5-Steps to Cut Infant Nails

Sassy Bumblebee Nail Clippers

In those idyllic days before you have children you might find yourself daydreaming about parenting a mini-me.


You may have even thought, “Hm… I can’t wait until I get a chance to use nail clippers on those precious, tiny fingers and toes.”


Said no one, ever.


The idea of slamming two pieces of sharpened steel anywhere close to the soft flesh of your child brings all protective instincts to the fore.


And yet, there’s a decent chance your child sprang from the womb sporting talons, all due to their amazing ability to siphon off growing stuffs from mama, so it has to be done.


All those prenatal vitamins have to be good for something, right?!


In fact, cutting the hard, flat translucent covering near the tip of a human finger and toe (useful for scratching and fine manipulation) has the ability to make grown men sweat and mama’s twitch. I have an acquaintance who actually trimmed the tip  of her firstborn’s finger off while declawing them!


When a personal hygiene issue comes to bloodletting, a “how-to” guide is necessary. Aren’t glad I’m here to help?!


How to Trim Your Infant’s Nails


1. Wait until the child is sleeping. You might be able to hold a newborn without any muscle control down for a clipping, but once they turn into more than a ruddy blob, you need to wait for the zzz’s before attempting dangerous manuevers.


2. Use the right equipment. I’ve used several different types of nail clippers and can definitively say the Safety 1st clipper with the bulbous end is best. A plain metal clip slides around, and don’t even get me started on the ones with a light and magnifying glass! You’re wanting a clipper built like a Chevy, not a Porsche; function and dependability with comfort, not flash, snazz, and possible loss of function mid-task.


3. Begin with the end in mind. Plan your attack. There’s a decent chance you’ll need to stop while the baby stirs, startles, and possibly makes a diaper. Your plan must allow you to know where you stopped each time, making the leftover fingernail of doom an impossibility. I start with the right hand, then go left hand, right foot, left foot. (Physically restraining myself from quoting Dr. Suess right now.)


4. Clip away. Those nails are so tiny it’s impossible to get a parlor shoppe manicure. Just get ‘er done and trim, trim, trim. Do not be surprised if a flyaway nail hits your face or lands in your mouth! (Anyone really taking this seriously will have their mouth hanging open with tongue slightly extended.) This is business, someone’s likely going to get hurt. Just make sure it’s not the baby and take one for the team.


5. Admire your work. Once you’ve completed the harrowing task of cutting the flattish, horny part on the upper surface of the tip of each digit, pause to congratulate yourself! Not everyone can do what you just did! And guess what?! You’ll get to do it again in two days as the child hits yet another growth spurt that pushes their finger and toe nails over the edge. Ain’t life grand?!


Do you have any stories of the first time you cut a child’s nails?



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