Babies’ nails can be of different lengths at birth and grow at different rates. It is important to keep a track of your baby’s nail length, and trim them if they extend beyond his or her fingertips, to prevent scratching.
A baby’s nails can be clipped or cut. The best time to clip your baby’s nails is after his or her bath when they are softer. You may need someone to help you hold your baby. Baby’s nails may also be clipped when s/he is asleep.
General guidelines for nail care include the following:
- Work in an area with good lighting.
- Use a small clipper or scissor with a rounded cutting surface, specially designed for babies. Do not use adult nail clippers.
- Place your baby on a padded, flat surface or lay your baby across your lap. Hold and support your baby’s hand or foot with one hand, securing the finger or toe of the nail about to be cut.
- Place the blade of the clippers or scissors carefully under your baby’s fingernail or toenail. Before applying pressure on the clipper or scissors to cut the nail, pull down on your baby’s finger or toe pad to be sure that you will not accidentally cut the skin.
- Cut the toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails.