How To: Cut your Baby’s Fingernails!

See me cut Sterling’s nails on YouTube!

Cutting a baby’s fingernails is a daunting task. Their little tiny hands and the super sharp scissors or clippers give us all anxiety to start. We don’t want to hurt our babies and know they need their nails short so they don’t scratch themselves, but doing it without worry is hard! So I thought I would talk about different tools to use to cut their nails as well as some tips to getting it done. Let’s just hope Sterling goes along with it!

So the tools! Firstly there is your teeth. Yes you read that right. Some people swear by biting their nails and that’s great for them. But it’s not for me. If you feel comfortable doing this then go for it! I however never bite my own nails and wouldn’t know where to start and feel more comfortable using the scissors.


Secondly there are small baby scissors. I always use these as I feel they are the easiest to have good control with, as well as giving you the ability to cut as short as possible.

Thirdly, and the last method I know of are the clippers. I don’t like these ones as the casing makes it very difficult to have control over where you are cutting, and seems to take twice as long as scissors because you spend more time lining them up.


The easiest way to cut your baby’s or even toddler’s nails is with them in your lap, facing away from you. This allows you to really see what you are doing and have good control over your scissors or clippers.


Hold your baby’s hand in your left hand (for right handed people, left handed people please do opposite), then with their palm in your fingers use your thumb to push down, holding their hand quite firmly so if they squirm or pull their hand away they can’t and this will stop you from cutting their skin. Holding them firmly will not hurt them, they may squirm and pull away and this is simply because they don’t like to be restrained. If they squirm too much, or become too upset, stop what you are doing and try again later.


When cutting their nail, cut straight across the top, as short as possible. The better job you do now, the longer it will be before you need to do it again! Continue on and do as many nails as you can, and don’t stress if you can’t get them all done in one sitting. Give your little one a break, and come back to it later when they have calmed  down.


When cutting the thumb nails, I hold their hand in a fist in my hand, with their thumb squeezed between my thumb and pointer finger.

As you can see it can be very quick and easy to do, and the more you cut their nails, the less you will worry about hurting them. If you should accidentally cut their skin next to their nail, don’t beat yourself up about it either. It’s something we have all done and it makes you feel terrible, however babies heal very quickly and I can assure you it’s very unlikely that you will do it again!

Good luck, and remember we would love to hear all about it over on our DP Kids Facebook page!

Watch Sterling and I here on YouTube!

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