Baby Guide, Care & Health

How to cut baby nails

Nail care for babies and small children – not so easy, but necessary. The little fingernails can grow quite fast: If they are too long, painful scratches are not uncommon for you and the child.

The soft toenails, which are softer at first, tend to grow more slowly, but they also need to be regularly cut to prevent ingrowth. Of course, the little fingers and toes should not be hurt, therefore thereThere are special scissors, clips, and files for nail care in babies and toddlers.

The fingernails cut in the first few weeks

In about the first four weeks after the birth, it is not necessary to cut the little ones’ nails. However, once you find that they are getting too long, you should start with them. From this point on, it makes sense to cut the fingernails twice a week and check the toenails accordingly.

The fingernails should always be kept short and round – babies like to scratch themselves while sleeping and can hurt themselves on sharp edges of the nails. By contrast, toenails should be cut about twice a month and kept straight to prevent them from ingrowing.

It is important to cut the nail without injuring the skin, but not every baby likes to endure the procedure. Many parents, therefore, choose a good time, for example when the baby is sleeping. 

From the sixth to the eighth week of special life products are useful because the nails are then harder.

Avoid injuries

It quickly happened: The little finger wriggles, the scissors slip off, the fingertip bleeds. This not only hurts but can lead to an even stronger resistance in future nail care. Therefore, an opportunity should always be taken to keep the baby as calm as possible.

Soft nails can make it easier to shorten – if the child is tired and relaxed after bathing, this can also be a good time to cut. Always hold your finger gently, push the fingertip slightly away from the nail and use scissors with rounded ends.

Despite all the precautionary measures, a bit of blood flows out of the fingertip, which is no reason to panic, with a piece of gauze and light pressure can quickly stop the bleeding. Of course, you should consult a doctor for major injuries.

Suitable instruments

The usual tools for nail care are scissors, clippers, and file. For babies and small children, however, special, designed for their claims should be used. Commercially, they are available both individually and as complete sets.

Baby scissors

The nail scissors for the little darling should be made of high quality, stainless materials and have rounded ends. The handle should be so big that you can handle the scissors well, the cutting surface, however, smaller than conventional nail scissors. Ideally, the blades are well-spaced and sharp enough to cut the nail quickly and neatly.


As an alternative to scissors, you can use clippers suitable for babies and toddlers for cutting. Both have the advantage that they can be placed on the finger so that the dome is pushed a little bit away from the nail.

Nail file and care sets

A file is well suited to smooth any irregularities and protruding edges. Here, care should be taken that the skin is not injured.

Make nail care pleasant

If a baby sleeps deep and tight, nail trimming is no problem. In infants, it is often not so easy, so it is advisable to make the nail care as early as possible palatable. For example, if there is a particular song in which the child cuddles relaxed on your lap, this may be a good condition for nail care.

Do not “raid” the child with scissors or clippers, but introduce recurrent procedures: Create a pleasant situation for the child, in which you act in the future. Over time, nail care becomes an integral part of everyday life and works better and better.


  • Use sleep phases or quiet moments
  • Only use products specifically for babies and toddlers
  • Cut fingernails twice a week from 6th to 8th week of life (cut round)
  • Check toenails regularly, cut them about twice a month (cut straight)
  • Avoid the risk of injury from protruding edges

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