Cutting your baby’s fingernails is a nerve racking task that you will soon have to face. In the early days, the nails adhere to the skin of the fingernails and cutting baby’s nails is not recommended. The good news is that the nails will separate from the skin within a week or so.
Your baby’s nails will be very soft and pliable and filing them with an emery board is the easiest way to care for your baby’s nails in the early weeks. This is best accomplished while your baby is sleeping. Mittens can also be used to cover baby’s hands to prevent her from scratching her face.
Soon enough the time will come when you will need to trim your baby’s fingernails and toenails with clippers. The best time to give your baby a manicure and pedicure is while she is sleeping or following a bath when the nails are soft. Assistance is always helpful when attempting to cut the nails while your baby is awake. Use baby clippers to trim nails and be careful not to cut the nails too short. Cut just the portion that extends from the end of the toes or fingers. Do not bite your baby’s fingernails because the germs from your mouth could transfer to cuts in your baby’s finger and lead to an infection.
To help reduce the risk of cutting your baby’s skin, press the tip of the finger (or toe) away from the nail. If you accidentally cut your baby, apply pressure using a clean cloth or gauze until the bleeding has stopped. Don’t bandage the wound since this could become a choking hazard if it comes off. You will feel probably like a horrible parent, but just keep in mind that it happens to the best of us and your baby won’t remember what happened.
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Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST
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