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Managing Nail Clipping Accidents with Your Baby

One of the most anxiety-inducing things a new parent will do with their new little bundle of joy is likely not something they really anticipated while preparing for their baby’s arrival: nail clipping.

While many parents end up trying to put off this first-time event

it is inevitable that they must soon acknowledge that their adorable little baby has a shockingly razor-sharp fingernail attached to each tiny finger.

Now, the day has come when you have to attend to the dreaded nail clipping session.

Mom (or dad) gets out the nail clippers, sits down with the little baby, carefully line up the clippers and… disaster strikes!

You’ve clipped baby’s finger while cutting nails!

What was supposed to be just the fingernail lined up in the clippers for a quick and easy trim turned out to include some of your baby’s finger!

The guilt and fear every parent feels as they frantically try to figure out what happened, but more importantly, what do they do now?

First of all, relax.

Your baby is going to be fine!

If you start to visibly panic, your baby is going to panic as well, then as your baby begins crying harder

you will react accordingly and you will just escalate each other’s fears to frenzy levels.

No good will come of that so, if you are feeling panicky, take a deep breath before doing anything else.

The very first thing you need to actively do to take care of your baby is calmly get up and carry them to the nearest sink to run their finger under some warm water.

Soothe them as much as you can while you gently make sure their cut finger is clean.

Whether you want to sing to them or simply talk to them in a calm manner, your attitude to the situation is the most important.

Once the cut has been cleaned with plain water

pat the area dry with a clean towel and if it is still actively bleeding apply a bit of gentle, but firm, pressure for a couple of minutes to help stop the bleeding.

Once you’re comfortable that the bleeding has stopped, or very nearly stopped, apply some antiseptic ointment and cover the injury with an adhesive bandage to keep the area clean and protected.

The bandage should then be left alone for two to three days unless it is visibly soiled and in need of changing

but the less you do with the finger after it is bandaged, the better and faster your baby’s finger will heal.

You will be amazed by how fast your baby can heal!

Now, on a side note, as long as your baby’s finger was not covered in dirt from playing outside

or any other area that would make a higher than normal risk for infections

then they will very likely be completely fine without any further intervention

but if their finger was covered in dirt or other muck when the cut occurred, play it safe and call your pediatrician or a nurse helpline for instructions and recommendations.

If nothing else, they will also be able to help put your mind at ease.

Mom feels bad after clipping baby's finger while trimming baby’s nail

After everything is tended to and baby is back to business as usual, if you are still feeling like you are just an awful parent because you accidentally clipped baby’s finger while cutting nails, please try to stop.

Take solace in the fact that we’ve all done it.

First-time parents, second-time parents, third, fourth and sometimes even fifth or more time parents, we’ve all accidentally clipped baby’s finger while cutting nails.

Often, from personal experience, every child gets their finger clipped at least once.

You probably got your finger clipped as a baby too, and your parents might even still feel a little bad about it

but you have survived and so will your little one.

If anything, it can feel even worse the second and third time around as you think, “I really should know better by now! How could I have done this to my baby again?” It really is alright.

While there are limited ways to guarantee that it will never happen again, there are a few general methods of reducing the chances of it happening.

cutting baby nails while he is sleeping

First, and seemingly most effective, is to trim their nails while your baby is asleep.

Keep some clippers handy during their feeding or before nap time and, once they drift into a deep slumber, start carefully clipping your baby’s nails.

Take your time.

Rushing will not only risk a repeat clipping accident, but it also risks waking your baby up.

There are many recommendations out there that you purchase special rounded clippers or other specialized tools to trim your baby’s nails

but what really matters is using whatever clipping tool you are most comfortable with.

For some parents, the specially designed baby clippers work best, and they are certainly worth a try if you have never used them before

but for other parents, just standard nail clippers are fine.

Even nail scissors are a good option if you are experienced in using them.

To guarantee a cut finger will never happen, emery boards are a good option given that baby nails

while incredibly sharp at times, are still rather soft and can easily be ground away.

Some parents are most comfortable simply biting their baby’s nails off, and it fairly well guarantees the baby will not get their finger cut

but this is not necessarily the best solution for everyone depending on varying comfort levels.

Whatever tool you prefer, make sure you are careful to hook it under the nail, insuring none of the fingers is getting in the way before you go for the clipping.

Whatever method you are most comfortable with using is going to be the best tool for you.

**Some links on this page can take you to, where you can see prices, customer reviews, product specs, etc … Please note that we only share stuff we love. We may earn a small commission if you buy through our links.

List of Best Recommended Products To Clipping Baby's Nails
Product Image Satisfaction Rate
Best Nail Clipper Safety 1st Steady Grip Infant Nail Clipper 82%
Best Baby Nail Scissors Simba Baby Safety Nail Scissors 96%
Best Baby Nail File Baby Nail File 90%
Best Electric Nail Trimmer Little Martin’s Drawer Baby Nail Trimmer 94%
Baby Nail Kit 4-in-1 Baby Grooming Kit 93%

The more comfortable you are, regardless of the tools involved, the less likely you will have to face the situation again where you clipped baby’s finger while cutting nails

but there will always come a time when baby decides they suddenly do not want to stay still at just the wrong moment and you will have to deal with the situation of having clipped baby’s finger while cutting nails again

but next time you will be ready and your baby will still be alright.

In the video below you can learn more about how to trim a baby’s nails.

Additional information:

Photo & Video credits: Amazon, Mothercare.

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