Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Nipping" the Nail Cutting Challenge

The Best Way To Cut My Baby's Nails
When my baby daughter removed one of my moles with her fingernails, I realized I was losing the nail clipping battle. This, despite the fact that I could have opened a salon with my assortment of nail cutting options.

There are all kinds of clippers and nail scissors designed especially for babies and children. I was given several as shower gifts, more as new baby gifts, and we had already bought some ourselves as overexcited parents to be. Personally, I didn't like any of them, and it showed. I never got close enough to her nail beds because I was always worried that I would cut my baby's precious finger, made more likely by her squirming. Who ever knew babies were so strong? I tried to use a nail file but the baby nails were too soft to make the emery board effective. I tried biting her nails off but that was uneven and encouraged my baby to be always trying to stick her fingers in my mouth. Then a friend told me this trick that he was so thrilled with he was telling everyone he knew:

Use nippers. This is not a brand name. It is what manufacturers call cuticle cutters. They are a real precision tool so you can very easily see that they are positioned under the babies nail so that only the nail will be snipped.

I tried it with my baby and was so excited by the ease of use that I called up a friend who is a doctor with young children who is always giving me great advise. "How do you cut your baby's nails?" I asked her, excited to be imparting some wisdom for a change. "Oh, I do something weird," she replied, "I use cuticle cutters."

Most nippers that you'll find have a pointy tip so you still have to use caution. (You are responsible for your baby's safety so don't use if you're not comfortable.) However, I find nippers so quick, easy and unobtrusive that I can do it without disturbing my baby while she's engaged in watching something, or even breast feeding or sleeping. I still prefer them for my 3 year old. I still don't much like cutting my kids' nails but thanks to nippers, I now leave my moles for the dermatologist.

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