How to cut your newborns nails

Nails typically need cutting within a week of your baby being born, they grow whilst in the womb and can be quite sharp or jagged. It can be quite nerve racking cutting them for the first time and you will worry about hurting your little one. Here is how to cut your newborns nails in a way that mitigates against hurting her, cutting her skin or causing infection:

Step by step guide to cutting nails

  • The best time to do it is after a bath when your newborn is asleep, the nails will be much softer and your newborn will offer less resistance.
  • For the first few times you may find it helpful to have someone else hold his/her arm steady so you can fully focus on what you are doing.
  • You can use baby nail scissors, a nail file or baby nail clippers – personally I prefer to use scissors.
  • For the first few times, rather than following the shape of your newborns finger tips, you can cut the nails straight.
  • You can then use a nail file to file away the sharp edges.
  • You should hold your baby’s hand so her palm is facing upwards and angle the scissors away from the skin.
  • Pull down on the pads of your baby’s skin to help you to avoid snipping it.
  • Never cut down the sides of the nails or cut them too short.
  • What if I accidentally cut the skin?

    First of all, don’t panic. You are not the first person who will have done this. Your little one will be in pain but the important thing is to keep it clean and stop the bleeding. You can do this with a clean, wet cotton wool ball, apply gentle pressure to the affected area until it has stopped bleeding. You should never put a plaster or bandage on baby’s fingers as this could come off in her mouth when sucking them and end up choking her.

    If you have a fussy baby, it could be a battle every time you try to cut her nails. Just remember, sometimes you have to be ‘cruel’ to be kind. 2-3 minutes of you cutting her nails is much better than her scratching her face several times throughout the day and night. Trust me, she will soon get used it.

    References: webmd,NHS Bradford