Nail care for newborns
Newborn fingernails and toenails are usually soft and flexible. However, if they are ragged or too long, they can hurt the baby or others. Itis important to keep your baby's nails clean and trimmed. Newbornsdo not yet have control of their movements. They may scratch or claw at their face.
- Clean the baby's hands, feet, and nails during regular bathing.
- Use anail file or emery board to shorten and smooth the nails. This is the safest method.
- Another optionis to trim nails carefully with baby nail scissors that have blunt rounded tips or baby nail clippers. Do NOT use adult-sized nail clippers. You couldclip the tip of the baby's finger or toe instead of the nail.
Since baby's nails grow pretty quickly, you may have to cut the fingernails at least once a week. You may only need to cut the toenails a couple of times per month.
Review Date: 11/7/2011
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.