Did you know that babies’ nails are constantly growing inside the womb? That’s why many newborns need their nails trimmed just a few days after delivery. The first time trimming those itty bitty fingernails is probably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences for any new mother or father. Much like everything that comes with caring for a newborn, new parents eventually get the hang of it and develop a nail care routine that works for their little one. Read on to find out how to keep those tiny tips long, healthy and strong.
Learning how to trim a newborn’s nails is just like any other task that comes with parenting--you eventually get the hang of it. During your baby’s first week home, you’ll notice that his or her nails are very soft and long. If the baby scissors are a little too intimidating at first, you can try gently peeling your baby’s tips. Obviously, you must use a great deal of caution as you don’t want to peel away too much.You can also use a baby nail file to gently smooth down any sharp or overgrown edges. Over the first few weeks to a month of life, the baby’s nails will start to harden and you’ll be able to transition to baby nail clippers.. Try to save any nail trimming to when the baby is sleeping as he or she will be less likely to move. Hold the baby’s hand and place the rounded baby clipper at the free edge, then gently press down the pad of the fingertip to make the nail more accessible. In a slow and fluid movement, clip the edge of the nail. Continue on to the rest of the nails, then use a baby nail file to smooth down any sharp or uneven edges
At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ve gotten the hang of cutting your child’s nails. Now, the real challenge is keeping them still while you’re doing it. Try to make nail trimming part of your child’s bedtime routine (at least once a week). They will be more relaxed and likely to sit still if you trim their nails between reading books or singing a couple of songs before bed. Before trimming, wash your child’s hands in warm water and use a nail brush to scrub out any dirt from under the free edge, then use rounded scissors to trim the nails.
As children get older, keeping them still is nearly impossible at this point. If they’ll allow for it, continue to make trimming part of their nighttime routine, or, maybe trim their nails as they watch a movie or read a book---distraction is key! Use a glass nail file to smooth sharp edges and shape the nails, as standard nail files can be a bit too harsh. Continue to soak, clean and trim nails per usual, and make sure to finish every grooming session with a hydrating hand cream to keep the skin, nails and cuticles hydrated. It’s also important to make sure your little one is getting the necessary nutrients to help their nails grow. Lots of lean poultry, meat and leafy green veggies are recommended for optimal nail growth. For picky eaters, try sneaking in spinach or kale into a fruit smoothie to ensure they get the nutrients they need.