4 Tricks for Cutting Children's Fingernails

Do you ever feel afraid to cut your child's fingernails? It's understandable. Cutting a child's fingernails is a very delicate but necessary task. Just the same, you can do without any complications by following a few simple tips.
4 Tricks for Cutting Children's Fingernails

Last update: 14 July, 2018

As children grow and develop, they become stronger and more active. This can make the task of cutting children’s fingernails quite difficult. However, it’s a basic part of their personal hygiene.
Furthermore, keeping your little one’s nails short is a way to avoid injury – both to your child and others. Discovering a few useful tips will help you face the job with much more confidence.

4 great tips for cutting children’s fingernails

While nail cutting is a routine task, it’s also a challenge for many parents. That’s why today we want to present you with several suggestions to make the job easier:

1. Use the right technique

First of all, you need to hold your child firmly with his or her back facing you. Embrace your child, including his or her arms, to avoid sudden movements.

You want to be sure to avoid any accidental injury while using the nail clippers. Just the same, as parents acquire more experience, they can determine what position works best according to their child’s behavior.

We suggest pressing down on your little one’s fingertips as you cut the part of the nail that extends off the finger. You should cut parallel to the natural growth line.

Cut straight across and then file the edges using a special nail file for children. It’s better not to cut too close to the skin to avoid cutting your child’s finger by accident .

2. Choose the right moment to cut your little one’s nails

Waiting for the right moment is one of the most effective tricks when it comes to cutting your child’s fingernails. For example, cutting children’s fingernails while they sleep can be ideal, especially if they’re deep sleepers. This way, your little one won’t move around, making your job much easier.

4 Tricks for Cutting Children's Fingernails

You can also try to cut your child’s nails when he or she is distracted watching cartoons. If your child enjoys eating, then perhaps you can attempt to offer a favorite snack or find some other distraction. Songs and stories are also good ideas.

If your child is over 3 years of age, we suggest you cut your own nails in front of him or her. This will show your little one that nail cutting isn’t painful. That might be enough to convince your child to allow you to cut his or her nail without protest.

You can also try to wait until after bath time for nail cutting. You’ll discover your child’s fingernails will be softer and much easier to cut. Remember, however, that wet nails are transparent, so you’ll have to be extra careful not to knick your child’s fingers.

Above all, you need to choose a time when you yourself are calm. That’s the only way you can communicate trust and confidence to your little one. Children have a self-protection reflex. In other words, when they see scissors or nail clippers, they react to avoid injury.

3. Use age-appropriate instruments

During your baby’s first months of life and until the age of 2, it’s best to use nail scissors or baby fingernail clippers. It’s also a good idea to use an electric nail file or a special cardboard file for babies and toddlers.

This will help to prevent injury. After age three, you can opt to use a regular nail clipper.

“You need to hold your child firmly with his or her back facing you. Embrace your child, including his or her arms, to avoid sudden movements”

4. Wash and file nails after cutting them

Once you’re done cutting your little one’s nails, you should then file them. This way, you’ll be sure to get rid of any rough or sharp edges that could scratch your child. It’s best to leave the nails with rounded edges.

Finally, when you’re finished cutting and filing, then you should wash your child’s hands. This way, you’ll be sure no dust or loose pieces are left behind that could end up in your baby’s eyes or mouth.

How to cut your child’s toenails

When your child’s toenails get long, they don’t pose much of a risk of causing injury. However, it can be uncomfortable since they cause pressure when your child is wearing shoes.

In order to cut toenails, hold onto your child’s foot firmly and avoid sudden movements. Place pressure on the padding underneath each toe, causing the nail to rise. This will make cutting much easier.

When cutting toenails, it’s best to cut straight across rather than rounding the edges. Since toenails grow slower than fingernails, you’ll only need to cut them every two weeks or perhaps only once a month.

4 Tricks for Cutting Children's Fingernails

Mistakes to avoid when cutting your children’s fingernails

There are several mistakes you need to avoid when it comes to cutting a child‘s fingernails. For one, you should stay away from cutting the sides of the nails. Doing so can cause the nails to become ingrown and cause injury to your child’s fingers.

Also, don’t cut too close to the skin. This can also cause harm and be very painful .

If you follow today’s advice for cutting your little one’s nails, we’re sure you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be. Put these tips into practice the next time around!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.