Cutting your child's nails can appear to be an extremely frightening task at first. And babies nails develop terribly quick!

As newborn children can't generally control their movements during their first few months alive, they will tend to scratch themselves constantly, particularly in the face.

With a newborn or young baby, the nails are not very hard to trim at all, because they're normally very still. In the beginning, meaning the first couple of weeks, your baby's nails should not be cut by any means. But after this period has passed, it is a lot harder, but needs to be done regularly.

Here you'll discover guidance on when and how to trim your child's nails, and how NOT to trim them.

Cutting Your Baby's Nails Safely

  • Wait –It is very tempting to attempt to cut the nails to help the baby. Wait a couple of weeks though. The skin on the fingertips is fragile and there is a hazard to cause infections if you trim the nails too soon.
  • Peel them off –You can, however, peel off the ends of the nail already from the beginning. Do this when you see any loose ends. Infants' nails tend to "break" every so often – a good chance to strip them off. But, be cautious!
  • Standard trimming –After the first couple of weeks, you may have to trim the nails a few times per week. Pick a pair of scissors that are suitable for children. Grown-up scissors are excessively sharp. 
  • While asleep –If your child gets too interested by the scissors, it may be a smart thought to trim the nails while they are sleeping. Or on the other hand, have another person distract them.
  • Plenty of light–Make sure you have lots of light when you cut the nails to prevent an accident and do it slowly. 
  • Don't bite! –I know a few people who have recommend biting off the child's nails. Try not to do it! As you can't feel what you're doing, you may bite your end of your child's finger. Not worth an attempt in my view!
  • The most effective method to cut –Cut fingernails following the bend of the fingertip. Toenails should be cut straight across.