How to Clip Baby's Nails

Wondering how to clip baby's little nails? Trimming is so simple with these easy-to-follow pointers.


-Trimming baby's nails can be a little intimidating the first time around. But with some know-how, it becomes second nature. Choose a pair of nail clippers or scissors specifically designed for infants. They are the safest option because they are made for tiny fingers. Some even come with a little magnifying glass for easier navigation. You'll also need an infant nail file to smooth rough edges. It's helpful to have someone hold your baby to keep him from wiggling while you work or enlist a partner to distract him during the process so he'll hold still on his own. Experts also suggest occupying baby's free hand with a toy so he doesn't try to grab you or the clippers. Hold baby's palm and fingers steady with one hand and ready the clippers or scissors in the other. Take hold of the finger you want to groom by pulling the finger pad away from the nail to avoid catching the skin when you cut. Then slide the clipper or scissors gently under the nail to trim. Always cut baby's fingernails along the curve of the finger in one or two smooth motions. Toenails on the other hand can be trimmed straight across. Aim to leave a little white behind to avoid cutting right down to the quick which can be painful. Finish up by using a soft emery board to smooth rough edges. If your baby doesn't like the nail clipper but tolerates a file, it's fine to simply file her nails to the right length. It just takes a little longer.

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