My two month old daughter has sharp nails. Please suggest some safe way of cutting her nails so that she doesn't scratch herself. We bought a supposedly baby nail clipper but it is no different from a normal nail cutter (just has some cute drawings) and the baby doesn't hold still to allow us to cut her nails.

  • 2
    Have you tried filing down the nails with an emery board, instead of using clippers or scissors?
    – Tester101
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 20:49

9 Answers 9


Your pediatrician can actually advise on this matter; ours told us that baby scissors are safer than nail clippers.

Also, we never cut her nails while she is awake - she moves too much and well, she has better things to do. I always cut them when she is sleeping.

  • We have a nail clipper that actually has a flashlight so you can clip your child's nails in the dark in his or her bedroom. It's the only way I won't get my poor baby's skin while cutting nails.
    – justkt
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 15:49

For the first few months we used to just bite our kids nails. I know it sounds weird, but one midwife and two aunties suggested this and it seems to be fairly well recognised way to do it.

If you do want to use clippers, get the ones with a buffer - this stops you accidentally cutting into the baby's skin - which is quite easy to do if they are wriggling. Also use two people - one to hold their arm still, and the one wielding the clippers should hold the finger still - or do as @Swati said and wait for baby to fall asleep.

  • 2
    "Don't bite your nails. DANGIT, HOW CAN YOU HAVE MEMORIES THAT OLD?" -- obligatory. By the way, this works on toes, which are particularly difficult to target even with buffered clippers. You just need a .. strong stomach.
    – user106
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 16:47

Actually we didn't like the baby clippers (the ones with the buffers) because it made it harder to see what you're cutting. We just use a regular (small) nail clipper.

Doing it while they sleep works, but risks waking them. That's not an option for my poor sleep-deprived wife.

What we find works best is to do it during or after feedings. The child is occupied and generally contented due to the food. When the kids were infants my wife would often clip the nails while I was holding them and feeding with a bottle. Once they got older she did while they're strapped into the high chair and occupied with dry finger foods.

With my son graduated from the high chair (and liable to tantrum if forced into anything), my wife has to negotiate clippings with him. Generally he can be bribed into compliance with TV and a bottle.


You can try cutting the nails when they are asleep. I found that worked well on both my kids. Regarding what to use, that is up to you as long as you just be careful. I just used one of those infant nail clippers and it worked well.


I bought baby nail clippers but I'm afraid to use them since my 2 month old moves too much. I wouldn't wanna cut him, so when he's asleep I bite his nails. It works perfectly! It's fast and safer than nail clippers.


My trick is to cut them in the bathtub with clippers. I find there is enough going on in the bath that it distracts them and they are less likely to pull away. As they get older this trick continues to work until they're toddlers. Their nails are also softer, which makes them easier to cut.


Use scissors (they are much easier than nail clippers).

Really hold each finger so that she can't push or pull it.

Try to associate (even she's just 2 months) something with it. Like wearing glasses, holding her in a certain position in your lap, etc. That way she'll associate things and it'll make your life easier in the future.

Didn't like to do it while my little one was sleeping, because she would move anyway and would wake up crying.


I found baby clippers easier to use and less harmful than scissors.

  • +1 we use baby clippers too and that works well. It takes two people though - one to hold the arm/leg, and one to use the clippers. Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 10:57
  • 1
    To avoid the need for two people, you need to trim the nails only when the baby is in deep sleep. Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 11:08

We were instructed to file down the nails with a soft cardboard-ish file, in the first weeks/months when the nails are still very soft.

Later i would use whatever worked, like clipping the nails while outside feeding the ducks by means of distraction.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .