Trimming fingernails and toenails

"I would sure love some helpful hints when it comes to trimming my 8 month old's finger and toe nails, since she's so squirmy."

"Do it right after the bath or even during her bath when the nails are soft and there are possible distractions."

"One tactic I've tried (with some success) is that of diversion. I'll often give my little guy something novel to hold on to (with the hand I'm not working on). Sometimes, I'll also just satisfy myself with trimming a few nails at a time and try a few more later in the day."

"We were able to trim our daughter's fingernails and toenails only while she was sleeping, until she was about two years old. But you might try having another adult hold her with a distracting toy, while you trim the other hand/foot."

"Trim her fingernails while she is sleeping. Her fingers will be limp, making trimming effortless. The best part, is that she'll never know!"

"The best time to do it is when she's sleeping, if she won't wake up. Otherwise do as much as you can and quit when it's too tough. Sometimes singing a song helps: `Where is Thumbkin (Pointe, Pinkie, etc.) or `This Little Piggie....' for toes."

"I try to sit my son in such a place that he can look in the mirror. He's still a bit squirmy, but he's usually so fascinated with his reflection that it can distract him for a time - long enough for me to get the job done without too many problems."

"Trim them while she's sleeping. Have one parent sing or read a book with the child on his lap, while you trim them."

"A very simple way to rim a squirmy 8 month old is to do the nails when the baby falls asleep. You have to be a bit tricky but if the baby is fully asleep it should work like a charm!"

"When my daughter was an infant I would always clip her nails while she slept. Being a cosmetologist, I had cuticle nippers around and

would use those instead of clippers. Now that she's almost 2 she likes to watch!"

"It is probably easiest to do after your baby falls asleep. I usually carry the nail clippers in my pocket so I have it at the appropriate time. I have also done it with the baby lying down and singing to her baby. Your husband can also be a great help and the job can be accomplished while you ar nursing your baby."

"We found it best to trim finger and toe nails while the child was asleep in our arms. No problem with the wiggly fingers and toes. When the child is older trimming nails becomes a fun game."

"Have someone occupy her attention and work fast! No one to help? I made funny noises and faces at my son to keep his attention off of his hands or feet. It usually worked while working on his hands. The feet were more difficult due to ticklishness, so I would continue with the noises, faces and funny little songs while having a toy handy. It didn't work all the time so I would give up and try to finish when he was asleep. Now he's 20 months old and holds still for me as I clip and lavishly praise him."

"Hennepin County Foster Mom's Basket Hold/Should Pin Method. "Being a dance teacher who has now fostered 15 babies and toddlers, I can safely say my method is tried and true. If trimming in the tub, or saying `This Little Piggy' and/or something to do while you're waiting such as on the front steps or when in car seat with clippers handy and all have not conspired to make nail trimming a negotiable task......then I strongly recommend sitting cross legged on a floor with couch or wall solidly behind you and clippers handy. Place your heel gently but firmly in child's crotch and if needed place your shoulder and upper arm against front of child's arm and shoulder so that as quickly as possible you can trim all 20. The 20th nail - usually a last little toe - always seems to me to cause a peak in resistance. When the job is done I say `Thank you' or `Good job' with great enthusiasm. The major advantage to this method is that it is totally safe because the adult maintains total control and total efficiency working firmly and fast. Obviously, 6 to 8 months of this will generally lead to mutual cooperation. P.S. - My friend - a mother of 4, performs the same ablutions when children are asleep!"

"I have to find something or someone very interesting for my baby to play with or look at while trimming nails. I have the best luck with toe nails while he is sitting in his high chair (that way he can't go anywhere). Once they know you mean business and they can't get away, they usually settle down."

"Trim them when she's asleep!"

"Try an infant nail clipper after a bath. The nails become soft when they have been soaked. Also, try a baby nail file. My 3 month old son's are razor sharp. I file them every day during his nap time."

"Try doing it while your baby is asleep. Use tiny, blunt-ended scissors. If scissors are impossible, try nail clippers or a nail file."

"I give my 7 month old something he hasn't seen before that he can hold and put in his mouth to explore, then I do the other hand, quickly but carefully. Something that always works is to wait until they are soundly sleeping, then trim away."

"Try doing this at a quiet time, after his/her bath and a bottle in his mouth. Just before bed or I've even done the clipping after my little one fell asleep!"

"I find that on all 3 of my children (7 yrs, 5 yrs and 9 months) if I cut their nails after a bath, the nails are softer and easier to cut. With my 9 month old, I also give her a toy to keep her hand that I'm not trimming busy. Don't make it a fight, if they're not cooperative - wait a while."

"Wait until she is sleeping and then do it. She is less likely to move in the middle of her nap."

"What I have learned to do with my son is to give him a bath to help him relax or better yet catch him as he has just fallen asleep in my arms and trim his nails them."

"I have a 6 1/2 month old son. I need to cut his fingernails once a week, they grow so fast. Not his toenails, though, they grow slower - in all babies and adults alike. I have a baby nail clipper that I use. I cut them when he is asleep, or, when my husband is home, he sings, talks, and generally entertains our son while I trim his nails. I try to go fairly quick, but it really is easy.

"I make a game of this, saying `snip, snap, snip!'. With each bite of the clipper, and after a few times the intrigue of a `talking' clipper takes over."

"My eldest daughter also fought having her nails trimmed. Rather than risk injury wrestling with her, we waited until she was asleep. It saved a lot of wear and tear on our nerves."

"Try when she's asleep, especially in her car seat. Carry your nail clipper in your purse or pocket and snip her nails before you get out of the car."

"First be sure you have a good, blunt nosed fingernail scissor. With my daughter, who's now 14 monthsold, I have tried having her in various positions. She used to do fine laying on her back. Then we tried trimming her nails with her sitting on my lap, or between my legs, while we both sat on the sofa. Now she prefers to sit on the edge of her changing table. With all techniques I also used songs, mouth noises or funny faces as a distraction. There also is some control involved, and it's a necessary task to keep her and others safe. A scratched face is no fun."

"Try enlisting daddy's help. If one of you holds and feeds the baby it will make it easier for the other one to trim the nails. If the attention is on breast or bottle, the squirming will decrease and nail trimming will be quicker and safer. We also have a lot of luck in doing this while the baby is asleep."

"I had a `squirmy'. All I can say is....Be determined, hold tight and clip quickly. Helps to pick a time when the child is happy or mellow. Mine will be 3 years old this month and somewhere along the line this last year he gave up the fight."

"Find something your child is mesmerized with and trim the nails during that activity (i.e. - outside at a park, watching people, TV even, if it works for you). Nails are softer after a bath but in the early months I found it difficult to see how much to trim off of the nail after a bath."

"I've found out the best time is when she just woke up or before falling to sleep. I have a two year old and we take turns. First one of my fingers, then one of his fingers. We take this time to count to five."

"The best time I found to trim nails is when the child is sleeping in my arms. It's so easy then to lift their tiny hands or toes and clip away without fear of catching skin."

"I have carried a fingernail clipper in my purse so that when my daughter falls asleep in her car seat I can use that opportunity to trim her nails. Now that she is 1 year old, it sometimes works to trim her nails while she is holding a cracker in the other hand and busy eating that. sometimes we only get 2 or 3 fingers done at a time and have to get all of them over the course of a day or two! She is getting better about it as she gets older - so there is hope!"

"Try to cut the finger and toe nails while they're asleep rather than awake. Too much hassle and an increase in accidents while a child is moving around and squirmy."

"I have heard to cut them when your child is sleeping. I never succeeded with this idea. I did have some success cutting them in the car, while my child was buckled in the car seat, unable to squirm too far. I also had an object (toy) there to distract him. We talked about what I was doing, explaining what you are doing always reassures the child and makes him or her feel included.

"My husband and I had an awful experience trying to trim our newborn son's fingernails. We tried putting baby powder under the nail and trimming with a baby clippers - Never again. It all ended in tears and a small cut on the baby's finger. Well, the very best advice was from my husband's mom - invest in a small baby scissors - especially made for trimming finger and toe nails, and always do it when the baby is asleep or resting while taking a bottle or nursing. It works wonders! Buy a new one every couple weeks so it stays sharp!"

"We make sure our 4 month old is sleeping and then it works very well."

"My son is 17 months old and when he was younger, I rocked him to sleep at nap time and trimmed his nails then. he does not rock to sleep as easily anymore. Now I give him a small cracker to eat in one hand and quickly trim the nails of the other hand. At first it took a cracker per finger, but now we are down to about four total. I trim his nails before nap time when he is somewhat relaxed, but I still have to wait till he is sound asleep to trim his toe nails.

"I count each finger and toe as I finish cutting the nail. My son sits still and loves to anticipate and beat me to calling out the next number. (We started this before he was a year old.)

"The best time to trim infant and toddler's finger and toe nails is while they are sleeping. The best place is in your car - while the child is in a sitting position, asleep and with natural light pouring in on three side. You just have to remember to carry the clippers or cuticle scissors along with you in your purse or keep them in the car in a safe place."

"When I had my 1st child, my pediatrician gave me some advice on this subject that came not from his medical books, but from his mother! He told me to bite her nails! Your tongue and teeth are so much more sensitive than a scissors and babies nails are so soft that they tear off easily without ever going too close to the skin line. I am not a nail biter and at first thought that this advice was crazy, but after trying it and finding it so easy to do (I often trim nails while breast feeding) I have followed his advice with all 3 of my children! I trim their nails in this manner for about a year, until they are old enough to sit still for a scissors trim."

"Good times are: When she's asleep, when she's absorbed in a new toy (or crinkly paper, piece of tape stuck to her nose, etc), while she's nursing (have papa do the clipping). I have preferred clippers to scissors - for me, it's safer. Get all lined up and with one quick snip it's over. Don't plan on all 10 fingers or toes at one sitting either!

"Do it when she's sleeping, or have someone distract her while you do it. And us a clippers, not a scissors."

"Do this only when child is asleep."

"We've found the best time to trim fingernails and toenails is when our child is asleep. We rock him to sleep and then, while still holding him, cut his nails. This way, if he starts to fuss or wake up we can stop trimming his nails and cuddle him and rock him until he is asleep again. Most times he doesn't even notice we are trimming his nails, so it only takes a minute or two to do!"

"Use on of those scissor type nail trimmers. Give a toy in one hand and trim the other."

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