It's one of the first – and no doubt most nerve-wracking – chores on a new parent's list: trimming baby's nails.We have some techniques that will keep you calm and get the job done – step by step.If you think baby's nails seem to grow so fast you can almost watch them – you're not far off the mark.Often, infants are born with long nails – needing attention right away and regular trims once a week or more.You'll get the hang of it in no time with the right clippers – those made just for a baby – and the right timing.Generally, right after a bath when tiny nails are supple and soft – or even while the baby is asleep.Make sure you have plenty of light so that you can see well close up.Take the baby's hand in yours. Begin by gently pressing down on the pad of one fingertip to separate it from the nail.Check to make sure there is no skin in of the path of the scissors or clippers before you snip.Try not to cut too short – trimming too close the nail bed can be painful.If there still are sharp edges, you can smooth over the surface gently with an emery board.Resist the temptation to bite baby's nails yourself – because of the risk of spreading germs or infection.Because babies love to kick, the best time to trim toenails is when they are asleep.Secure one side of the clippers along the nail, avoiding the skin. Snip straight across to prevent the chance of ingrown nails.
You're too squirmy.
Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP:
If you or the baby become tired or jumpy, don't push it – you can always stop and pick up when everyone is ready again.It's not uncommon to make a mistake that causes a nick or cut, so treat the wound quickly by applying pressure and an antibiotic ointment and bandage if necessary.And remember – practice makes perfect! For WebMD, I'm Dr. Jennifer Shu.