If the nails grow too long, a baby can injure himself with them, so they need to be well cared for. Cutting your baby’s nails can be a challenging task at first since nails are still small, and babies do not sit still.
Babies With Sharp Nails
This is something that many parents find surprising; those little baby hands and feet and mini nails yet so sharp. A baby’s nails begin to develop as early as the 13th week of pregnancy, and by the 32nd week, the nails have grown to the tips of the fingers. Toenails take a little longer, reaching the tip around week 36.
When the baby is born, the nails may already be quite long. Unlike our hard and strong nails, babies’ nails are still quite soft and flexible. However, they can be deceptively sharp. Babies often scratch themselves, so you need to be quick when it comes to trimming their nails. But how do you do it? Here are some tips to help!
When To Cut Their Nails?
It’s best to cut your baby’s nails after six weeks. Before that, try to keep the nails short and smooth with a small nail file. Be careful when sharpening the nails as they are still very fragile and can easily tear. For this reason, it is not advisable to cut the nails for the first six weeks and to avoid any cuticle infection. The nails are still flexible and can be easily bent in two with scissors. Once the baby’s nails have hardened, you can cut them for the first time.
Caring for the Nails
Use a special file for baby nails. Files made of cardboard or metal are recommended for their soft nails. Never file back and forth, but always file in one direction, from bottom to top. This will prevent cracks and injuring from occurring. You can also use scissors specially designed for babies. These have rounded or blunt tips, so they won’t puncture the skin if the baby moves or slides suddenly.
Biting or Tearing?
Tearing children’s nails is undesirable. It can cause them to become too loose and easily inflamed. Many mothers bite the tips or edges of their babies’ nails as this is often easier than cutting or filing. However, biting is also a bad idea because it allows bacteria in the mouth to attach to the baby’s fingers.
Here’s How To Do It
Choose a time when your child is calm, such as after having a drink. It is not easy to keep your hands off your baby when he or she is crying or playing. You can put your baby on your lap, in a bouncer, or on a changing table. Either way, choose a place where you can easily reach their fingers.
Hold the baby’s hand and fingers firmly with one hand. Press lightly on the skin of the fingertip to free the nail you want to cut. Then cut around the nail following the shape of the finger. Note: To avoid ingrown toenails, cut them straight.
After cutting, file the nails to smooth them out a bit. Avoid cutting the toenails fresh out of the bath. The bath will soften the nails and make it more difficult to cut them.
When cutting nails, your baby may move unexpectedly, or your hand may slip, and you may accidentally hurt them. The child will scream, and you will feel guilty, but please know that you are not the first parent this has happened to. Clipping a child’s nails is hard work.
If it does happen, rinse the bleeding finger with cold water. You can then press sterile gauze against the sore area until the bleeding stops.