Caring for your Baby’s Nails

Clipping baby’s nails is a daunting task for any new mom. We all fear that we might nick baby’s soft, sensitive skin in out attempts to trim baby’s nails. However, a baby’s nails need to be cut regularly. As any mother might have noticed, a baby’s nails grow really fast. As baby moves his hands and legs around and plays with them, he tends to cut or scratch himself and even others. Dirt can accumulate under your baby’s nails if they are long and unkempt. This will find its way to your baby’s stomach when your baby puts his fingers in his mouth, so it is very essential to keep baby’s nails trimmed and clean.

If you feel that clipping your newborns nails is a tough task, then think again. As your baby grows and becomes more active, clipping his nails become a Herculean task because he simply won’t sit still. The best time to clip baby’s nails is after a bath. At this time baby’s nails are soft and moist, thus it can be easily trimmed. Of course it is not always possible to clip nails after bathing your baby since he may be hungry or in a playful mood. In such cases, wait till your baby takes a nap and clip his nails while he is asleep. Otherwise, ask someone to gently hold your baby to keep him from wiggling away when you cut his nails.

Use a baby nail clipper or blunt ended scissors to cut your baby’s nails. While trimming the nails, follow the same natural curve that the fingernail already has. Just cut away the excess portion. Toe nails ought to be cut straight across. If handling baby nail clippers or scissors make you nervous, you can file your baby’s nails using a soft emery board.

While cutting your baby’s nails, press the pad of the finger down such that it is away from the nail. Don’t cut too close to the skin since it increases the risk of nicking baby’s skin.

In case you accidentally cut or nick your baby’s finger, clean the wound and place some sterile gauze over it till the bleeding stops. Then apply some ointment to help in wound healing and prevent infection.

If you do not trim your baby’s nails regularly, he may suffer from ingrown or inflamed nails. This is painful for your baby. You can identify ingrown nails by simply observing them. Ingrown or infected nails will appear red and will be painful when touched. You can ease the pain by holing a warm wash cloth over the nail. Consult your pediatrician to know what you can do about the nail. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend a dose of antibiotics to combat infection.

Make it a point to clip your baby’s nails at least once a week. This will help keep them clean and well rounded.