How do I trim my baby’s nails?

It might sound strange but trimming my daughter’s nails has been something that has filled me with anxiety from the moment she was born. It might sound like a strange thing to worry about and believe me it didn’t hold the award for the thing that worried me the most (that was undoubtably her sleep) but it ranked pretty highly.

For starters babies are born with extremely long fingernails, hardly surprising when they have been technically growing since the 11th week of gestation.

Almost immediately after birth, my daughter had scratched her face so badly with her nail it took weeks to disappear, but I just couldn’t seem to find anything that trimmed/filed them with ease.

Baby’s nails are extremely bendy and flexible so when you take a nail filer to them, they just bend or snap and I just didn’t feel confident in using nail clippers especially after my husband took the top off the skin off once. I even bought specific emery boards meant for babies, but they just didn’t seem effective and trying to use them once she was out of the newborn sleeping phase was almost impossible.

My daughter has almost from birth had a habit of scratching her inner ears and back of neck when tired and in her sleep. Meaning she would wake up covered in scratches and blood all over her cot sheets if I didn’t keep her nails short and smooth.

The only method that I found that seemed to work and I tried them all including biting them myself. Was to use a crystal nail file that didn’t bend or snap her nail. They are designed for adults but are amazing because they don’t wear down and for some reason, they seem to be able to work on her brittle nails.

My final trick which still works today now she’s a toddler is to file them whilst she has her bedtime milk (which is when she is her calmest apart from when she’s asleep). Filing my daughter’s nails feels like a daily task as they grow so quickly and now that her favourite thing is to grab my nose and dig her nails in it really pays to keep on top of them.


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