is good. The fingernails tend to grow REALLY fast. The nails are soft, but not soft enough to not cause damage to their skin. Babies have a habit of scratching their face and if their nails are long enough, then the left-behind-marks can be permanent. Sometimes, its not the nail but the cuticles or the edges that are a cause of concern. Afterall, baby skin is extra gentle. So to answer the query of whether to cut nails or not, the answer is YES. Newborn baby’s care is of utmost importance. So, in order to prevent the baby from scratching his/her face, one must trim their nails on a regular basis.cut-newborn-nails 01

Then, there is hygiene that needs to be maintained. Dirt accumulates if the nails are left untrimmed. Babies have a habit of moving their hands across all sorts of surfaces, nooks and corners. 

I tried mittens and what not with Brat H, but it wasn’t worth it. He would take them off within seconds of trying them on. So, we had to even trim and file his medium-length nails on weekly basis. Here are 5 easy steps of trimming/cutting baby’s nails.  

Steps to follow:

1. The best time to cut your newborn/ infant’s nails is right after he/she has had a bath. The nails are wet-tish and extra soft, which makes it very easy to cut/trim them. Some parents try to peel their baby’s nails with the fingernails. You can try that too, but make sure to wash your hands properly before you start to peel them off. Peeling didn’t work for me. I feel that it can accidentally leads to chipping off way too much nail (than required). I use baby nail clipper. Baby nail scissors can also work well.cut-newborn-nails 02

2. While cutting the nails with the clipper or a pair of baby nail scissors, you will have to be extra-extra careful. In order to prevent the finger skin from getting a shallow to deep notch or a cut, press the finger pad gently away from the nail. Take help of your partner for a firm hold on your baby’s movement (hands, legs or head).

3. After cutting or trimming your baby’s nails, filing is important, especially around the curves of his/her fingers. Smoothing of sharp edges cant be avoided at any cost.cut-newborn-nails 03

A piece of advice:

  • If at all, during the nail cutting, there is a nick, apply cotton on the cut with some pressure. Back it up with a dab of baby antiseptic cream.
  • Don’t bite your baby’s nails. It can introduce your baby’s gentle skin to a host of infections.

Quick pointers:

  • Time: Immediately after the bath, when the nails are still damp; Sleeping; Feeding.
  • Tools Required: Baby Nail Clipper/ Baby Nail Scissors; Baby Nail Filer. You can purchase the baby grooming kit through online shopping sites or at a baby shop.
  • In Emergency: Cotton balls; Baby antiseptic lotion/cream.




Image source: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05

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One thought on “How to cut your newborn’s nails in 3 simple steps

  • November 17, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Well thought and written… new parents get jitters while thinking about nail cut. This is a really nice post.


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