Did you know that nails grow about 0.1 mm every day and that they grow faster in young people, in boys, and during the summer? Neither did we until we investigated it, but it certainly doesn’t surprise us.
While it may not seem like a big deal at first glance, we assure you that your newborn baby’s nails will keep you busy. Keeping nails short can be a chore as they grow continuously.
As far as we are concerned, the real purpose of baby fingernails is to initiate the wonders of parenthood.
You will probably need to cut or file them at least once a week because long nails on newborn hands with little or no control over them are predictably likely to cause scratches.
If you fall behind in nail trimming, your baby will inevitably remind you (and make you feel guilty) by scratching his face when his nails are too long (or if you leave sharp corners or tips when you cuts them).
Baby mittens: useful to some extent
Many parents cover their newborn’s hands with mittens or baby socks to prevent them from scratching their face with their uncontrollable fingernails. However, as your baby develops over the next several weeks (and you improve your ability to cut his nails), it is a good idea to let babies explore freely with their hands.
If scratches are still a problem, we suggest limiting the time your baby’s hands are covered to when he is sleeping.
Babies’ manicures and pedicures
Some parents are intimidated by the idea of having to trim their babies’ nails and would probably choose to give them a professional manicure and pedicure if available, but alas, this is not an option.
If you are lucky, your hospital nurse will be able to help you with a demonstration of the correct
technique, but some hospitals advise their staff not to do this (we can only presume this is because if they unintentionally injure the baby this could cause a liability responsibility for the hospital).
Also, while we are not exactly recommending that they do this (or admitting that we do it ourselves), we know that some parents choose to bite or “peel” their newborn’s nails with their hand rather than manipulating clippers or scissors. You should be aware that doing this could potentially lead to infection so it’s always preferable to opt for a clean-cut with scissors.
Tips for trimming the nails of newborns
Since nail clippers and scissors can cut babies nails in a more controlled way, you will be much better off using one of these items (or both) or just using a nail file to keep things under control.
Tips to achieve the best results:
- Cut or file your baby’s nails when they are asleep and their hands don’t move around as much.
- Push down and retract the skin from the fingertips so that you can place the nail clipper or scissors on both sides of the nail and avoid cutting your baby’s finger (or toe).
- Then, just as a professional manicurist would, finish off any sharp or rough edges with an emery board and…voilà! Nice and tidy baby nails.
In the end, once you get used to it, it’s not that terrible and you’ll be an expert in cutting your babies nails in no time.
Have your own tips to trim your baby’s nails?
Let us know in our comments below.