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Video:How to Cut Your Baby's Nails

with Kathy Moore

A newborn's nails seem to grow fast, so be sure you're keeping an eye on his little fingers and toes. Try these tips on how to trim your baby's nails quickly and painlessly.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Cut Your Baby's Nails

Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Trimming a baby's fingernails and toenails can be a challenge. This program will provide basic instruction on how to get the job done quickly and painlessly.

Prepare to Trim Baby's Nails

An infant's nails seem to grow fast. Based on my experience, the best time to trim nails is after bath time. For some reason the nails seem softer and the baby is usually calmer.

Before you begin, have your trimmers ready. I use a nail trimmer specifically designed for babies. Do not use adult trimmers, and resist any temptation to bite or tear your baby's nails.

Position the Baby in Your Arms

Hold the baby with its head resting against your armpit and your arm cupping the child. If you are right handed, place the baby on your left side.

Do the trimming in a room with bright light or near a window so you can see what you are doing.

Trim the Baby's Fingernails

Use one hand to hold onto the baby's hand and fingers while applying slight pressure to pull the skin away from the underside of the nail. Then use the other hand to manipulate the trimmer.

Fingernails should be trimmed following the curved shape of the fingertip. Do not trim all the way down to the quick of the nail where it meets the skin, as this can be very painful.

Trim the Baby's Toenails

Trimming toenails can be more difficult because toes are just more ticklish. Try massaging your baby's feet and toes before you grab the trimmers. This usually helps to calm kids a bit and make them less jumpy.

Place the foot across the palm of your hand, and use your fingers and thumb to steady the toe. Unlike fingernails, toenails should be trimmed straight across when possible to reduce the possibility of ingrown toenails.

Advice on Trimming Nails

There is no rule that says you have to trim all your baby's nails in one sitting. If your child is too squeamish to sit still for long, just trim one or two nails today and try finishing the job tomorrow. If all else fails, wait until they are asleep.

Having the right tools and remaining calm will make the experience easier on everyone. And practice helps. Trust me, you will get lots of practice before your baby turns 1.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at parenting.about.com.
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