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The truth is, trimming a newborn baby's nails can be a daunting task for parents.
Try not to worry though. We're here to run through when and how to cut a baby's nails, and to answer some commonly asked questions. Soon, you'll be a mini mani-pedi pro!
You'll notice that your little one's toenails grow a lot slower than the nails on their fingers.
Because they require slightly less maintenance, the nails on their tiny toes will need trimming less frequently - usually around once a month. These should be trimmed straight across to prevent ingrown toenails.
Even though they're tiny, soft, and wear down on their own over time, a baby's fingernails grow surprisingly fast. If left untrimmed, they can become long, sharp, and scratchy.
You can cut or file your baby's nails as early as their first week. From then, they'll need cutting as often as every three days in their first few weeks.
The best time to trim your baby's nails is when you're feeling alert and awake, and your baby is asleep, very calm, or feeling drowsy and ready for a snooze.
It can take some time for little ones to get used to having their nails trimmed. To help keep them as relaxed as possible, you can:
Trimming their nails after bath time can also help, as they're likely to be feeling relaxed and their nails will be softer.
If your baby is particularly fussy, popping on some socks or mittens can be a temporary solution to stop them from scratching themselves. However, these should only be worn for a short amount of time because babies need to use their hands to explore the world around them.
Whether you file or cut your baby's nails comes down to personal choice. Using a soft emery board to file a baby's nails can reduce the risk of accidental cuts. But because a newborn baby's nails are often soft and bendable, it can be a little tricky to file them.
If you find that your little one's tiny nails are too soft to file, specially designed baby nail clippers with a safety guard may be the best approach.
Accidents happen, so try not to worry too much if you do cut your baby's skin when trimming their nails. If they bleed, the best thing to do is gently press a clean, soft cloth pad onto the cut and apply some pressure until the bleeding stops.
Don't apply a band-aid or dressing because they pose a choking hazard. If you're concerned about the cut, you can take your baby to see your doctor.
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