How to safely cut nails of babies around 6months - 2 years?

asked 07 Apr '10, 05:40

Pandiya%20Chendur's gravatar image

Pandiya Chendur
accept rate: 33%

My baby usually won't sit still long enough for me to cut all his nails. So, I usually only cut a couple at a time. I use baby sized nail clippers. I leave them next to his diapers and after a diaper change if he is calm I'll cut as many nails as I can before he gets too squirmy. Sometimes singing helps to keep him still. But if he is trying to roll over or is pulling his hands away, I will try again after the next diaper change. I try to follow his cues - if he won't stay still I won't try to cut his nails at that time.


answered 08 Apr '10, 01:13

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

+1 for the doing a couple at a time.

(08 Apr '10, 01:37) K D

We use special baby nail scissors that have rounded tips. You have to make sure the baby does not squirm around (i.e. is distracted by something shiny) and that you do not cut too close.image from amazon


answered 07 Apr '10, 06:11

brandstaetter's gravatar image

accept rate: 24%


Same here. Our scissors have a plastic lid, which keeps child occupied for a while - long enough to get one hand done anyway!

(07 Apr '10, 10:41) Benjol

Instead of using nail clippers or scissors, we use an emery board to file our son's nails down every few days. It's more work, but if you've got a squirmy baby, it's a lot safer.


answered 07 Apr '10, 11:47

dave0's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

+1 great idea to file down nails. (I found that the corners actually needed filing down after trimming sometimes)

(07 Apr '10, 14:18) Emi

I do it when he's asleep. It's perfect if he falls asleep nursing.


answered 07 Apr '10, 16:06

Anne's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

+1 Anne. That's when I cut all of my kids nails when they were tiny too.

(08 Apr '10, 07:22) Neen

Doesn't that wake up the baby?

(11 Apr '10, 07:11) Randell

nope. Once they enter the deep phase of sleep, where you can lift their arms, let go, and they will flop back down, they won't stir.

(13 Apr '10, 16:14) Anne

Oh, I should add that I bought a special nail clippers that has a little light built-in, which helps when the baby is sleeping in a darker room. I got it at babies R us.

(13 Apr '10, 16:14) Anne

We've been cutting our daughter's nails since she was a small baby by teamwork. Twice a month, after bathing Carmel and just before bed time, my wife restrains one of her hands while entertaining and distracting her, which gives me a brief opportunity to carefully use the nail clipper. When one hand/foot is done, we switch sides. To this day, we have had zero injuries.

Sometimes Carmel screams and twists so much that I only get to clip one or two nails and we give up. But mostly she is tired and without energy at the end of the day, so the operation is a success ;-)


answered 08 Apr '10, 04:49

Yuval's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%


+1 for teamwork. We cut his nails together sometimes, as well.

(08 Apr '10, 14:03) cat_g

+1 for waiting until they're tired at the end of the day, they're usually a lot more co-operative, or too tired to fight it!

(14 Apr '10, 19:48) Lazlow

I am fearful of cutting more than the nails. So I use my fingernails to slightly cut the nail (if this doesn't work I do use small nail clipper just to start the cut) and then rip it across. When they were still being breast feed I use to do it while they were feeding and so distracting. Now I do it in the bath (or just after the bath) as their nails are softened so tear easily.


answered 07 Apr '10, 07:46

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%


I would be horribly afraid of tearing into the nailbed that way...

(07 Apr '10, 19:06) brandstaetter

I asked our midwife because our newborn had very sharp nails at birth. She recommended nibbling the nails of a newborn with your teeth to avoid damaging the growth region. I haven't summoned up the courage to try it yet and we've mainly dealt with it by using slightly too large suits so her hands are covered.


answered 02 May '10, 04:25

Rich%20Seller's gravatar image

Rich Seller
accept rate: 19%

The Public Health Nurse told us the same thing and there were times when our daughter was an infant that I ended up doing this because it was the most effective way. Her nails just seemed too small even for the baby nail clippers.

(03 May '10, 13:48) Tammy ♦♦

+1 Thats what I do, works a treat.

(04 May '10, 20:43) digiguru

I wait until my son is asleep. Once or twice I've done it while he was awake but it generally takes longer as he extremely curious about what I'm doing.


answered 10 Apr '10, 17:10

ajira's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

My husband and I also do a tag-team approach. One of us holds our sleeping 6 month old on the couch in the dimly lit living room and the other has a head-lamp and nail scissors to do the trimming.

We have the binkie handy since his toes are much more sensitive than his fingers.


answered 13 Apr '10, 04:25

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Asked: 07 Apr '10, 05:40

Seen: 7,602 times

Last updated: 02 May '10, 04:25