Two words best describe trimming a baby's nails: moving target. Unless you do it while your angel is asleep, the procedure requires the steady hand and laser focus of an Olympic archer. But keeping nails short is best; it reduces the chances of her scratching herself. Try these pointers to neaten digits without the nicks.
- Snip during a nap or after a bath. Clipping is easiest when Baby isn't moving at all, but nails are softer and much easier to shorten postsoak.
- Nursing is a good distraction. Have Dad work the clipper while you feed her. Or if she chows while propped on a nursing pillow, try it yourself.
- Get a file. Filing takes longer than clipping, but there's no chance of cutting your cutie. "I filed a few of my daughter's nails each night while nursing her. It was easier than doing them all at once," says Betsy McNab, a mom in Alameda, California.
- Don't bite. Just don't! Your mouth is one of the germiest parts of your body, says Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University and mother of a 3- and 5-year-old. You could transfer bacteria to her skin or, if there's a mishap, into her bloodstream.