Time for baby’s manicure. Fortunately, it’s not going to include nail polish or it would be all over the floor in no time. For some babies, the sight of fingernail clippers sends them into a panic, perhaps because it might have hurt the first time. But it needn’t be so. There are several things you can do to avoid any trauma.
Clip while asleep
This seems to be the secret of secrets. Check if your baby is sleeping by gently raising her arm and if it flops back down again, she won’t have a clue you’re about to clip her nails! You can do fingers and toes while she’s away in dream land.
This is not meant to sound like a SWAT team strategy. All it means is that in order to take her attention away from what you’re doing if she’s awake, employ some clever ideas. Put on a video that keeps her eyes on the television, or play some upbeat music that you can sing along to in order to lighten the mood. If someone else is around, ask them to entertain her while you’re clipping.
The best time for nail clipping is after bath time when your baby is relaxed and her nails are nice and soft.
Clip during feeding
Especially convenient if breastfeeding, while your baby is focused on filling her tummy, you can focus on shortening those nails that keep digging in to your breast as she drinks. All you need is a good pillow that can elevate her in just the right position for you to reach her fingers. Toes could be another story but experiment and you should work it out.
Keep a grooming set just for baby
Invest in a good quality grooming kit for your baby. It should include infant nail clippers, blunt edged scissors and maybe a suitable nail file. Reserve it just for baby to maintain hygiene.
Tips for safe and painless clipping
– Press the fingernail away from the skin by applying slight pressure on the skin under the nail. This helps the nail to protrude and makes it easier to hone in on.
– If using scissors, try to cut the nail in one motion instead of using a number or shorter clips. The latter method may result in sharp edges.
– Keep an eye on your baby’s fingernails and toenails and don’t let them become too long before clipping. Toenails seem to grow at a slower rate than fingernails.
– Don’t cut past the white on baby’s nails. Leave a little remaining for her comfort.
Most importantly of all, don’t panic. If you tremble, you may cause an injury. Make it into a fun activity that she, and you, can look forward to when it has to be done.