Why does no one tell you how terrifying it is to cut a baby’s nails?  Like no one talks about this!  No one brought it up in the ‘understanding your newborn’ class.  Not one of my girlfriends prepped me.  Not even my own mom.

Personally, having been a mom for a little over four months, I feel like this is one of the most terrifying things I’ve had to do to date.

I still vividly remember holding Kaiden’s tiny hands in my own and thinking, “How the hell am I going to do this?”  I even asked my mom if she wanted to try, and she said no.  Ha!  Thankfully, as a newborn, he didn’t move around too much.  This helped me get the job done relatively quickly.

But now, as an infant, he doesn’t sit still!  This makes for a very interesting and scary experience when it comes time to cut his nails.

Now you may be thinking, why don’t you get Vishnu to just do it.  Well, let me tell you about the time my husband declared, “I’ve performed surgeries, Par.  I can cut Kaiden’s nails.”  Well, ok then.  He took the clippers from me, sat in front of K, looked at his hands, and handed the clippers right back.  His final declaration?  “Yeah.  This is a lot harder than it looks.  How do people do it?” My point exactly, Vishnu, my point exactly.

nail clippers

So how do I do it?  Well, seeing how this task makes me sweat bullets every single time, my answer is…not easily.

First, I do exactly what they tell you not to do in a baby’s first year.  I turn on the TV.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Kaiden is easily distracted by the Food Network.  Haha.

I then move as quickly as possible and trim as many nails as I can.  Some days I get through four and some days it’s all ten.  It just depends on how distracted my baby boy is.

It also depends on if I accidentally clip K’s finger along with his nail.  When this happens, Kaiden rightfully screams and cries, which makes me cry….sometimes.  I feel so so horrible, and if I’m being honest, like a mean, monster mom.  Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s not fun.

And when I say trim, I’m by no means talking about an even trim.  Sometimes Kaiden’s nails are slightly jagged because I don’t have it in me to go back and even them out.  He’s also not a fan of the nail file.  What’s a mom to do?  Try again later.  That’s what.  Turn on the TV – sweat bullets – move fast.

As terrifying as this is, I need to figure it out because K likes to claw at my arm.  And only my arm.  Vishnu and my dad remain unscathed.  Go figure!

So soon-to-be/new parents, you’re hearing it from me.  Cutting your baby’s nails will likely be a scary, terrifying experience.  But know that you can do it.  You may need a little from the telly, and that’s ok.  You’ll get through it!

By Parita

9 thoughts on “Cutting Baby Nails – A Terrifying Experience”
  1. What worked for me and my baby boy was cutting nails when breastfeeding. He would instantly calm down, and relax, and go to sleep (atleast for the first few months he slept while breastfeeding) so me or my mom would quickly grab the clippers and go at it. Yes it did get challenging later, but this went on for about 6-8 months, because he got playful even while feeding. But then his fingers were a little bigger, so it wasnt as scary anymore. But good luck, one of the many things that nothing prepares you for, such terrifying moments 🙂

  2. Palu – I said no to trim his nail when he was newborn because I didn’t trust my eye sight since I needed my glasses and light was not bright enough. However, I knew you were doing a great job with his nails. And sorry that cutting baby nail subject/question never came up with me during your pregnancy. Don’t be scared of the little task since you are doing wonderful great job with all of the other tasks. you’ve got this Love you more than you’ll ever know.

  3. I found that is best to cut their little nails while they are sleeping. That is what I have done with my baby boy. But sounds like you did great!

  4. i saw your instagram story re: a nail clipper t hat worked well for babies…what’s the name of it? i too am having difficulties cutting my baby’s nails, and the poor thing ends up scratching her face!

    btw, i had asked you about formula you had used initially. unfortunately i have needed to use formula since birth with breastfeeding. i recently purchased HIPP Dutch version stage 2 for babies 6months+ after doing a lot of online research…seems that the standards/quality is much higher than here. thought it would share just in case, you needed to supplement with formula down the road!

    thanks for sharing the journey with us!

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