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Some babies are born ready for their first manicure. The safest thing to use is an emery board or special infant nail clippers. Never use your own cuticle scissors or adult nail clippers -- newborns' nails are tissue-paper thin, and it's easy to get some of their skin caught if you're using a product that's really made for bigger fingers. Start by filing the nails down to the fingertips, rounding any sharp edges. Don't try to peel or bite your child's nails. You risk tearing off more than you intended, causing soreness and possible infection. Instead, cut or file her nails when your baby is sleeping and won't know what's happening. Plan to trim the nails about once a week. --Jennifer L.W. Fink
Originally published in Parents magazine, January 2008. Updated 2009
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.