Having a delicate newborn makes it hard to make the reflex decisions you make with yourself; if you have a long, jagged nail, you simply whip out the nail cutter and cut away, things aren’t as easy with a newbie.
It is always a good idea to keep your newborn’s nails short; even though they are soft, they can still scratch your baby’s skin. One of the easiest ways to shorten you baby’s nails is simply by peeling the excess away gently.
Another approach some mothers opt for is to gently suck your newborn’s nail and you will notice how it easily comes away. However, as easy as this method seems, it isn’t always recommended as the bacteria in your mouth could cause an infection.
Now, if you don’t want to risk either of the above and want to opt for a full-proof approach, just fetch an emery board and gently file your baby’s nails, and because the nails are so soft, the surplus will easily file away with minimal risk!
Of course, there are mothers who won’t want to risk any of the above, and for you lovely mummies we recommend (if the weather allows it) that you pop mittens on your baby’s hands to avoid any itching or irritation. It may be the case that your child gets annoyed by them initially, but give them a chance and they should soon adjust. If baby doesn’t get used to them after a while, it may be best to remove them all together – a calm baby is a happy baby!
As for your baby’s toenails, they are less likely to grow as fast as fingernails (as is the case with older children and adults) so they shouldn’t take too much maintenance.
Things to look out for:
- When filing or cutting their fingernails, always file in the shape of the natural curve to put ingrown nails at bay.
- If you do cut the toenails, ensure they are cut or filed in a straight line to avoid any ingrown toenails.
- Don’t trim too low on their nails as you may not be able to tell which bit of the nail is still attached to the quick. If you cut too low, the finger will bleed, become sore and will be at the risk of infection.
- Two hands are better than one: get someone to help you control baby’s wriggly arms and legs while you cut or file them.
- If you do nip baby’s skin, don’t panic. Simply hold a piece of clean and damp cotton wool against the fingertip with a little bit of pressure: this will stop the bleeding.
- Avoid using a plaster on your baby as this could be a choking risk.