Babies are born with small nails on hands and feet. Postmature infants have fairly long nails. It is clear that your newborn doesn’t need such a manicure. This means you should learn about cutting newborn’s nails.
Don’t be surprised if after birth a nurse smears your newborn’s nails with iodine solution. This is necessary to avoid possible infection. In future, you won’t have to do this, you will only need to cut small nails.
Nail grow significantly faster in newborns than in adults. Therefore, if for an adult cutting nails just once a week is enough so that they remain accurate, trimming baby’s nails should be done every 3−4 days.
Rules of newborn nail care
Newborns coordinate their movements very poorly, so they can inadvertently scratch the face. To avoid this, buy clothes with special mittens for the first months of life and, certainly, timely trim your baby’s nails.
For trimming baby’s nails, use special baby scissors. Scissors for kids have rounded ends. If your baby touch these scissors, he won’t cut himself. All nail accessories should belong only to your baby. Any other family member mustn’t use them. After each use, wash the baby scissors thoroughly with antibacterial soap or wipe them with alcohol. Do it every time! Store these items in a hard-to-reach place, away from older children.
By the way, to handle your baby’s fingernails you can use special baby clippers. They pinch off nails quickly and easily.
The most urgent question about nail care in newborns is how to choose the right time for trimming. When the baby is still very small (from birth to 5 months), find the moment when he is calm, cheerful and well fed, or use the time when he is fast asleep. The second and the simplest option is cutting his nails when he is sleeping. However, some kids are light sleepers; you won’t want to disturb such a baby. So, cut your baby’s nails in the morning after waking up, when the baby feels cheerful, or after bathing when the nails are softer.
The nails of a newborn are very soft and delicate. Cut them very carefully and gently. Another important thing here is the sharpness of your vision. If there isn’t enough light in the room or you doubt that you can accurately cut the baby’s nails, wait or ask another family member to do this. Let a more experienced person, for example, your mother, help you with the first trimming.
While cutting newborn’s nails remember the main rule: round the nails on the fingers and cut them smoothly straight across on the toes.
Gently press the finger pad from the nail, and then cut the nail. If you accidentally hurt the baby, treat his finger with antibacterial composition. If you noticed red spots at the edges of your baby’s nails, treat them with iodine, because these spots are a sign of an incipient inflammation. Watch this redness for a few days. If it persists for a long period, consult a specialist. Even little redness can develop into a serious purulent abscess.
Let’s learn what you shouldn’t do taking care of your baby’s nails.
Previously, many mothers on the advice of their own mothers didn’t cut the nails of their infants — they bit (!) them. It was considered quite a normal and natural process! Perhaps some of the elder members of your family know about it and will advise it to you. Do not follow this silly advice as you can cause infections.
- Do not trim your baby’s nails with your own scissors not only from considerations of personal hygiene, but also for the reason that scissors for adults are dangerous for newborns.
- Do not cut your newborn’s nails too close to skin, as it can provoke ingrown nail plate. Ingrown toenails are not rare among babies.
The nails of newborn babies are very thin. If you allow them grow long, they will become peeling. At this point, you may want to tear a loose edge of the nail. Don’t do it! The best thing is to carefully trim the nails.