|SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center|
Trimming Your Baby's Nails
Trimming your little one's nails can be a bit unnerving, especially at first. But keeping nails short is important to your baby's safety. Because they lack muscle control, infants can easily scratch and cut their own delicate skin while happily waving their hands and feet.
It's also important to keep babies' nails trimmed once they start interacting and playing with other kids who could be scratched, especially in childcare settings.
Some parents find it easier to accomplish the nail-trimming task with a partner: one person holding the baby to keep the little one from squirming and the other trimming the nails.
First, find a good position that allows you easy access to your baby's hands. This may mean placing your baby in your lap, sitting with him or her in a rocker, or even waiting until your baby's asleep. Make sure you are in an area with good lighting so that you can see what you're doing.
Because babies' nails tend to grow quickly from infancy to toddlerhood, they may need to be trimmed as often as once or twice a week. Some newborns need their nails to be trimmed even more often than that during the first few weeks of life.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD