How To Cut Your Newborn Baby Nails In 3 Simple Steps

New parents are always scared of clipping/trimming/cutting your baby’s teeny-tiny nails? They are often seeking easy ways, often biting those soft and more pliable ones which is a terrible practice! Besides, I have often found them asking if it’s fine to cut newborn baby nails and how often should it be done?

Well, the fact is that a newborn baby fingernails tend to grow REALLY fast. The nails are soft, but not soft enough to not cause damage to their skin (if not clipped or trimmed properly). Babies have a habit of scratching their faces and if their nails are long enough, then the left-behind-marks can be permanent. Sometimes, it’s not the nail but the cuticles or the edges that are a cause of concern. After all, 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 baby nails - long nails of baby (TCT)

Then, there is a 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 would try putting on mittens and whatnot, but it wasn’t worth it. My son would take them off within seconds of trying them on. So, we had to even trim and file his not-so-medium-length nails on a weekly basis!

Finely, my doctor asked me to do this…

Looking for simple and careful ways to cut newborn baby nails? Here are 3 steps:

1. Best time

The best time to cut your newborn/ infant’s nails is right after they’ve had their wonderful baby bath. The nails are wettish 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 lead to chipping off way too much nail (than required). I use baby nail clippers. Baby nail scissors can also work well.

cut newborn baby nails - cutting nails using clipper (TCT)

2. What are you using to clip/trim their nails

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 the help of your partner for a firm hold on your baby’s movement (hands, legs or head).

3. Filing

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

cut newborn baby nails - Filing nails (TCT)

Our suggestion:

1. 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

2. Don’t bite your baby’s nails. It can introduce your baby’s gentle skin to a host of infections

Quick pointers:

1. Time: Immediately after the bath, when the nails are still damp; Sleeping; Feeding

2. 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

3. In Emergency: Cotton balls; Baby antiseptic lotion/cream

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14 thoughts on “How To Cut Your Newborn Baby Nails In 3 Simple Steps”

  1. The first time I used to speech scared of cutting nails for newborn babies but then when I got right tool for nails cutting I was absolutely Pro in nail cutting in newborn babies

  2. I remember how I always struggled to cut my baby’s nails especially during the first month, my son would keep moving his hands and I would end up being frustrated. Later, I chose his sleep time to cut his nails. That worked for us. But I did a mistake of not filing his nails, it’s a must to avoid any scratches.

  3. Great tips. I usually cut my kids mails when they were asleep and with kids nail cutter. These are very helpful tips for a new mom, I am sure many will find it useful.

  4. A must read for all the new moms because cutting nails of these tiny humans is no joke 🙂 take a word from this mama of a four month old little dude 🙂

  5. Good tips. I have cut my kids’ nails when they were wide awake. They have gone through all the torture but i could never do it when they were asleep.

  6. Many may take this topic lightly but believe me every new parent goes through a nightmare of how to do it right as the baby skin is very soft & the nails are too small to do it right .

  7. This post reminded me of the time when my son was an infant and I used to be petrified of clipping his nails. My husband used to do it with baby suited clippers and we also used to do while used to sleep so that it could be done smoothly.

  8. Ohh this post has take me back to years ago, when I was a new mommy. I always had great sense of fear while cutting the nails of my little girls. your post has given has given a perfect guideline to overcome this anxiety. indeed, a useful post for new parents.

  9. I have used the baby nail clippers for both my kids. I heard parents getting concerned about nail clipping.. but luckily, my kiddos have been very cooperative while I used to cut their nails.

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