Cut baby’s fingernails while she’s in a front carrier

Sara passes along a tip for easing fingernail trimming:

Cutting our baby’s fingernails was the one of the more scary tasks we confronted as new parents: squirmy baby, sharp pointy things, restained limbs. It literally took 4 hands, and even then was challenging. Eventually my husband decided he would cut her fingernails while carrying her in our Baby Bjorn front carrier. It freed up both of his hands, letting him grab just one of her hands at a time. Often, he did this while taking a walk — if she started complaining, he would quit, walk a while, and then cut another nail or two.

Interestingly enough, it also pointed to her hand preference. Holding a toy in her right hand while her left nails were being trimmed, no problem. Holding the toy in the left hand while her right nails were being trimmed was a problem because she kept transferring the toy back to her right hand.

Related: Zinc oxide “highlights” where to trim tiny fingernails


  1. says

    i find nail snippers work better than nail scissors.

    i felt a bit more comfortable that i wasn’t going to cut the nail too short. And there also aren’t quite as sharp if they move their little fingers.

    the baby bjorn idea is a great idea though. especially since, if you’re outside, you don’t need to worry about where the little nail ends have whizzed off to !

    (although, if you are inside and lose those little cut off nail ends, then just wander round a bit in bare feet and you’ll soon find them)

  2. Katherine says

    I always use a tiny emery board that came with our infant grooming kit. I waited until he was nursing or these days until he is in a quiet mood and willing to just sit quietly on my lap. It goes quick. I can file about 3 nails before he gets wiggly. At 15 months, our son has yet to actually have his nails cut…and I’ve avoided the stress of using a sharp object near such tiny fingers.

  3. says

    I clip my daughter’s nails when she’s asleep in her car seat. I just keep the clippers in the car seat and trim a couple of nails every time she’s in the seat long enough to fall asleep.

  4. Sandy says

    We have always cut our son’s nails when he is in the bath tub. He has always loved his baths and there are toys to distract him. Nails are softer after a few minutes in the water. And the nails go into the water and down the drain. We pick either Friday or Saturday mornings when we are all a little relaxed. He is now almost 2 years old and does not scream or fight to get his fingers back.

  5. says

    great idea!

    we prefer to nibble little peoples nails for the first year or so. even so, hands get pulled away. with a tiny one, often they won’t pull away if they have something else to suck on – usually our fingertips. then we like to use a very soft emery board too, for razor baby.

    our bigger girl likes to pretend to arrive ‘knock knock’ at the manicurist “hello, what can i do for you today?” and stays in character throughout a thorough manicure.


  6. Clichekitty says

    I hated those little baby fingernail clippers, especially after I cut my baby’s finger. Ouch! I much prefer the little scissors in a Swiss Army Pocket Knife kit. I can see what I’m doing and I have much better control.

  7. May Yong says

    It’s much easier to cut baby’s finger nails while they watch TV!

    Less resistance and less pulling back of their little fingers from me when my 10-month old son is concentrating on his favourate program.

  8. Andrew says

    I second ClicheKitty’s Swiss Army Scissors suggestion. My father-in-law is former pediatrician and he taught us that trick. Way better.

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