6 Tricks for Managing Baby Grooming

Cutting Nails & Giving Medicine

4. No-Pinch Nail Cutting

It's hard, but you'll get better with practice, and those tiny nails will keep growing wider. Isolate and extend the finger you are working on (while keeping it still under your thumb) and trim with baby nail clippers or scissors (which are small and have rounded edges). Sometimes a diversion eases the job.

"When I trim my sons' nails, I occupy them with a book or TV," says Laura, of Fanwood, New Jersey. "Patrick, 1, laughs when I make sounds with each clip, so it becomes a game where he anticipates the next snip."

5. Helping the Medicine Go Down

Avoid your baby's taste buds, located in the front and center of the tongue. Instead, aim a spoon toward the back of the mouth (don't touch the back of the tongue, which could make baby gag), and if using a dropper or a syringe, try for between the rear gum and cheek. Kathleen, of El Cajon, California, offers her 5-month-old a pacifier chaser. "If I give my son his pacifier immediately after putting the medicine on the inside of his cheek, not one pink drop will escape!" she says.

"If I briefly chill medicine, William, 2, is more likely to swallow it, since he prefers cold drinks -- and it kills some of the taste," says Laurene, of Huntington, New York, a mother of one.

6. Eardrops Made Easy

To administer eardrops, lay baby on his side with the affected ear up. Put the drops in so they run along the side of the ear canal (air will be able to escape at the same time). We know it can be tough, but try to keep your child in this position for two to three minutes.

Originally published in the April 2006 issue of American Baby magazine.

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