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Gwynn Cassidy

Former Executive director at The Global SHE Initiative

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How To Video: Tear Free Baby Nail Clipping

How To Video: Tear Free Baby Nail Clipping

A new mom takes the fear our of clipping your baby's nails.


Clipping baby nails is often terrifying for most new parents. And, if you've ever accidentally nicked your baby's skin like I have (twice), you know how traumatizing it can be.

Your baby's nails are softer and more pliable than yours, but make no mistake, they're sharp and if your baby is anything like Gideon, you're both likely covered in scratches.

So, how can you clip your baby's fingernails and toenails without hurting them? There are a several ways worth trying. One of which is bound to work for you and your little one.

Using a nail file

In my opinion, filing your baby's nails with an emery board is the least difficult but it takes a lot more time. Just be careful not to file their tender skin under the nail bed.

Using a baby nail clipper

The best piece of advice I ever got was to wait until the baby is sleeping to clip their nails. Making it one of the easiest and quickest methods. Clip their nails as you would you own and press the finger pad away from the nail to avoid nicking the skin, and keep a firm hold on your child's hand as you clip.

If you choose to trim your baby's nails while they're awake, try to distract them and remain relaxed. When a newborn is alert they tend to clench their fist tightening the gap between the fingertip and nail, which makes the process a lot more difficult and potentially dangerous. Gently push back the fingertip from the nail to allow space for the nail clipper. This will help prevent clipping your baby's finger. Short little clips above the white nail line will help prevent clipping to close.

Baby toenails should be clipped straight across.

If you are still feeling really uneasy about clipping your baby's nails for the first time ask a more seasoned parent to show you how they do it.

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