It doesn’t take much time to get toddler nails trimmed and tidy, but it does take some know-how. Here’s how to master the munchkin manicure.
When your child was a newborn, clipping his teeny tiny nails could be a bit nerve-racking — for you, not for him. Now that he’s a sturdy toddler and you’re a seasoned pro, your nerves aren’t the issue — instead you might be facing a few new challenges when it comes to cutting children’s nails. Maybe it’s the fear factor — this time, his. Some children get scared when a pair of scissors or clippers head anywhere near their toddler nails — understandably, since they associate “cut” with “hurt.” Or maybe you’re having trouble getting your whirling dervish to sit still — and keep his hand or foot steady — while you tend to the trimming of his toddler nails. But tend to it you must: Caring for children’s nails is not only done for looks, but it’s also important for children’s health. Long nails can trap dirt and germs, as well as result in scratches for your child (and the people in his orbit). Plus, toenails that grow too long run the risk of becoming ingrown, and that can really hurt. To make the toddler grooming process go as smoothly as possible, use these tips and tricks for a quick and tear-free mini mani-pedi.
Lead the way.
If your child is fearful, casually take out the nail clippers to use on yourself, your partner, and any agreeable siblings, and let your child watch as you all survive, unscathed (and smiling). Sport the right attitude and by the time you finish giving yourself a manicure, your tot may be begging for a turn.
Check under nails for nasties.
Keeping children’s nails short keeps most dirt from getting stuck, but even short nails end up accumulating some gunk. A thorough bedtime hand washing will remove most of this, but if you spot some stubborn stuff, gently use a rounded wooden toothpick or a scrubbing brush (they come in cute colors and animal shapes) to get the job done.
Be blunt (when it comes to clippers).
Nail clippers or baby nail scissors with rounded, blunt edges are best for trimming toddler nails. (Avoid scissors with sharp points until your child is old enough to reliably sit still.)
Pretend your toddler’s fingers are a family with a mommy, daddy, and kids who need their “hair” cut (snip, snip), or sing your sweetie’s favorite song with a nail-related twist (“The Itsy Bitsy Finger Went to the Nail Salon”), finishing off each finger with a loud kiss. He’ll have such a good time he may forget to be antsy or frightened.
Soften them up.
Warm water softens up nails — and toddlers, who usually mellow out after a soak in the tub, making them more amenable to a trim. Don’t attempt trimming children’s nails under water, but do try to schedule that mani-pedi for just after the bath.
Do a few at a time.
Can’t get through ten fingers and ten toes without a struggle? There’s no rule that says you have to finish all in one sitting (operative word being sitting). If your toddler dashes off before you’ve finished the first hand, try again later — or even the next day.
This article was first published via whattoexpect.com