Trimming a Baby's Nails

Wondering how and when to cut baby's nails? Here are PSP members' tips.



Cut when sleeping:

"I still cut my daughter's nails when she is asleep. There was a time when she would be really knocked out in the stroller so I would keep a pair of nailclippers in my bag for the impromptu tot-icure in the park."

"My son went through a period where it was IMPOSSIBLE to cut his nails while he was awake, so I waited until he was dead asleep in his stroller, and took care of it then. "


Cut while watching TV:

"We cut them on Saturday during Sesame Street. If he does not cooperate I pause the show."

"We generally try to keep the tv off in our house bc our 6.5 month old is completely entranced by it. I have realized that cutting her nails is a breeze when I lay her in the boppy and put cartoons on! Not sure how old your babe is but give it a try!!"

"I put on a video...yes, it's TV. Sometimes it's Baby Einstein, sometimes just plain kids channel. It's the only time he would be still for anything. We've been doing that since he was old enough to sit up or lean back on me for support, now he's 15.5 months and is still pretty still for that. Then I get behind him and do his nails. Works every time."

"With both of my kids I trimmed their nails when they watched TV. As a matter of fact, that was the only time I would turn on cartoons (Tom and Jerry worked very well for me, and kept them both captivated for as long as I needed)."

"I've been very fortunate with my son, but sometimes TV does help. I too prefer scissors to clippers for his finger nails, but for some reason like the clippers more for his toe nails. I got both in a little kit sold at Babies R Us. They have different varieties. Good luck!"

"I do it while he's laying on his changing table watching one of those bizarre videos on YouTube Kids. There are few moments when I turn to videos to help me out, but this is one of them!"


Make it fun:

"We just make it super silly and fun.  I ask him to dig into the container we keep the clippers in, so he feels a part of the process. He sits on my lap and we make a big, funny noise every time I cut a nail. “TING!!” we shout. He thinks it’s really fun. We usually comment on how far the piece of nail flies into the air. (Kinda gross, but whatever.) He’s also now learning the names for the different fingers and toes, so that’s another fun element that we’ve added to our weekly ritual. He usually wants me to do “this little piggy went to market” and sing “where is thumbkin?” Sometimes, he wants to pretend to cut my nails. It all takes much, much longer, but he feels some agency in the whole process.      
An added benefit is we sit at a little vanity table w a 3 way mirror. He likes to count how many Henrys and mommies are in the mirror. And afterwards he gets to dig into the jar of lotion we keep on the table. He likes to slather the moisturizer on his face, hands and feet. Messy, but that’s our life right now."



"We started bribing her with our phones."


Use a nail file instead:

"Wow, I remember those days! I also remember being thankful for finding little nail filers to file down our babe's nails which made me much more comfortable at that time!"


Use baby nail scissors:

"I just saw baby nail scissors for sale. We actually use regular (not baby) nail scissors. As long as they have rounded tips...We've always found them much easier to use."

"Tweezerman makes a pair of the scissors. I got mine through Amazon but I have seen them in a number of drug stores since. I really liked them from birth until about 10 months, at which point the clippers seemed to get easier...."