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How to Cut Baby's Nails

Tips from moms who know


One thing that puts fear into the hearts of new parents is clipping or filing those teeny-tiny new baby nails. You might avoid it until you see a scratch on that precious face (not to mention feeling those cute scissor-hands digging into your own skin), and you must put on your big girl pants and face the fear.

To help, we asked moms for their tips in talon-taming.

1st Tip

a mom holding up her baby's feet

"I was terrified of nail-cutting at first, but the easiest way is to sit them on your lap facing out. Then you are cutting from the perspective you have of your own nails and it feels more natural. Hold their finger at the top knuckle so they can't pull away or bend it in the middle of a snip." - Jordan

2nd Tip

Close-up of mother cutting an infant's fingernails

"I always clip nails when they're ASLEEP. (At least until they're old enough to sit still.)" - Jennifer

3rd Tip

a baby's hand

"Clipping baby's nails while nursing has worked for me. I use a Boppy pillow to have my arms free. She is distracted and not fidgety. I've also clipped her nails whole sitting on my lap facing away." - Kelly

4th Tip

A picture of the bottom of little feet

"I was always to paranoid about getting their fingers to clip their nails so daddy did it like once a week or so and I would file them between clippings." - Victoria

5th Tip

Mother cutting babies nails

"It is 1000x easier when baby is asleep! Though, I'm not sure the risk of waking him/her up is worth the reward." - Erica

6th Tip

newborn bubble  bath white foam fingers eat washing baby care

"Right after bathtime, the nails are softer…." - Joy

7th Tip

Cutting child toenail

"I asked my pediatrician to do it." - Trudy

8th Tip

special scissor cutting nails of baby

"Outsource! After once nearly slicing off the tip of my newborn’s finger, I’m way too scared to cut my kids’ nails. I leave this job to other capable adults, like their babysitter or their father." - Becky

9th Tip


"We are finally getting to the point where it's doable because Elmo really likes having his nails cut first. !!!" - Andrea

10th Tip

Cute baby sleeping in car chair

"Sleeping and in the carseat or somehow strapped in!" - Alessandra

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