Infant Nail Trimming

Posted on: June 13th, 2011
by Ryan McElroy, MD

Good Monday morning everyone!


One of the more practical parenting questions I’m asked, especially by new parents, is how to trim a newborn’s fingernails. Those little suckers can get pretty sharp, and since babies are pretty uncoordinated with their hand movements for a majority of their infancy (and for some reason, they like to have their hands near their faces!), facial scratching can be an issue. The good news is that these minute scratches, while sometimes disturbing to look at, have never resulted in facial scarring in my experience.


Trying to keep those little hands controlled while trimming the nails can also result in accidentally trimming too close to the nailbed and a clipped finger tip – which many excellent parents experience and is usually terrifying! Those little fingers can bleed a lot before they decide to stop (pressure is usually all that’s needed).


Here are a couple of links to an article and a video about nail trimming from


Nails, Nails Everywhere!


Trimming Baby’s Nails (video)


Good luck, and have a wonderful day!


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