A newborn baby’s nails are extremely soft. They can be quite long when your baby is born and even though they are really soft they can still give your baby an impressive scratch if left alone. A baby has very little control over their movements and do a lot of completely involuntary and jerky movements so they can scratch their little faces and eyes unintentionally quite often! To prevent this from happening its important to establish a nail care routine straight away.
Ways to shorten long nails on a baby:
- First choice is to use a nail file to trim your baby’s nails – this might seem odd but the reason is that when your baby is born the skin behind the nail may well be a little bit attached to the nail and with a file you are less likely to nick their skin.
- Alternatively you can use a rounded baby nail scissors using care to trim carefully.
- Final option is to use a baby nail clippers – I would urge special caution using these with a newborn due to the skin attachment issue but for older babies they are extremely handy!
Tips for nail care:
- Keep hands nice and clean to prevent infection around the nail bed.
- Avoid adult sized clippers or scissors as it is way too easy to do damage with these to a baby’s tiny fingers.
- Don’t bite your baby’s fingernails as you could cause the nail to pull at the skin leaving a small wound which could become infected.
- Don’t pull at hangnails as you may introduce infection.
- If you do see an area near your baby’s nail bed which is red, swollen or weeping try soaking it in warm water and keeping it clean. If it persists or spreads rather than goes away within a day or two please see the GP as it may require a prescription cream to treat infection if present.
- Trim your baby’s nails when they are relaxed and not agitated to minimise the chance of them swinging or jerking their arms. A good time might be when they are having a nap – they’ll never know 😉
Finger nails need to be trimmed about once a week for children to prevent them from scratching themselves etc but toe nails are not as quick to grow and probably only need to be trimmed about once every two weeks.
Tommee tippee do a really handy grooming kit which I’d strongly recommend as it comes with everything you need to care for your baby’s nails and more. This set includes:
1x Digital Oral Thermometer
1x Nasal Aspirator
2x Emery Boards
1x Carry Case
and is available here – https://www.wonderbaba.ie/product/tommee-tippee-baby-healthcare-kit
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!