Trimming Baby Nails

Trimming Baby Nails

12 November 2021
Posted by: Chelsea

Trimming your young baby’s nails is necessary but can be overdone.

So, here are a few tips to help when trimming baby nails.

When should I start trimming baby nails?

There is no real rule here.

In the earlier days, your baby’s nails will be very soft and easily worn down. That will probably continue for some time after they become slightly more mobile but sooner or later, you’ll notice that it’s time for a trim.

Does trimming help with self-scratching?

Yes, though care is required.

Babies, even with very soft nails, will find ways of accidentally scratching themselves. These scratches might look nasty but are usually nothing and they typically don’t require treatment other than perhaps a tiny touch of baby-friendly antiseptic.

Most people tend to protect babies from themselves by using soft and baby-safe mittens.

However, if your baby’s nails are becoming an issue with scratching then you can trim them – as discussed below.

How often should I trim?

Babies don’t need regular manicures! On the whole, trimming baby nails should be an occasional rather than regular thing.

Use your common sense and your own observations. If your baby’s nails are getting long and harder, trim them – carefully.

How to trim baby nails?

No special technique is required other than to be more careful than you might be with your own nails.


  • purchase a pair of baby nail clippers – don’t try and ‘make do’ with an adult’s pair;
  • make sure you’re working in plenty of natural light;
  • if you’re naturally not very dextrous when working in fine detail, then ask someone to help and do the cutting;
  • push the baby’s soft finger pads gentlyback away from the nail;
  • cut as required.

Your baby is likely to be very curious and might object big-time to you grasping their fingers one by one. Anticipate a little struggle and if so,be even more cautious if injury is to be avoided.

A useful tip is to cut nails when your baby is a little sleepy or even dozing. It’ll reduce the chances of a tug of war over their fingers. If your baby is fighting back, get someone to help and gently hold their hand steady.

What do I do if I accidentally cut the baby’s finger?

It’s very unlikely that you’ll do any serious damage but if you nick their skin, you may see some blood.

The best treatment is usually to simply hold a dry and sterile pad to the cut for a minute or two. You can use a little baby-friendly antiseptic too if required.

Many baby first-aid advisors suggest not using adhesive plasters at all, as they can come off and be swallowed.

Why are some edges around nails red and slightly swollen?

This is most likely to be due to  a very small scrape and possibly mild infection.

These are very common and not usually cause for concern. These usually clear up very quickly.

Keep an eye on it and if it gets worse, consult a doctor.

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